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 calling out a professional and taking time off work to let them in just to pinpoint the problem.

Fortunately it’s often easy to diagnose and even fix a number of machine faults alone without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to are able to find a multimeter.

You might discover you can fix the issue quite easily alone, especially if you are good at DIY, and if you can’t at least you will be better placed to describe the issue when you do have to call an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of searching for a replacement machine there are a number of simple issues you can troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Machine From Starting

In advance of checking your machine for problems ensure that your machine hasn’t been accidentally unplugged, plus that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

At this point you may wish to also check that the child lock isn’t on plus try resetting your dishwasher.

You will probably need the user manual for this as machines are all different but the child lock is usually fairly simple to engage accidentally. Similarly, if the dishwasher has lights but will not start, the solution may be as easy as resetting the program.

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

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

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

Checking the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to operate if these are faulty for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to inadvertently begin the machine with the door open.

A defective switch will stop your machine from starting plus running. You may wish to test the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally located behind the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure the dishwasher is disconnected before 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 faulty you will need a replacement door latch assembly.

Checking the Timer

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

This is the part of the machine that sends electricity to all the other electrical components the machine requires to operate such as the motor, plus the water inlet valve.

If your dishwasher has an electronic control as opposed to a mechanical timer then it could need to be checked while plugged in, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Checking the Selector Switch

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

You can usually see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you may be required to unplug the dishwasher in order to access the control panel to check the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that could result in your machine not starting, and this could be the fault if you have tested the control panel and have ascertained that there should be power going to the motor.

To check if this is the case you need to locate the motor plus find the relay that will usually be mounted next to it. This may then be taken out and tested using a multimeter, if faulty you may have to replace it.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

When you have investigated the above issues and are yet to find the fault the next component to check is 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 for the control board to get power.

Testing the Drive Motor

The final part of the machine you should be able to check that might prevent your machine from operating is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

If you have checked the other components but still haven’t discovered the issue this might be the culprit particularly if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You can usually gain access to the motor by taking off the panel at the bottom of the machine. Check it by using a multimeter then replace if broken.

When to Get in Touch With an Engineer

If you don’t have a multimeter or are not confident in taking panels off your dishwasher and checking the parts then you will be better off calling a professional sooner rather than later.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you could well be able to fix the issue without needing a professional. Yet if you are unsure it’s always better to contact an engineer.

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

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