Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher is broken isn’t a fun way to begin your day, especially if you have to deal with the expense of phoning an engineer plus taking time off work to let them in just to diagnose the issue.

Luckily it’s possible to pinpoint and even sort out plenty of machine problems alone without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to are able to find a multimeter.

You may discover you are able to resolve the issue quite easily yourself, particularly if you are mechanically minded, and if you can’t at least you will be better placed to describe the fault when you eventually do phone a repair man.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of searching for a new dishwasher there are a few common faults you should be able to troubleshoot without too much issue.

Safety Warning: Always make sure your machine is unplugged before testing or replacing any electrical components.

Commonplace Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Starting

Before you begin investigating your machine for problems ensure that your machine hasn’t been inadvertently switched off, as well as that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

This is also a good time to check if the child lock isn’t on and try resetting your machine.

You will often need the user manual to do this due to the fact that models vary but the child lock tends to be fairly simple to put on accidentally. Likewise, the dishwasher could have power yet will not start, in this case the solution could be as easy as resetting the cycle.

Once you have eliminated these issues 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. Examine the motor relay.
  5. Check the thermal fuse.
  6. Examine the drive motor.

To examine 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 test is the door latches and door latch switches. Your dishwasher is not designed to operate if these are not working for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to inadvertently run the machine with the door ajar.

A faulty switch will stop your dishwasher from starting and completing a cycle. You may wish to test the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be situated behind the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure the dishwasher is disconnected prior to removing the door panel as well as testing for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

Checking the Timer

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

This is the part of the machine that distributes power to all the different parts the machine needs to operate including the pumps, plus the water inlet valve.

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

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the component that selects the cycle and will vary depending on the make as well as the model of your dishwasher. A broken selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed might result in the machine not to run.

You should be able to visually check to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you may have to unplug the machine in order to access the control panel to check the connections for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another component that could cause your dishwasher not to run, thus this may be the fault if you have tested the control panel and have ascertained that there is power running to the main pump.

To check if this is the case you need to find the motor plus locate the relay that should be located next to it. This can then be removed plus tested with a multimeter, if broken you may have to replace it.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

If you have checked all the above and are still looking for the problem the next part to investigate is the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is designed to protect the control board.

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

Examining the Drive Motor

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

Once you have tested the other parts and still haven’t discovered the issue this could be the cause of the problem especially if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You should be able to access the motor by removing the lower access panel. Check it with the help of a multimeter and replace if not working.

When to Get in Touch With a Professional

If you don’t have a multimeter and are not confident in taking panels off your dishwasher and testing the electrical components then you will need to call a repair person.

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

Don’t forget to have a look at your warranty and your home cover as appliance repairs could be covered which means the costs could be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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