Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher is broken is never going to be the highlight your day, particularly if you have to deal with the cost of phoning a repair person as well as staying home to meet them just to diagnose the fault.

Luckily it’s often easy to determine and even fix plenty of dishwasher faults yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to are able to find a multimeter.

You might discover you are able to fix the issue quite easily yourself, especially if you are quite handy, and if you can’t at least you will have a better idea of the fault when you do have to call an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of considering a replacement machine there are a number of simple faults you can troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Routine Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Machine From Starting

In advance of going through the following list of possible faults ensure that your dishwasher hasn’t been accidentally switched off, 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 machine.

You will often need the user manual for this as models are all different however the child lock is often fairly simple to put on inadvertently. Likewise, the machine could have lights but will not start, in this case the solution might be as easy as resetting the cycle.

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

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

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

Testing the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to test is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your dishwasher is not designed to operate if these are faulty for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to accidentally run the dishwasher with the door open.

A faulty switch will stop your machine from turning on as well as completing a cycle. You may wish to check the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally found behind the front door panel or control panel.

Double check you have disconnected power to the machine before removing the door panel and testing for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

If the latches or switches are not working you will need a replacement door latch assembly.

Testing the Timer

If you have tested your door latch plus door latch switch and discovered they are working correctly the next thing to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes electricity to all the different parts the machine needs to run such as the pumps, as well as the valves.

If your dishwasher has an electric control rather than a mechanical timer then it might have to be checked 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 , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make as well as the model of your machine. A not working selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged may result in the dishwasher not to turn on.

You should be able to visually investigate to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you may need to unplug the machine in order to access the control panel to check the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that could result in your dishwasher not running, thus this could be the issue if you have tested the control panel and so know that there should be power going to the main pump.

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 can then be taken out and tested using a multimeter, if faulty you may have to replace it.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

When you have tested all the above yet still haven’t found the fault the next component to investigate 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 to restore power to the control board.

Testing the Drive Motor

The final component you could investigate that could prevent 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 tested the other parts and still haven’t discovered the issue this might be the culprit especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You can usually gain access to the motor by removing the lower access panel. Check it by using a multimeter then replace if broken.

When to Contact a Repair person

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

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you might well be able to fix the fault without assistance. Yet if you are unsure it might be easier to contact an engineer.

And examine your insurance as well as your home cover as dishwasher repairs might be covered meaning the expense may not be as high as you think.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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