Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher isn’t working is never going to be the best part of your day, especially if you are also faced with the expense of phoning an engineer and staying home to meet them just to pinpoint the fault.

Fortunately it’s often easy to determine and often sort out many dishwasher issues yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to own a multimeter.

You may realize you can sort out the issue quite easily alone, particularly if you are mechanically minded, and if not at least you will be better placed to describe the fault when you do have to call an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of considering a replacement dishwasher there are a few simple faults you should be able to troubleshoot without too much issue.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Turning On

Before you start going through the following list of possible problems ensure that your machine hasn’t been unplugged, plus that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

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

You will most likely require the user guide to do this due to the fact that models vary however the child lock tends to be quite easy to activate inadvertently. Similarly, the dishwasher could have power yet will not run, in this case the answer could be as simple as resetting the program.

When you have eliminated these issues it’s time for the real troubleshooting to start.

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

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

Testing the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches and door latch switches. Your dishwasher is not designed to run if these are faulty for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to inadvertently run the dishwasher with the door not closed.

A broken switch will prevent your machine from starting as well as operating. You should check the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be situated under the front door panel or control panel.

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

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

Checking the Timer

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

This is the component that distributes electricity to all the other components the machine requires to run such as the motor, plus the valves.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it may need to be tested while live, 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 program and will vary contingent on the make and model of your machine. A faulty selector switch or one that has got stuck might result in the dishwasher not to start.

You should be able to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you could be required to disconnect the machine in order to have a look at the control panel to test the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another component that may result in your machine not running, thus this could be the problem if you have tested the control panel and thus know that there should be power running to the main pump.

To investigate if this is the case you will have to find the motor as well as find the relay that should be mounted next to the motor. This may then be removed plus checked with a multimeter, if broken it might need to be replaced.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

Once you have checked all the above but still haven’t found the issue the next component to check would be the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers have a thermal fuse.

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.

Testing the Drive Motor

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

If you have checked the other parts and 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 access the motor by taking off the panel at the bottom of the machine. Check it using a multimeter then replace if faulty.

When to Contact an Engineer

If you don’t have a multimeter or are not confident in taking panels off your machine and testing the parts then you will need to call a professional.

If you are happy to perform the above troubleshooting then you might well be able to fix the fault without needing a professional. But if you are con confident it might be easier to call in the professionals.

Plus examine your warranty and your home cover as dishwasher repairs might be covered and so 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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