Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher has stopped working isn’t a great way to begin your day, especially if you have to deal with the cost of calling out a repair person and taking time off work to let them in just to determine the fault.

The good news is it’s very feasible to pinpoint and even sort out a number of machine problems yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to have a multimeter.

You might find you can sort out the problem quite easily alone, especially if you are good at DIY, and if not at least you will be better placed to describe the problem when you do call an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of looking for a replacement dishwasher there are a number of common faults you should be able to identify without too much issue.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Machine From Starting

Before you start going through the following list of possible problems make sure that your dishwasher hasn’t been unplugged, plus 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 plus try resetting your machine.

You will often need the user manual to do this as machines are all different but the child lock is usually fairly easy to activate inadvertently. Similarly, the dishwasher could have power but will not start, in this case the answer may be as easy as resetting the program.

Once you have eliminated these issues you can start the real troubleshooting.

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

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

Examining the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first thing to check is the door latches and door latch switches. Your dishwasher is designed not to start if the door latches are not working for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want begin the dishwasher without meaning to with the door open.

A faulty switch will stop your machine from starting and completing a cycle. You can check the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally located behind the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure the machine is unplugged prior to taking off the door panel plus checking for continuity to make sure you do not get an electric shock.

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

Testing the Timer

If the latch mechanism is operating as it 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 requires to operate such as the pumps, and the valves.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it could have to be tested while connected, 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 program , it’s style and location will vary contingent on the make and model of your machine. A faulty selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed may cause the dishwasher not to turn on.

You should be able to visually investigate to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you might be required to unplug the machine and access the control panel to test the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that may result in your dishwasher not running, and this could be the fault if you have checked the control panel and so have discovered that there should be power running to the motor.

To investigate this you need to locate the motor as well as find the relay that should be located next to it. This can then be removed as well as tested using a multimeter, if broken you may have to replace it.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

If you have checked the above issues but still haven’t found the problem the next component to test would be the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is there to stop the control board overheating.

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

Checking the Drive Motor

The final part of the dishwasher you could test that may stop your dishwasher 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 checked the other components yet still aren’t getting anywhere this could be the issue especially if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You can usually locate the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Check it by 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 an engineer.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you might well be able to sort out the issue without needing a professional. However if you are unsure it might be easier to contact an engineer.

Plus have a look at your insurance as well as your home cover as dishwasher repairs could be included and so the costs might not be as high as you think.

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