Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher is broken isn’t a good way to begin your day, particularly if you have to deal with the expense of phoning a repair person and taking time off work to meet them just to determine the issue.

The good news is it’s often easy to diagnose and even fix many dishwasher problems by yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you own a multimeter.

You might realize you can sort out the fault quite easily yourself, particularly if you are mechanically minded, and if not at worst you will have a better idea of the fault when you do phone an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of considering a new dishwasher there are a number of simple issues you can troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Common Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Machine From Starting

In advance of checking your machine for problems ensure that your machine hasn’t been accidentally switched off, as well as that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

At this point you should also check that the child lock isn’t on and try resetting your dishwasher.

You will often require the user manual to do this as machines are all different however the child lock tends to be fairly easy to activate inadvertently. Likewise, if the machine has lights however will not run, the answer may be as simple as resetting the program.

Once you have eliminated these problems it’s time for the real detective work to begin.

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

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

Testing the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches and door latch switches. Your machine is not designed to run if these are broken for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want begin the dishwasher without meaning to with the door ajar.

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

Make sure the machine is disconnected prior to removing the door panel as well as checking for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

Checking the Timer

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

This is the part of the machine that distributes power to all the different parts the machine requires to run including the motor, as well as the water inlet valve.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it may have to be tested while connected, in which case you should call a repair man.

Checking the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the component that selects the cycle and will vary contingent on the make and model of your dishwasher. A not working selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed might result in the machine not to run.

You can usually visually investigate to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you might be required to disconnect the dishwasher in order to access the control panel to test the contact points for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

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

To check if this is the case you need to locate the motor plus locate the relay that should be located next to the motor. This may then be taken out as well as checked with the help of a multimeter and it may have to be replaced.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

If you have tested the above issues and are yet to find the fault the next component to test would be the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is there to protect the control board.

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

Examining the Drive Motor

The final part of the dishwasher you can test that might stop your machine from operating is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

Once you have tested the other electrical components yet still aren’t getting anywhere this might be the cause of the problem particularly if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

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

When to Contact a Professional

Not everyone has a multimeter, or would know how to use one even if they do, in which case you will be better off calling an engineer sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to perform the above checks then you might well be able to resolve the problem without needing a professional. However if you are not sure it’s always better to contact an engineer.

Plus have a look at your warranty and your home cover as appliance repairs might be covered meaning the costs might 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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