Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher is broken isn’t a fun way to begin your day, particularly if you are also faced with the cost of phoning a repair person plus staying home to let them in just to pinpoint the fault.

Luckily it’s often easy to diagnose and even fix plenty of machine issues alone without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you own a multimeter.

You may find you are able to fix the fault quite easily by yourself, particularly if you are mechanically minded, and if not at worst you will have a better idea of the problem when you do phone a repair man.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of looking for a replacement machine there are a number of common faults you can troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Problems That Will Prevent Your Machine From Turning On

Before you start going through the following list of potential issues make sure that your dishwasher hasn’t been accidentally unplugged, as well as 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 dishwasher.

You will often require the user manual for this as models are all different but the child lock is often quite easy to put on accidentally. Similarly, the machine may have power however will not run, in this case the answer could be as simple as resetting the program.

When you have eliminated these issues it’s time for the real detective work to start.

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

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

Checking the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first thing to check is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to start if the door latches are not working for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to accidentally start the machine with the door ajar.

A defective switch will prevent your machine from turning on and running. You may wish to test the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be located under the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure the dishwasher is unplugged prior to taking off the door panel plus testing for continuity to prevent yourself from getting 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 working as it should the next component to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that distributes electricity to all the different electrical components the machine needs to run such as the motor, as well as the valves.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it might need 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 component that chooses the cycle and will vary contingent on the make or model of your dishwasher. A not working selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged may result in the dishwasher not to run.

You can usually visually check to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you might have to unplug the machine and access 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 part that could result in your dishwasher not starting, and this may be the issue if you have tested the control panel and so have discovered that there is power running to the motor.

To investigate if this is the case you need to find the motor plus find the relay that will usually be mounted next to it. This could then be removed plus checked with a multimeter, if broken you may have to replace it.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

When you have tested all the above and are yet to find the issue the next part to check would be the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is there to protect the control board.

If you locate the fuse and discover it is blown you will need to replace it in order to restore power to the control board.

Checking the Drive Motor

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

Once you have tested the other parts and still aren’t getting anywhere this might be the cause of the problem especially if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You can usually locate the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it with the help of a multimeter then replace if not working.

When to Get in Touch With a Repair person

If you don’t have a multimeter and are not confident in taking panels off your machine and checking the electrical components then you will be better off calling a professional sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to undertake the above checks then you may well be able to resolve the fault without needing a professional. However if you are unsure it might be easier to call in the professionals.

Don’t forget to examine your insurance plus your home cover as dishwasher repairs may be covered which means the costs might not be as high as you think.

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