Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher has stopped working is never going to be the highlight your day, particularly if you are also faced with the expense of phoning an engineer as well as staying home to let them in just to determine the fault.

Luckily it’s very feasible to diagnose and often resolve plenty of machine issues alone without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to own a multimeter.

You might realize you can fix the fault quite easily by yourself, particularly if you are quite handy, and if not at least you will have a better idea of the issue when you do phone an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you begin considering a replacement machine there are a number of common issues you can troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Problems That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Turning On

In advance of checking your dishwasher for issues ensure that your machine hasn’t been inadvertently unplugged, plus that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

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

You will often require the user manual for this as models vary but the child lock tends to be fairly simple to engage inadvertently. Likewise, the dishwasher could have power but will not start, in this case the answer could be as easy as resetting the cycle.

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

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

To examine these electrical components you will have to have a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to measure the resistance and test the electrical components are working as they are meant to.

Testing 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 broken for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want begin the machine without meaning to with the door open.

A defective switch will stop your machine from starting as well as completing a cycle. You should test the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally located under the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure the machine is disconnected before removing the door panel plus checking for continuity to make sure you do not get an electric shock.

If the latches or switches are broken you will need to replace them.

Testing the Timer

If the latch mechanism is working as it should the next component to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes power to all the other components the machine requires to run such as the pumps, as well as the valves.

If your dishwasher has an electronic control as opposed to a mechanical timer then it might need to be tested while connected, in which case you should call a repair person.

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the part of the dishwasher that chooses the program and will vary depending on the make and model of your machine. A broken selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed may cause the machine not to turn on.

You should be able to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you could be required to unplug the dishwasher in order to have a look at the control panel to check the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that could cause your dishwasher not to start, and this could be the issue if you have checked the control panel and so have discovered that there is power running to the main pump.

To check if this is the case you need to gain access to the motor plus locate the relay that will usually be located next to it. This could then be removed plus checked with the help of a multimeter and it might need to be replaced.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

If you have checked the above issues but still haven’t found the problem the next part of the dishwasher to check would be the thermal fuse. Note: Not all machines have a thermal fuse.

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

Testing the Drive Motor

The final part of the machine you can test that might stop your machine from operating is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

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

You should be able to gain access to the motor by removing the lower access panel. Test it by using a multimeter then replace if faulty.

When to Get in Touch With an Engineer

Not everyone has a multimeter, or would know how to use one even if they do, in which case you will be better off calling a repair person sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to perform the above checks then you might well be able to sort out the fault without needing a professional. Yet if you are not sure it might be easier to contact an engineer.

Don’t forget to examine your insurance and your home cover as dishwasher repairs may be covered which means the expense may be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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