Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher has stopped working isn’t a good way to start your day, especially if you are also faced with the expense of phoning a professional and taking time off work to meet them just to determine the issue.

The good news is it’s possible to pinpoint and even sort out plenty of dishwasher faults alone without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you have a multimeter.

You might realize you are able to fix the fault quite easily alone, especially if you are mechanically minded, and if you can’t at worst you will have a better idea of the problem when you do call a repair person.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of considering a new machine there are a number of simple issues you can identify fairly easily.

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

Routine Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Starting

Before you start investigating your dishwasher for issues ensure that it hasn’t been accidentally unplugged, and that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

This is also a good time to see if the child lock isn’t on plus try resetting your dishwasher.

You will most likely need the manual to do this due to the fact that machines are all different but the child lock is often fairly simple to engage inadvertently. Likewise, the machine could have power but will not start, in this case the solution might be as simple as resetting the program.

When you have eliminated these faults it’s time for the real detective work to start.

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

To check these parts you will need a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to test the resistance and test the components are working as they should.

Checking 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 start if the door latches are not working for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want run the machine without meaning to with the door open.

A faulty switch will prevent your dishwasher from starting and operating. You should check the switch with a multimeter. The switch is generally located under the front door panel or control panel.

Double check you have disconnected power to the machine before accessing the door panel as well as testing for continuity to ensure you do not get an electric shock.

If 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 thing to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes power to all the other parts the machine requires to operate including the motor, and the valves.

If your machine has an electronic control rather than 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

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

You can usually visually investigate to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you could need to disconnect the machine in order to gain access to the control panel to check the contact points for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another component that can cause your dishwasher not to run, and this may be the issue if you have tested the control panel and so have discovered that there should be power going to the main pump.

To investigate if this is the case you need to locate the motor as well as locate the relay that should be mounted next to it. This can then be taken out as well as checked with the help of a multimeter, if faulty it might have to be replaced.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

If you have investigated all the above yet still haven’t found the fault the next component to check would be the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is designed to stop the control board overheating.

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

Testing the Drive Motor

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

If you have tested the other parts but still haven’t discovered the issue this might be the culprit especially if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You should be able to gain access to the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it by using a multimeter and replace if not working.

When to Get in Touch With a Professional

If you don’t have a multimeter and are not confident in taking panels off your machine and checking the electrical components 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 tests then you may well be able to fix the fault without assistance. However if you are con confident it might be easier to call in the professionals.

Don’t forget to examine your insurance plus your home cover as appliance repairs could be included meaning the costs could be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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