Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher isn’t working is never going to be the highlight your day, particularly if you have to deal with the expense of phoning an engineer and staying home to meet them just to diagnose the issue.

Fortunately it’s very feasible to diagnose and often sort out a number of machine issues yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you own a multimeter.

You might discover you are able to sort out the issue quite easily by yourself, particularly if you are good at DIY, and if you can’t at least you will be better placed to describe the problem when you do call an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you start looking for a new dishwasher there are a few common problems you should be able to troubleshoot without too much trouble.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Issues That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Turning On

Before you begin going through the following list of possible faults make sure that your machine hasn’t been unplugged, as well as 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 machine.

You will most likely need the user manual to do this as machines are all different however the child lock is often quite simple to put on without meaning to. Likewise, if the dishwasher has lights yet will not start, the solution might be as simple as resetting the cycle.

When you have ruled out these problems 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. Check the motor relay.
    5. Check the thermal fuse.
    6. Examine the drive motor.

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

Testing the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your dishwasher is designed not to run if these are not working for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want start the machine without meaning to with the door open.

A broken switch will prevent your dishwasher from turning on plus operating. You may wish to check the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be located under the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure the dishwasher is unplugged prior to removing the door panel as well as testing for continuity to ensure you do not get an electric shock.

If you discover the latches or switches are faulty you will need a replacement door latch assembly.

Testing the Timer

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

This is the component that distributes electricity to all the other electrical components the machine needs to operate such as the pumps, plus the valves.

If your machine has an electronic control rather than a mechanical timer then it might need to be tested while plugged in, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Testing the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the cycle and will vary contingent on the make or model of your dishwasher. A broken selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged might result in the machine not to turn on.

You can usually see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you may have to disconnect the machine in order to gain access to the control panel to check the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that can result in your machine not running, thus this might be the issue if you have tested the control panel and so have discovered that there is power running to the main pump.

To check this you will have to gain access to the motor plus locate the relay that will usually be mounted next to the motor. This may then be removed and tested with a multimeter, if faulty it might need to be replaced.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

When you have tested the above issues yet still haven’t found the problem the next component to test is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers have a thermal fuse.

If the fuse is blown you will need to replace it in order for the control board to get power.

Checking the Drive Motor

The final component you could investigate that might prevent your dishwasher from running is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

If you have checked the other parts 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 locate the motor by taking off the panel at the bottom of the machine. Check it by using a multimeter then replace if faulty.

When to Contact an Engineer

If you don’t have a multimeter and are not confident in taking panels off your machine and checking the components then you will be better off calling a professional.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you might well be able to sort out the fault without needing a professional. Yet if you are not sure it’s always better to contact an engineer.

Plus check your insurance and your home cover as appliance repairs could be covered and so the costs may be less than you were expecting.

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