Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher has stopped working is never going to be the best part of your day, particularly if you are also faced with the expense of calling out a professional and taking time off work to meet them just to pinpoint the issue.

The good news is it’s very feasible to pinpoint and even fix many dishwasher issues by yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you are able to find a multimeter.

You may discover you can fix the fault quite easily alone, particularly if you are good at DIY, and if not at least you will have a better idea of the fault when you do have to call an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of searching for a new dishwasher there are a few possible problems you can troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Machine From Starting

Before you start investigating your machine for problems make sure that your machine hasn’t been accidentally unplugged, and that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

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

You will often require the user manual for this due to the fact that machines are all different however the child lock is often fairly simple to put on without meaning to. Similarly, if the dishwasher has lights yet will not run, the answer may be as simple as resetting the cycle.

Once you have eliminated these problems it’s time for the real detective work to begin.

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

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

Testing the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first thing to check is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to start if these are faulty for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to accidentally begin the dishwasher with the door not closed.

A broken switch will prevent your machine from starting plus completing a cycle. You can check the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be located under the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure the machine is unplugged prior to removing the door panel plus testing for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

If 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 should the next thing to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that sends power to all the different electrical components the machine requires to operate including the motor, as well as the water inlet valve.

If your machine is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it might 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 cycle , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make or model of your machine. A broken selector switch or one that has got stuck might result in the machine not to start.

You can usually see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you might have to disconnect the dishwasher in order to have a look at 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 part that could cause your dishwasher not to run, so this may be the issue if you have checked the control panel and have discovered that there is power going to the main pump.

To check this you need to locate the motor as well as locate the relay that should be mounted next to it. This can then be removed plus tested with the help of a multimeter, if broken it could need to be replaced.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

Once you have investigated the above issues but still haven’t found the problem the next component to test would be the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers have a thermal fuse.

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

Examining the Drive Motor

The final component you should be able to investigate that could prevent your machine from running 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 yet still haven’t discovered the issue this may be the issue especially if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You should be able to gain access to the motor by taking off the lower access panel. Test it with the help of a multimeter then replace if broken.

When to Contact a Repair person

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

If you are happy to undertake the above checks then you may well be able to fix the fault without assistance. Yet if you are unsure it’s always better to call in the professionals.

Plus have a look at your warranty plus your home cover as dishwasher repairs may be included which means the costs could 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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