Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher isn’t working is never going to be the highlight your day, especially if you have to deal with the expense of phoning a professional plus staying home to meet them just to pinpoint the fault.

The good news is it’s possible to determine and often sort out many machine faults alone without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you are able to find a multimeter.

You could discover you can resolve the issue quite easily alone, especially if you are good at DIY, 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 considering a new dishwasher there are a few possible problems you can troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Common Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Machine From Turning On

Before you begin going through the following list of potential issues make sure that it hasn’t been inadvertently unplugged, as well as that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

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

You will often need the user guide to do this as models vary but the child lock is often fairly easy to engage accidentally. Likewise, if the dishwasher has lights however will not start, the solution may be as simple as resetting the program.

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. Examine the timer.
    3. Test the selector switch.
    4. Check the motor relay.
    5. Check the thermal fuse.
    6. Check the drive motor.

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

Checking the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches and door latch switches. Your dishwasher is designed not to start if the door latches are faulty for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to inadvertently run the dishwasher with the door ajar.

A defective switch will stop your dishwasher from starting as well as operating. You can test the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally found 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 the latches or switches are broken you will need to replace them.

Checking the Timer

If the latch mechanism is operating as it should the next component to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that sends power to all the different electrical components the machine requires to operate including the pumps, plus the water inlet valve.

If your machine is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it could have to be checked while live, in which case you should call a repair man.

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the part of the dishwasher that chooses the program and will vary depending on the make as well as the model of your dishwasher. A not working selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed may cause the machine not to run.

You can usually see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you could be required to disconnect the dishwasher in order to 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 may cause your dishwasher not to start, thus this might be the fault if you have tested the control panel and so have ascertained that there is power going to the motor.

To check this you need to gain access to the motor and find the relay that should be mounted next to it. This could then be taken out as well as tested with the help of a multimeter and it may have to be replaced.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

If you have tested the above issues but still haven’t found the problem the next component to check is the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is designed to protect the control board.

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

Checking the Drive Motor

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

Once you have checked the other parts and still haven’t discovered the issue this may be the cause of the problem particularly if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You can usually access the motor by removing the lower access panel. Test it using a multimeter and replace if broken.

When to Get in Touch With a Professional

If you don’t have a multimeter or are not confident in taking panels off your dishwasher and checking the electrical components then you will need to call a professional.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you may well be able to fix the fault without needing a professional. But if you are unsure it’s always better to contact an engineer.

Plus examine your warranty and your home cover as dishwasher repairs may be covered which means the expense may not be as high as you think.

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