Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher is broken is never going to be the highlight your day, especially if you are also faced with the expense of calling out a repair person plus staying home to meet them just to pinpoint the issue.

Fortunately it’s often easy to diagnose and even fix many machine issues by yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you have a multimeter.

You might find you can resolve the problem quite easily yourself, particularly if you are mechanically minded, and if you can’t at worst you will be better placed to describe the fault when you do have to phone a repair person.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of looking for a replacement dishwasher there are a number of possible issues you can troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Routine Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Turning On

Before you begin investigating your dishwasher for problems ensure that your dishwasher hasn’t been unplugged, plus that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

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

You will most likely require the user manual for this due to the fact that machines are all different but the child lock is often quite simple to engage inadvertently. Similarly, if the machine has lights yet will not run, the solution may be as simple as resetting the program.

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

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

To check these electrical components you will have to have a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to test 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 check is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to run if these are not working for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to accidentally start the machine with the door not closed.

A defective switch will prevent your dishwasher from starting plus completing a cycle. You should test the switch with a multimeter. The switch is generally located behind the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure the machine is disconnected prior to accessing the door panel and 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.

Testing the Timer

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

This is the part of the machine that sends electricity to all the different components the machine needs to operate including the pumps, plus the valves.

If your dishwasher has an electric control rather than a mechanical timer then it could have 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 part of the machine that selects the cycle and will vary contingent on the make or model of your dishwasher. A faulty selector switch or one that has got stuck might cause the dishwasher not to turn on.

You can usually see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you could need to unplug the machine in order to access the control panel to check the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another component that may result in your dishwasher not starting, thus this might be the fault if you have checked the control panel and know that there should be power going to the main pump.

To test this you will have to locate the motor and locate the relay that should be located next to the motor. This could then be removed plus tested using a multimeter, if faulty it may need to be replaced.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

If you have tested all the above and are still looking for the issue the next part to investigate is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers have a thermal fuse.

If it will need to be replaced in order to restore power to the control board.

Testing the Drive Motor

The final part of the dishwasher you can check that may stop your dishwasher from operating is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

Once you have checked the other components yet still haven’t discovered the issue this could be the cause of the problem especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You can usually gain access to the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Check it by using a multimeter then replace if not working.

When to Contact a Repair person

Not everyone has a multimeter, or would know how to use one even if they do, in which case you will be better off calling a professional.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you might well be able to sort out the fault without needing a professional. Yet if you are con confident it might be easier to contact an engineer.

Plus examine your warranty plus your home cover as appliance repairs may be included meaning 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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