Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher is broken isn’t a great way to begin your day, especially if you are also faced with the cost of calling out an engineer as well as taking time off work to meet them just to pinpoint the issue.

The good news is it’s often easy to determine and often fix plenty of machine faults yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you own a multimeter.

You could find you can sort out the fault quite easily by yourself, particularly if you are quite handy, and if not at worst you will have a better idea of the fault when you do have to call a repair person.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of searching for a replacement machine there are a number of possible issues you can troubleshoot without too much trouble.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Issues That Will Prevent Your Machine From Turning On

Before you begin checking your dishwasher for 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 check if the child lock hasn’t been activated plus try resetting your dishwasher.

You will probably need the manual for this as machines are all different however the child lock is often fairly easy to put on without meaning to. Likewise, if the machine has lights but will not run, the answer could be as simple as resetting the cycle.

When you have eliminated these problems it’s time for the real investigations to start.

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

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

Testing the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your dishwasher is not designed to start if these are faulty for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want run the machine without meaning to with the door not closed.

A defective switch will stop your machine from turning on plus running. You may wish to test the switch with a multimeter. The switch is generally found behind the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure the dishwasher is disconnected before removing the door panel and checking for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

If the latches or switches are not working you will need to replace them.

Testing the Timer

If you have tested your door latch plus door latch switch and ascertained they are working as they should the next thing to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that sends power to all the different parts the machine requires to run such as the motor, plus the water inlet valve.

If your machine has an electronic control rather than a mechanical timer then it may need to be tested while connected, in which case you should call a repair man.

Testing the Selector Switch

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

You should be able to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you could be required to unplug the dishwasher in order to gain access to the control panel to check the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that can result in your dishwasher not starting, so this might be the fault if you have tested the control panel and so have ascertained that there should be power going to the motor.

To check this you will have to gain access to the motor plus locate the relay that will usually be located next to it. This may then be taken out as well as tested with a multimeter, if broken it could need to be replaced.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

When you have investigated the above issues and are still looking for the problem the next part of the dishwasher to investigate would be the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is designed to stop the control board overheating.

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

Checking the Drive Motor

The final part of the dishwasher you could check that might prevent your dishwasher from operating is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

If you have checked the other components but still aren’t getting anywhere this might be the culprit especially if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

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

When to Get in Touch With an Engineer

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

If you are happy to undertake the above checks then you could well be able to fix 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 warranty as well as your home cover as dishwasher repairs could be included and so the costs could be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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