Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher is broken is never going to be the highlight your day, particularly if you have to deal with the expense of phoning a repair person and staying home to meet them just to pinpoint the problem.

The good news is it’s possible to determine and often fix plenty of machine problems by yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to own a multimeter.

You may find you can fix the fault 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 call an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of looking for a replacement machine there are a few possible faults you can identify without too much trouble.

Safety Warning: Always make sure your dishwasher is unplugged before testing or replacing any electrical components.

Commonplace Dishwasher Issues That Will Prevent Your Machine From Starting

In advance of going through the following list of potential faults ensure that it hasn’t been switched off, as well as 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 plus try resetting your machine.

You will most likely require the manual for this due to the fact that machines are all different but the child lock tends to be fairly simple to engage without meaning to. Likewise, the dishwasher might have power but will not run, in this case the answer may be as simple as resetting the cycle.

When you have ruled out these faults it’s time for the real troubleshooting to start.

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

To check these components you will have to have a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to test the resistance plus check the components are working as they are meant to.

Testing the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first thing to test is the door latches and door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to run if these are faulty for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to accidentally begin the dishwasher with the door open.

A broken switch will prevent your dishwasher from starting and operating. You may wish to test the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be situated behind the front door panel or control panel.

Double check the dishwasher is disconnected before accessing the door panel as well as checking for continuity to ensure you do not get an electric shock.

If the latches or switches are not working you will need a replacement door latch assembly.

Testing the Timer

If the latch mechanism is operating as it should the next thing to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that sends electricity to all the different components the machine requires to run including the motor, and the valves.

If your machine is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it could have to be tested while connected, in which case you will need to call an engineer.

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 or model of your dishwasher. A broken selector switch or one that has got stuck may cause the dishwasher not to turn on.

You can usually see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you could need to unplug the machine 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 an alternative component that can result in your machine not running, so this could be the issue if you have checked the control panel and have discovered that there is power running to the motor.

To investigate this you will have to gain access to the motor and find the relay that will usually be located next to it. This can then be taken out as well as checked with a multimeter, if faulty you may have to replace it.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

When you have investigated the above issues and are yet to find the problem the next part of the dishwasher to test 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.

Examining the Drive Motor

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

When you have checked the other electrical components but still aren’t getting anywhere this could be the issue particularly if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You should be able to locate the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Check it with the help of a multimeter then replace if not working.

When to Get in Touch With a Repair person

If you don’t have a multimeter or are not confident in taking panels off your dishwasher and checking the parts then you will be better off calling a repair person sooner rather than later.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you may well be able to resolve the issue without needing a professional. Yet if you are not sure it’s always better to call in the professionals.

Don’t forget to have a look at your insurance as well as your home cover as dishwasher repairs could be included which means the costs might not be as high as you think.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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