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, particularly if you have to deal with the expense of calling out a repair person plus taking time off work to meet them just to determine the issue.

Fortunately it’s very feasible to determine and even fix a number of dishwasher issues alone without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to own a multimeter.

You may realize you are able to fix the fault quite easily by yourself, particularly if you are quite handy, and if not at worst you will have a better idea of the problem when you eventually do call an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of searching for a replacement machine there are a few common issues you can troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Problems That Will Prevent Your Machine From Starting

Before you begin going through the following list of potential problems ensure that your machine hasn’t been unplugged, as well as that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

This is also an opportune moment to check if the child lock hasn’t been activated and try resetting your machine.

You will often need the manual to do this as machines are all different but the child lock is often fairly simple to engage accidentally. Similarly, the dishwasher might have lights but will not run, in this case the solution may be as easy as resetting the cycle.

When you have eliminated these issues it’s time for the real troubleshooting to start.

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

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

Examining the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to test is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your dishwasher is designed not to operate if these are broken for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want begin the dishwasher without meaning to with the door ajar.

A broken switch will prevent your machine from starting and running. You can check the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally found under the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure the machine is disconnected before taking off the door panel plus testing for continuity to make sure you do not get an electric shock.

If you discover the latches or switches are faulty you will need to replace them.

Testing 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 distributes electricity to all the different electrical components the machine needs to operate including the pumps, as well as the water inlet valve.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it may need to be tested while plugged in, in which case you should call a repair person.

Checking the Selector Switch

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

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

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that may cause your machine not to start, so this may be the fault if you have checked the control panel and have ascertained that there should be power running to the motor.

To check this you will have to gain access to the motor plus locate the relay that will usually be mounted next to the motor. This can then be removed and checked with a multimeter, if broken you may have to replace it.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

When you have investigated the above issues but still haven’t found the issue the next part to investigate would be the thermal fuse. Note: Not all machines have a thermal fuse.

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

Checking the Drive Motor

The final component you can test that could prevent your machine from operating is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

If you have checked the other electrical components but still haven’t discovered the issue this might be the culprit particularly if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You should be able to gain access to the motor by removing the lower access panel. Check it with the help of a multimeter and replace if broken.

When to Get in Touch With an Engineer

Not everyone has a multimeter, or would know how to use one even if they do, in which case you will need to call a professional sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to undertake the above troubleshooting then you could well be able to sort out the problem without needing a professional. However if you are not sure it’s always better to call in the professionals.

Don’t forget to check your warranty as well as your home cover as appliance repairs may be covered which means 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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