Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher is broken isn’t a great way to begin your day, especially if you are also faced with the expense of phoning a repair person plus staying home to meet them just to diagnose the problem.

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

You could find you are able to fix the fault quite easily yourself, especially if you are good at DIY, and if not at least you will be better placed to describe the issue when you do have to phone a repair person.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you start looking for a new dishwasher there are a number of common issues you should be able to troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Problems That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Starting

In advance of checking your dishwasher for faults make sure that your machine hasn’t been inadvertently switched off, plus that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

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

You will probably need the user guide for this due to the fact that models are all different but the child lock tends to be fairly easy to engage without meaning to. Similarly, if the machine has lights but will not start, the solution could be as simple as resetting the cycle.

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

  1. Investigate the door latch or door latch switch.
  2. Test the timer.
  3. Examine the selector switch.
  4. Check the motor relay.
  5. Examine 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 and test the components are operating as they are meant to.

Checking the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to check is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your dishwasher is not designed to run if these are not working for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to accidentally begin the dishwasher with the door ajar.

A broken switch will stop your machine from starting and 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.

Double check you have disconnected power to the machine prior to accessing the door panel plus testing for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

If you discover the latches or switches are not working you will need to replace them.

Checking the Timer

If you have tested your door latch plus door latch switch and ascertained they 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 different components the machine needs to run such as the motor, as well as the water inlet valve.

If your machine has an electric control as opposed to a mechanical timer then it might have to be tested while live, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Checking the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the part of the machine that selects the program , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make or model of your dishwasher. A faulty selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed may cause the dishwasher not to run.

You should be able to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you might have to disconnect the dishwasher in order to access 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 dishwasher not running, so this could be the problem if you have checked the control panel and know that there is power running to the motor.

To investigate this you need to find the motor as well as find the relay that will usually be located next to the motor. This may then be removed as well as tested with a multimeter, if broken it may need to be replaced.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

Once you have checked all the above yet still haven’t found the issue the next part of the dishwasher to check would be the thermal fuse. Note: Not all machines 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 machine you could investigate that may prevent your machine from operating is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

When you have tested the other parts yet still aren’t getting anywhere this might be the issue especially if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You can usually access the motor by taking off the lower access panel. Test it using a multimeter and replace if faulty.

When to Get in Touch With a Professional

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

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

And check your warranty and your home cover as appliance repairs might be covered and so the expense may be less than you were expecting.

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