Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher is broken isn’t a good way to start your day, particularly if you are also faced with the cost of calling out a repair person and taking time off work to meet them just to pinpoint the fault.

Fortunately it’s very feasible to diagnose and often fix a number of machine issues alone without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you are able to find a multimeter.

You might realize you can sort out the issue quite easily alone, especially if you are quite handy, and if not at least you will have a better idea of the fault when you do have to phone a repair man.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you begin searching for a replacement dishwasher there are a number of common faults you can identify fairly easily.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Machine From Turning On

In advance of going through the following list of possible problems ensure that your dishwasher hasn’t been accidentally switched off, and that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

This is also an opportune moment to check if the child lock hasn’t been activated plus try resetting your dishwasher.

You will probably need the manual to do this as machines vary however the child lock is often fairly simple to engage accidentally. Likewise, the dishwasher could have power but will not start, in this case the answer could be as simple as resetting the cycle.

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

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

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

Examining the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to test is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to operate if these are faulty for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want begin the machine without meaning to with the door not closed.

A broken switch will prevent your machine from starting and operating. You can check the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be located under the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure the machine is disconnected prior to accessing the door panel and checking 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.

Testing 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 different parts the machine needs to operate including the motor, as well as the valves.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it may have to be checked while plugged in, in which case you will need to call a repair man.

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the component that selects the program and will vary contingent on the make or model of your machine. A broken selector switch or even one that has not been fully pressed down might result in the dishwasher not to start.

You can usually visually check to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you might need to unplug the machine in order to have a look at the control panel to test the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that can result in your machine not starting, so this could be the problem if you have checked the control panel and thus have discovered that there should be power going to the motor.

To check if this is the case you will have to gain access to the motor plus find the relay that should be located next to the motor. This can then be taken out plus tested with a multimeter and it could have to be replaced.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

Once you have checked all the above but still haven’t found the problem the next part to test would be the thermal fuse. Note: Not all machines have a thermal fuse.

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

Testing the Drive Motor

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

When you have checked the other parts but still aren’t getting anywhere this may be the issue particularly if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You can usually locate the motor by taking off the lower access panel. Test it by using a multimeter and 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 machine and testing the components then you will be better off calling an engineer.

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

And examine your insurance and your home cover as appliance repairs may be included meaning 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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