Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher isn’t working is never going to be the highlight your day, particularly if you are also faced with the expense of calling out a repair person as well as taking time off work to let them in just to determine the issue.

Luckily it’s often easy to diagnose and even fix plenty of machine issues alone without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to have a multimeter.

You could find you can fix the problem quite easily by yourself, especially if you are mechanically minded, and if you can’t at worst you will have a better idea of the fault when you eventually do phone a repair man.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of searching for a replacement dishwasher there are a few simple faults you can troubleshoot without too much trouble.

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

Common Dishwasher Issues That Will Prevent Your Machine From Turning On

In advance of checking your dishwasher for issues ensure that it hasn’t been unplugged, as well as that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

At this point you can also check that the child lock hasn’t been activated as well as try resetting your dishwasher.

You will probably need the user manual to do this as machines vary however the child lock tends to be fairly easy to activate without meaning to. Likewise, the dishwasher may have power but will not run, in this case the solution may be as simple as resetting the program.

Once you have ruled out these issues it’s time for the real detective work to start.

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

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

Checking the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your dishwasher is designed not to run if these are not working for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to inadvertently begin the machine with the door open.

A defective switch will prevent your dishwasher from turning on plus completing a cycle. You should test the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally located under the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure you have disconnected power to the dishwasher before accessing the door panel as well as checking for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

If the latches or switches are faulty you will need a replacement door latch assembly.

Checking the Timer

If your latch mechanism is operating as it should the next component to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that sends electricity to all the different electrical components the machine requires to run including the pumps, plus the water inlet valve.

If your dishwasher has an electronic control rather than a mechanical timer then it might need to be tested while connected, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Testing the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the cycle and will vary contingent on the make as well as the model of your dishwasher. A faulty selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged might result in the dishwasher not to start.

You can usually visually check to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you could need to disconnect the machine and access the control panel to test the connections for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another component that may result in your dishwasher not starting, thus this might be the issue if you have checked the control panel and know that there is power running to the motor.

To test this you need to find the motor as well as find the relay that will usually be mounted next to the motor. This can then be taken out and checked with the help of a multimeter, if broken it might need to be replaced.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

Once you have tested all the above and are still looking for the issue the next part to test would be the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is there to protect the control board.

If you locate the fuse and discover it is blown you will need to replace it in order to restore power to the control board.

Checking the Drive Motor

The final component you could check that might stop your dishwasher from operating is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

If you have checked the other components and still haven’t discovered the issue this may be the culprit especially if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You should be able to locate the motor by removing the lower access panel. Test it with the help of a multimeter and replace if not working.

When to Contact a Repair person

Not everyone has a multimeter, or would know how to use one even if they do, in which case you will be better off calling a repair person sooner rather than later.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you may well be able to resolve the fault without assistance. However if you are unsure it might be easier to contact an engineer.

And check your insurance and your home cover as dishwasher repairs might be included and so the expense could be less than you were expecting.

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