Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher is broken is never going to be the best part of your day, especially if you have to deal with the expense of phoning a repair person plus staying home to meet them just to pinpoint the problem.

Fortunately it’s very feasible to determine and even fix plenty of dishwasher faults by yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you own a multimeter.

You could find you are able to fix the problem quite easily yourself, particularly if you are quite handy, and if you can’t at worst you will be better placed to describe the fault when you do have to call an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you begin looking for a replacement machine there are a number of common problems you can troubleshoot without too much issue.

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

Routine Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Machine From Starting

Before you start checking your machine for issues make sure that it hasn’t been inadvertently switched off, as well as that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

This is also a good time to check if the child lock hasn’t been activated as well as try resetting your machine.

You will most likely need the user manual for this due to the fact that machines vary but the child lock is often quite easy to put on without meaning to. Likewise, the machine could have power but will not run, in this case the solution might be as simple as resetting the program.

Once you have ruled out these faults it’s time for the real troubleshooting to start.

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

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

Checking the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to operate if the door latches are faulty for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to accidentally begin the machine with the door not closed.

A broken switch will prevent your dishwasher from turning on and operating. You may wish to check the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be found under the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure the dishwasher is disconnected prior to removing the door panel plus testing for continuity to ensure you do not get an electric shock.

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

Testing the Timer

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

This is the part of the machine that distributes electricity to all the other electrical components the machine requires to operate such as the motor, and the valves.

If your machine has an electric control rather than a mechanical timer then it may have to be checked while plugged in, in which case you should call an engineer.

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the part of the dishwasher that selects the cycle and will vary contingent on the make or model of your dishwasher. A broken selector switch or one that has got stuck might cause the dishwasher not to turn on.

You should be able to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you might be required to disconnect the machine in order to have a look at the control panel to check the connections for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another component that can result in your machine not running, and this could be the fault if you have tested the control panel and thus know that there is power going to the motor.

To investigate this you need to locate the motor plus find the relay that will usually be located next to it. This could then be taken out and tested using a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

When you have checked all the above and are still looking for the fault the next component to check is the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is designed to stop the control board overheating.

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

Checking the Drive Motor

The final part of the dishwasher you should be able to test that may prevent your machine from running is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

If you have tested the other parts and still aren’t getting anywhere this may be the culprit especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You can usually locate the motor by taking off the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it by using a multimeter and replace if faulty.

When to Get in Touch With 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 are happy to perform the above troubleshooting then you might well be able to resolve the problem without needing a professional. Yet if you are not sure it’s always better to contact an engineer.

Don’t forget to have a look at your warranty and your home cover as appliance repairs might be included meaning the expense might be less than you were expecting.

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