Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher has stopped working isn’t a fun way to start your day, especially if you have to deal with the expense of calling out a professional and taking time off work to let them in just to pinpoint the issue.

Fortunately it’s very feasible to diagnose and even fix many dishwasher issues yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to have a multimeter.

You may realize you can fix the problem quite easily by yourself, particularly if you are good at DIY, and if you can’t at least you will be better placed to describe the problem when you do call a repair man.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you start considering a replacement machine there are a number of possible problems you should be able to troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Common Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Machine From Turning On

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

At this point you may wish to also check that the child lock isn’t on and try resetting your machine.

You will most likely require the manual for this due to the fact that models vary however the child lock tends to be quite easy to activate accidentally. Similarly, if the machine has lights yet will not start, the answer may be as easy as resetting the cycle.

When you have eliminated these faults you can start the real troubleshooting.

    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. Examine the thermal fuse.
    6. Test the drive motor.

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

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 machine is not designed to run if these are faulty for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want start the dishwasher without meaning to with the door ajar.

A defective switch will prevent your dishwasher from starting and completing a cycle. You can test the switch with a multimeter. The switch is generally located behind the front door panel or control panel.

Double check the machine is disconnected before removing the door panel and checking for continuity to ensure you do not get an electric shock.

If you discover the latches or switches are not working you will need to replace them.

Testing the Timer

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

This is the component that sends electricity to all the different electrical components the machine needs to operate including the motor, as well as the valves.

If your dishwasher has an electric control rather than a mechanical timer then it may have to be checked while live, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the part of the dishwasher that chooses the program , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make as well as the model of your dishwasher. A faulty selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged could cause the dishwasher not to turn on.

You can usually visually check to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you might have to disconnect the machine in order to gain access to the control panel to test the contact points for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that may cause your machine not to start, so this may be the problem if you have checked the control panel and so have discovered that there is power going to the main pump.

To investigate this you will have to gain access to the motor plus find the relay that will usually be located next to it. This can then be taken out and checked with a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

If you have checked the above issues but still haven’t found the issue the next part of the dishwasher to investigate is the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is there to stop the control board overheating.

If it will need to be replaced in order for the control board to get power.

Testing the Drive Motor

The final part of the machine you can investigate that could stop your machine from operating is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

When you have checked the other components yet still aren’t getting anywhere this may be the cause of the problem especially if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You can usually gain access to the motor by removing the lower access panel. Check it by using a multimeter and replace if faulty.

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 an engineer.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you could well be able to fix the fault without needing a professional. However if you are not sure it’s always better to call in the professionals.

Plus examine your warranty plus your home cover as dishwasher repairs may be covered which means the costs could not be as high as you think.

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