Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher isn’t working is never going to be the best part of your day, especially if you have to deal with the cost of calling out a repair person as well as staying home to meet them just to diagnose the issue.

Fortunately it’s often easy to determine and even resolve plenty of machine faults by yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to have a multimeter.

You could realize you are able to sort out the fault quite easily alone, especially if you are good at DIY, and if not at worst you will be better placed to describe the problem when you eventually do call an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of considering a new dishwasher there are a few possible problems you should be able to identify without too much trouble.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Issues That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Turning On

Before you begin investigating your machine for problems make sure that your dishwasher hasn’t been switched off, plus that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

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

You will most likely require the user manual to do this as machines are all different but the child lock is often fairly easy to activate without meaning to. Likewise, the machine may have power but will not run, in this case the answer may be as simple as resetting the program.

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

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

To test these components you will need 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 thing to test is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to operate if the door latches are not working for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to accidentally start the machine with the door ajar.

A defective switch will stop your machine from starting as well as operating. You may wish to test the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be situated behind the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure the machine is disconnected prior to accessing the door panel plus testing 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 you have tested your door latch and door latch switch and discovered they are working correctly the next component to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes electricity to all the different components the machine requires to run including the motor, and the valves.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it might have to be tested while live, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Checking 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 and model of your dishwasher. A broken selector switch or one that has got stuck may result in the machine not to start.

You can usually visually check to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you could have to unplug the machine in order to have a look at the control panel to check the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

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

To check this you need to find the motor and locate the relay that should be located next to the motor. This could then be removed plus tested using a multimeter, if faulty it may have to be replaced.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

Once you have checked all the above and are yet to find the fault the next component to investigate is the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is designed to stop the control board overheating.

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

Testing the Drive Motor

The final part of the machine you can check that may stop your machine from working is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

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

You can usually access the motor by taking off the lower access panel. Test it using a multimeter then replace if broken.

When to Get in Touch With a Professional

If you don’t have a multimeter and are not confident in taking panels off your machine and testing the parts then you will need to call an engineer sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to perform the above checks then you could well be able to resolve the issue without needing a professional. But if you are unsure it might be easier to contact an engineer.

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

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