Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher has stopped working is never going to be the highlight your day, particularly 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 fault.

Fortunately it’s possible to determine and often resolve many dishwasher issues yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you own a multimeter.

You might realize you can resolve the issue quite easily by yourself, especially if you are quite handy, and if not at least you will have a better idea of the issue when you eventually do phone an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of searching for a new machine there are a few simple issues you can identify fairly easily.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Machine From Turning On

Before you start going through the following list of possible issues make sure that your machine hasn’t been accidentally switched off, plus that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

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

You will probably need the user guide to do this as machines are all different however the child lock is often fairly simple to engage accidentally. Similarly, the dishwasher could have lights yet will not start, in this case the answer might be as easy as resetting the cycle.

Once you have ruled out 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. Test the selector switch.
    4. Check the motor relay.
    5. Check the thermal fuse.
    6. Test the drive motor.

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

Testing the Door Latch and 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 faulty for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want begin the machine without meaning to with the door not closed.

A broken switch will stop your machine from turning on plus completing a cycle. You can check the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be situated behind the front door panel or control panel.

Double check the dishwasher is unplugged prior to accessing the door panel as well as testing for continuity to make sure you do not get an electric shock.

If the latches or switches are faulty you will need a replacement door latch assembly.

Checking the Timer

If you have tested your door latch plus door latch switch and discovered they are operating correctly the next component to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes power to all the other electrical components the machine requires to run such as the pumps, and the water inlet valve.

If your machine is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it may need 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 component that selects the cycle , it’s style and location will vary contingent on the make as well as the model of your dishwasher. A not working selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged might cause the dishwasher not to run.

You should be able to visually check to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you may need to unplug the machine in order to gain access to the control panel to test the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another component that can result in your machine not starting, so this might be the fault if you have checked the control panel and thus know that there is power running to the main pump.

To check this you will have to gain access to the motor as well as find the relay that should be mounted next to it. This can then be taken out plus tested with the help of a multimeter, if faulty you may have to replace it.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

If you have checked the above issues and are still looking for the issue the next part of the machine to investigate would be the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is there to protect the control board.

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

Testing the Drive Motor

The final component you could investigate that might 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 parts yet still aren’t getting anywhere this might be the issue particularly if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You should be able to locate the motor by taking off the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it with the help of a multimeter and replace if faulty.

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 components then you will need to call a repair person sooner rather than later.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you might well be able to resolve the fault without assistance. But if you are con confident it’s always better to call in the professionals.

Don’t forget to have a look at your insurance plus your home cover as appliance repairs could be included meaning the expense may not be as high as you think.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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