Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher has stopped 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 professional and staying home to meet them just to determine the issue.

The good news is it’s possible to pinpoint and even resolve plenty of machine issues alone without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you are able to find a multimeter.

You could realize you can sort out the problem quite easily alone, particularly if you are good at DIY, and if you can’t at worst you will be better placed to describe the issue when you eventually do phone a repair person.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of considering a new dishwasher there are a number of common faults you can identify without too much issue.

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

Routine Dishwasher Faults That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Turning On

In advance of going through the following list of possible faults make sure that it hasn’t been switched off, plus that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

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

You will often require the manual to do this as machines are all different but the child lock is often fairly simple to put on accidentally. Likewise, if the dishwasher has lights yet will not start, the solution might be as easy as resetting the cycle.

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. Test the timer.
    3. Check the selector switch.
    4. Examine the motor relay.
    5. Check the thermal fuse.
    6. Test the drive motor.

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

Checking the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to check is the door latches and door latch switches. Your machine is not designed to run if these are broken for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want start the machine without meaning to with the door not closed.

A faulty switch will stop your machine from turning on and running. You may wish to check the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be situated under the front door panel or control panel.

Double check you have disconnected power to the machine before taking off the door panel and checking for continuity to ensure you do not get an electric shock.

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

Checking the Timer

If the door latch plus door latch switch, are working as they should the next component to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that sends electricity to all the different parts the machine requires to operate such as the motor, and the valves.

If your machine is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it may need to be tested while plugged in, in which case you should call a repair man.

Testing the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the cycle and will vary depending on the make or model of your dishwasher. A not working selector switch or one that has got stuck could result in the dishwasher not to start.

You can usually see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you could have to disconnect the machine and have a look at the control panel to check the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that could result in your dishwasher not running, thus this might be the problem if you have tested the control panel and thus know that there is power running to the main pump.

To test this you need to gain access to the motor and locate the relay that will usually be located next to the motor. This can then be removed as well as tested with a multimeter, if faulty you may have to replace it.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

If you have tested all the above yet still haven’t found the problem the next component to check would be the thermal fuse. Note: Not all machines have a thermal fuse.

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

Examining the Drive Motor

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

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

You should be able to gain access to the motor by taking off the lower access panel. Test it by using a multimeter and replace if not working.

When to Get in Touch With a Professional

If you don’t have a multimeter or are not confident in taking panels off your machine and checking the electrical components then you will need to call a repair person.

If you are happy to undertake the above checks then you could well be able to resolve the fault without needing a professional. Yet if you are con confident it’s always better to contact an engineer.

Plus have a look at your insurance as well as your home cover as appliance repairs could be included and so the expense might be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

  • Dishwasher Being Loud
  • Dishwasher Leaking
  • Dishwasher Not Draining
  • Dishwasher Not Drying
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