Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher is broken is never going to be the best part of your day, particularly if you have to deal with the cost of calling out an engineer and taking time off work to meet them just to diagnose the issue.

Luckily it’s possible to diagnose and even resolve a number of dishwasher issues yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you are able to find a multimeter.

You may realize you are able to resolve the issue quite easily alone, especially if you are good at DIY, and if you can’t at worst you will be better placed to describe the issue when you do call a repair person.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of searching for a new dishwasher there are a few possible problems you should be able to identify without too much trouble.

Safety Warning: Always make sure your dishwasher is unplugged before attempting repairs.

Everyday Dishwasher Faults That Will Prevent Your Machine From Starting

In advance of going through the following list of potential issues ensure that your dishwasher hasn’t been accidentally switched off, and that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

At this point you can also check that the child lock hasn’t been activated as well as try resetting your dishwasher.

You will often need the manual to do this due to the fact that machines are all different but the child lock tends to be fairly easy to activate inadvertently. Likewise, if the dishwasher has lights yet will not run, the answer may be as simple as resetting the cycle.

When you have eliminated these issues you can start the real troubleshooting.

    1. Investigate the door latch or door latch switch.
    2. Test the timer.
    3. Examine the selector switch.
    4. Test the motor relay.
    5. Test the thermal fuse.
    6. Examine the drive motor.

To test these electrical components you will need a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to measure the resistance as well as check the electrical components are operating as they are meant to.

Examining the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to check is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your dishwasher is not designed to operate if these are faulty for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want start the machine without meaning to with the door not closed.

A faulty switch will stop your dishwasher from starting plus completing a cycle. You should test the switch with a multimeter. The switch is generally situated behind the front door panel or control panel.

Double check the machine is disconnected prior to accessing the door panel and testing for continuity to ensure you do not get an electric shock.

If you discover the latches or switches are broken you will need a replacement door latch assembly.

Testing the Timer

If the door latch plus door latch switch, are working as they are meant to the next component to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that distributes power to all the other components the machine needs to run such as the motor, as well as the water inlet valve.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it may have to be tested while plugged in, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Checking the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the part of the machine that selects the cycle , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make as well as the model of your dishwasher. A broken selector switch or one that has got stuck could cause the dishwasher not to start.

You should be able to visually investigate to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you may be required to unplug the machine and gain access to the control panel to check the contact points for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that could result in your machine not running, thus this could be the fault if you have tested the control panel and thus have ascertained that there should be power going to the main pump.

To test if this is the case you will have to find the motor as well as find the relay that should be mounted next to it. This may then be taken out plus checked with the help of a multimeter and it might need to be replaced.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

If you have tested all the above and are still looking for the problem the next part of the machine to investigate is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers have a thermal fuse.

If you locate the fuse and discover it is blown you will need to replace it in order to restore power to the control board.

Checking the Drive Motor

The final part of the dishwasher you could check that may stop your machine from running is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

When you have checked the other components but still aren’t getting anywhere this may be the culprit particularly if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You can usually locate the motor by taking off the lower access panel. Check it with the help of a multimeter then replace if faulty.

When to Get in Touch With a Professional

Not everyone has a multimeter, or would know how to use one even if they do, in which case you will need to call a professional sooner rather than later.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you may well be able to fix the issue without needing a professional. Yet if you are con confident it’s always better to call in the professionals.

And have a look at your warranty and your home cover as appliance repairs may be covered meaning the expense might be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

  • Dishwasher Being Loud
  • Dishwasher Leaking
  • Dishwasher Not Draining
  • Dishwasher Not Drying
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