Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher isn’t working is never going to be the best part of your day, especially if you are also faced with the cost of calling out a professional plus staying home to meet them just to determine the fault.

Luckily it’s very feasible to determine and even resolve plenty of machine problems yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you are able to find a multimeter.

You could realize you can fix the problem quite easily by yourself, especially if you are mechanically minded, and if not at least you will have a better idea of the problem when you do have to call an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of searching for a new machine there are a number of common issues you should be able to identify without too much issue.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Problems That Will Stop Your Machine From Starting

Before you start checking your dishwasher for faults make sure that it hasn’t been unplugged, plus that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

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

You will probably need the manual to do this as machines are all different but the child lock tends to be fairly easy to engage without meaning to. Likewise, the dishwasher may have lights but will not run, in this case the solution could be as easy as resetting the program.

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

To check these components you will need a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to measure the resistance and check the parts are operating 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 dishwasher is designed not to run if the door latches are not working for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to inadvertently run the dishwasher with the door not closed.

A defective switch will prevent your dishwasher from turning on and operating. You should check the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally found under the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure the dishwasher is unplugged prior to taking off the door panel as well as checking for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

Checking the Timer

If the door latch and door latch switch, are working as they are meant to the next thing to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that sends power to all the different parts the machine requires to run such as the motor, and the valves.

If your machine is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it may need to be checked while live, in which case you will need to call a repair man.

Testing the Selector Switch

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

You should be able to visually investigate to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you might need to disconnect the machine and have a look at the control panel to test the contact points for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that may cause your dishwasher not to start, and this might be the issue if you have tested the control panel and so know that there is power running to the motor.

To investigate this you will have to locate the motor plus find the relay that should be mounted next to the motor. This can then be removed plus tested with the help of a multimeter and it could need to be replaced.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

When you have investigated the above issues and are still looking for the problem the next part to test is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers have a thermal fuse.

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 should be able to test that may prevent your machine from operating is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

When you have tested the other electrical components and still aren’t getting anywhere this might be the cause of the problem particularly if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You should be able to gain access to the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Check it with the help of a multimeter and replace if faulty.

When to Get in Touch With an Engineer

If you don’t have a multimeter or are not confident in taking panels off your dishwasher and testing the parts then you will be better off calling a professional.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you could well be able to fix the fault without assistance. However if you are not sure it might be easier to call in the professionals.

Plus check your warranty as well as your home cover as dishwasher repairs might be included meaning 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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