Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher is broken is never going to be the highlight your day, particularly if you have to deal with the expense of phoning a professional and staying home to meet them just to diagnose the problem.

Luckily it’s possible to diagnose and even sort out many dishwasher problems by yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to are able to find a multimeter.

You might find you can fix the problem quite easily by yourself, especially if you are mechanically minded, and if not at worst you will be better placed to describe the problem when you do call an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you begin looking for a replacement dishwasher there are a number of common issues you can identify without too much trouble.

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

Routine Dishwasher Faults That Will Prevent Your Machine From Starting

Before you start going through the following list of possible problems ensure that your dishwasher hasn’t been switched off, and that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

This is also an opportune moment to check if the child lock isn’t on plus try resetting your dishwasher.

You will most likely require the user guide to do this due to the fact that machines are all different however the child lock tends to be fairly simple to engage without meaning to. Likewise, the machine could have power but will not run, in this case the answer might be as easy as resetting the program.

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

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

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

Testing the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to test is the door latches and door latch switches. Your dishwasher is not designed to operate if the door latches are faulty for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to inadvertently begin the machine with the door open.

A faulty switch will stop your machine from turning on and 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.

Double check the dishwasher is unplugged prior to removing the door panel as well as checking for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

Checking the Timer

If the door latch and door latch switch, are working as they are meant to the next thing to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that sends power to all the other components the machine requires to operate including the motor, plus the valves.

If your dishwasher has an electric control as opposed to a mechanical timer then it could have to be checked while connected, in which case you will need to call a repair man.

Checking the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the program , it’s style and location will vary contingent on the make or model of your dishwasher. A not working selector switch or one that has got stuck may cause the machine not to run.

You can usually visually investigate to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you could need to disconnect the dishwasher in order to have a look at the control panel to test the contact points for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another component that may result in your dishwasher not starting, thus this may be the fault if you have tested the control panel and thus know that there is power running to the motor.

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

Examining the Thermal Fuse

If you have checked all the above but still haven’t found the problem the next part to investigate would be the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is designed to protect the control board.

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

Checking the Drive Motor

The final component you should be able to check that might prevent your machine from running is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

If you have tested the other components but still aren’t getting anywhere this may 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 removing the lower access panel. Check it using a multimeter then replace if faulty.

When to Contact a Repair person

Not everyone has a multimeter, or would know how to use one even if they do, in which case you will need to call a professional sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to undertake the above troubleshooting then you could well be able to sort out the fault without assistance. However if you are not sure it’s always better to call in the professionals.

And examine your insurance and your home cover as appliance repairs could be covered meaning the costs could be less than you were expecting.

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