Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher is broken is never going to be the best part of your day, particularly if you have to deal with the cost of calling out an engineer and staying home to let them in just to diagnose the issue.

Luckily it’s often easy to pinpoint and even fix many dishwasher faults yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you have a multimeter.

You may find you can fix the fault quite easily by yourself, particularly if you are good at DIY, and if you can’t at worst you will be better placed to describe the fault when you do call a repair man.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you start considering a new machine there are a number of common issues you can identify fairly easily.

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

Routine Dishwasher Issues That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Turning On

In advance of going through the following list of potential issues make sure that it hasn’t been unplugged, and that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

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

You will probably need the user manual for this as models are all different but the child lock is usually fairly simple to put on without meaning to. Similarly, the machine might have lights however will not run, in this case the answer may be as easy as resetting the cycle.

When you have ruled out these problems it’s time for the real investigations to begin.

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

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

Testing the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first thing to check is the door latches and door latch switches. Your machine is not designed to start if the door latches are not working for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want begin the machine without meaning to with the door not closed.

A faulty switch will stop your machine from turning on as well as completing a cycle. You can test the switch with a multimeter. The switch is generally found under the front door panel or control panel.

Double check you have disconnected power to the dishwasher before accessing the door panel and testing for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

Testing the Timer

If the door latch plus door latch switch, are working as they should the next component to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes power to all the other parts the machine needs to operate including the motor, as well as the valves.

If your dishwasher has an electronic control rather than a mechanical timer then it could have to be tested while connected, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Checking the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the part of the dishwasher that chooses the program and will vary contingent on the make as well as the model of your machine. A broken selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged could result in the machine not to start.

You should be able to visually check to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you might need to disconnect the machine and have a look at the control panel to test the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that can cause your dishwasher not to run, and this might be the problem if you have checked the control panel and have ascertained that there should be power going to the motor.

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

Examining the Thermal Fuse

If you have tested the above issues yet still haven’t found the fault the next component to check would be the thermal fuse. Note: Not all machines have a thermal fuse.

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

Checking the Drive Motor

The final component you could check that may stop your machine from working is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

Once you have checked the other components yet 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 should be able to gain access to the motor by taking off the lower access panel. Check it with the help of a multimeter and replace if faulty.

When to Contact an Engineer

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 a professional.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you may well be able to sort out the fault without assistance. However if you are unsure it might be easier to contact an engineer.

And examine your warranty as well as your home cover as dishwasher repairs could be included meaning the expense could be less than you were expecting.

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