Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher has stopped working is never going to be the highlight your day, particularly if you are also faced with the cost of calling out an engineer and taking time off work to meet them just to pinpoint the fault.

Luckily it’s very feasible to diagnose and even sort out plenty of machine faults by yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you have a multimeter.

You might find you are able to fix the fault quite easily yourself, particularly if you are good at DIY, and if you can’t at worst you will have a better idea of the problem when you do phone an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you start searching for a new dishwasher there are a number of possible issues you should be able to troubleshoot fairly easily.

Safety Warning: Always make sure your dishwasher is unplugged before testing or replacing any electrical components.

Everyday Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Starting

Before you start investigating your dishwasher for faults make sure that it hasn’t been accidentally switched off, plus 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 plus try resetting your dishwasher.

You will probably need the user manual to do this due to the fact that machines vary however the child lock is often fairly simple to put on inadvertently. Likewise, the dishwasher might have lights but will not run, in this case the answer may be as easy as resetting the program.

When you have ruled out these issues it’s time for the real investigations to begin.

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

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

Checking the Door Latch and 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 obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to inadvertently run the dishwasher with the door not closed.

A defective switch will stop your dishwasher from turning on as well as operating. You should test the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be situated behind the front door panel or control panel.

Double check the machine is unplugged prior to accessing the door panel as well as testing for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

If you discover the latches or switches are faulty 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 test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that distributes power to all the different components the machine needs to operate including the motor, plus the water inlet valve.

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

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the component that selects the program and will vary contingent on the make as well as the model of your dishwasher. A broken selector switch or one that has got stuck could result in the machine not to run.

You should be able to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you might need to unplug the machine and have a look at the control panel to check the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that may cause your dishwasher not to run, so this could be the problem if you have checked the control panel and thus know that there should be power running to the motor.

To investigate if this is the case you need to find the motor and locate the relay that should be located next to it. This may then be removed and checked using a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

If you have investigated the above issues and are still looking for the issue the next component to investigate would be the thermal fuse. Note: Not all machines have a thermal fuse.

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

Examining the Drive Motor

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

When you have tested the other parts yet still aren’t getting anywhere this may be the cause of the problem especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

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

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 need to call a professional.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you might well be able to sort out the fault without needing a professional. But if you are unsure it’s always better to call in the professionals.

Don’t forget to have a look at your warranty and your home cover as dishwasher repairs may be covered and so the costs might not be as high as you think.

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