Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher is broken is never going to be the best part of your day, especially if you are also faced with the expense of calling out a repair person as well as taking time off work to meet them just to diagnose the problem.

Luckily it’s very feasible to diagnose and even resolve plenty of dishwasher issues by yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you are able to find a multimeter.

You might discover you are able to fix the problem quite easily by yourself, particularly if you are good at DIY, and if you can’t at worst you will have a better idea of the fault when you do call an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of looking for a replacement dishwasher there are a number of simple problems you should be able to troubleshoot without too much issue.

Safety Warning: Never attempt repairs while your machine is plugged in.

Everyday Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Turning On

In advance of investigating your machine for faults ensure that it hasn’t been switched off, as well as that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

This is also a good time to see if the child lock hasn’t been activated and try resetting your dishwasher.

You will most likely need the user manual to do this due to the fact that machines are all different but the child lock is often quite easy to put on without meaning to. Likewise, the dishwasher could have power however will not start, in this case the answer might be as easy as resetting the program.

When you have ruled out these problems you can start the real troubleshooting.

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

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

Examining the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches and door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to start if the door latches are not working for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want begin the dishwasher without meaning to with the door not closed.

A faulty switch will stop your machine from starting and operating. You can test the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be found behind the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure the machine is unplugged prior to removing the door panel and testing for continuity to make sure you do not get an electric shock.

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

Checking the Timer

If your latch mechanism is operating as it should the next thing to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that sends electricity to all the other parts the machine needs to run including the pumps, as well as the valves.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it may need to be checked while live, in which case you should call a repair man.

Testing the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the cycle and will vary depending on the make and model of your dishwasher. A faulty selector switch or one that has got stuck might result in the machine not to turn on.

You can usually visually investigate to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you could have to unplug the machine and gain access to the control panel to test the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that can cause your machine not to start, thus this could be the fault if you have checked the control panel and so have discovered that there is power going to the motor.

To investigate if this is the case you need to locate the motor and locate the relay that will usually be located next to it. This could then be removed and checked with a multimeter, if broken you may have to replace it.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

When you have checked all the above and are yet to find the fault the next part to test would be the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is designed to protect the control board.

If you will need to replace it in order for the control board to get power.

Testing the Drive Motor

The final component you can investigate that might stop your machine from running is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

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

You should be able to access the motor by taking off the lower access panel. Test it using a multimeter then replace if not working.

When to Get in Touch With a Repair person

If you don’t have a multimeter and are not confident in taking panels off your dishwasher and checking the parts then you will be better off calling an engineer.

If you are happy to perform the above checks then you may well be able to fix the fault without needing a professional. But if you are not sure it’s always better to call in the professionals.

And examine your insurance plus your home cover as dishwasher repairs could be included and so the expense might not be as high as you think.

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