Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher is broken isn’t a fun way to start your day, especially if you have to deal with the expense of calling out a professional plus staying home to let them in just to pinpoint the issue.

Fortunately it’s often easy to determine and even sort out a number of dishwasher problems yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you have a multimeter.

You might realize you are able to fix the fault quite easily yourself, especially if you are quite handy, and if you can’t at least you will be better placed to describe the issue when you do phone a repair man.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you begin looking for a new dishwasher there are a few possible problems you can identify without too much issue.

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

Routine Dishwasher Problems That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Turning On

In advance of checking your machine for issues make sure that your machine hasn’t been unplugged, and that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

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

You will most likely need the user guide to do this due to the fact that models vary but the child lock is usually fairly easy to activate inadvertently. Likewise, if the dishwasher has lights yet will not start, the solution might be as easy as resetting the program.

Once you have ruled out these faults it’s time for the real detective work to start.

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

To examine these 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 are meant to.

Checking the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first thing to test is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to operate if these are faulty for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to inadvertently run the machine with the door ajar.

A faulty switch will stop your machine from starting plus running. You may wish to check the switch with a multimeter. The switch is generally found behind the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure you have disconnected power to the dishwasher prior to taking off the door panel and checking for continuity to ensure you do not get an electric shock.

If you discover the latches or switches are faulty you will need to replace them.

Checking the Timer

If the door latch as well as door latch switch, are working as they should the next thing to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that sends electricity to all the other components the machine requires to run such as the motor, and the valves.

If your machine has an electronic control as opposed to a mechanical timer then it may 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 component that selects the cycle and will vary contingent on the make as well as the model of your dishwasher. A not working selector switch or even one that has not been fully pressed down may cause the dishwasher not to turn on.

You can usually see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you may need to unplug the dishwasher and 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 an alternative component that may result in your machine not starting, and this could be the fault if you have checked the control panel and so know that there is power running to the main pump.

To check this you will have to locate the motor as well as locate the relay that will usually be located next to it. This could then be removed as well as tested with the help of a multimeter, if broken it may have to be replaced.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

Once you have tested all the above and are yet to find the problem the next part to investigate would be the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is there to stop the control board overheating.

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

Examining the Drive Motor

The final part of the machine you can check that could stop your dishwasher from running is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

If you have tested the other electrical components and still haven’t discovered the issue this could be the cause of the problem especially if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You can usually locate the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Check it by using a multimeter then replace if faulty.

When to Contact a Professional

If you don’t have a multimeter or are not confident in taking panels off your dishwasher and checking the electrical components then you will need to call a professional sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to perform the above troubleshooting then you may well be able to sort out the problem without needing a professional. However if you are con confident it might be easier to contact an engineer.

Don’t forget to examine your warranty and your home cover as dishwasher repairs might be covered which means 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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