Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher is broken isn’t a great way to start your day, especially if you have to deal with the cost of phoning a professional as well as taking time off work to let them in just to diagnose the issue.

Fortunately it’s often easy to determine and even sort out many machine problems alone without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to own a multimeter.

You might discover you can resolve the issue quite easily alone, particularly if you are mechanically minded, and if not at least you will be better placed to describe the problem when you eventually do call a repair man.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you start considering a replacement machine there are a few simple faults you should be able to troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Routine Dishwasher Faults That Will Prevent Your Machine From Starting

Before you begin going through the following list of possible problems ensure that your machine hasn’t been accidentally switched off, plus that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

At this point you can also check that the child lock hasn’t been activated as well as try resetting your dishwasher.

You will often need the user manual to do this due to the fact that models are all different but the child lock is often quite easy to activate inadvertently. Likewise, the dishwasher might have power but will not start, in this case the answer might be as easy as resetting the cycle.

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

    1. Check the door latch or door latch switch.
    2. Examine the timer.
    3. Examine the selector switch.
    4. Test the motor relay.
    5. Test 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 test the electrical components are working as they should.

Examining the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches and door latch switches. Your machine is not designed to run if these are faulty for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to accidentally run the dishwasher with the door ajar.

A defective switch will stop your machine from starting and operating. You may wish to test the switch with a multimeter. The switch is generally found behind the front door panel or control panel.

Double check the dishwasher is unplugged before removing the door panel plus checking for continuity to prevent yourself from getting 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 and door latch switch, are working as they should the next component to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes electricity to all the other electrical components the machine needs to operate including the pumps, and the water inlet valve.

If your dishwasher has an electronic control rather than a mechanical timer then it may need to be checked while live, in which case you will need to call a repair man.

Testing the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the cycle , it’s style and location will vary contingent on the make as well as the model of your dishwasher. A not working selector switch or one that has got stuck may result in the machine not to run.

You should be able to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you might have to unplug the machine in order to gain access to the control panel to test the connections for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

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

To investigate if this is the case you will have to gain access to the motor as well as locate the relay that should be mounted next to the motor. This may then be taken out and checked using a multimeter, if broken it may need to be replaced.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

If you have checked the above issues and are still looking for the fault the next part to check would be the thermal fuse. Note: Not all machines have a thermal fuse.

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

Examining the Drive Motor

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

If you have tested the other components and still haven’t discovered the issue this may be the issue especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

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

When to Contact a Professional

Not everyone has a multimeter, or would know how to use one even if they do, in which case you will need to call a repair person.

If you are happy to perform the above troubleshooting then you may well be able to sort out the issue without assistance. But if you are unsure it’s always better to contact an engineer.

Don’t forget to examine your insurance as well as your home cover as dishwasher repairs might be covered which means the expense might be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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