Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher has stopped working is never going to be the best part of your day, particularly if you are also faced with the expense of calling out a professional plus taking time off work to meet them just to determine the problem.

Fortunately it’s very feasible to pinpoint and often resolve many dishwasher issues yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to are able to find a multimeter.

You might discover you are able to fix the problem quite easily yourself, particularly if you are quite handy, and if you can’t at least you will have a better idea of the issue when you do have to call a repair person.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of looking for a replacement dishwasher there are a number of simple issues you should be able to troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Common Dishwasher Faults That Will Prevent Your Machine From Turning On

In advance of going through the following list of possible issues ensure that your machine hasn’t been unplugged, plus that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

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

You will probably require the user manual for this as models are all different but the child lock tends to be fairly easy to engage accidentally. Likewise, if the dishwasher has lights but will not run, the solution might be as simple as resetting the cycle.

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

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

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

Testing the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

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

A faulty switch will prevent your dishwasher from starting and completing a cycle. You should check the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be situated under the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure you have disconnected power to the machine before taking off the door panel plus 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 check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that distributes electricity to all the different electrical components the machine needs to operate such as the pumps, as well as the water inlet valve.

If your dishwasher has an electric control as opposed to a mechanical timer then it may need to be tested while connected, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Testing the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the cycle , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make as well as the model of your machine. A broken selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed might cause the machine not to start.

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

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that could cause your dishwasher not to run, so this may be the issue if you have checked the control panel and so have discovered that there is power going to the motor.

To investigate if this is the case you need to find the motor plus locate the relay that will usually be located next to it. This could then be removed plus checked with the help of a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

When you have tested all the above but still haven’t found the problem the next part to test is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all machines have a thermal fuse.

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

Checking the Drive Motor

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

When you have tested the other components and still haven’t discovered the issue this might be the cause of the problem especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You should be able to locate the motor by taking off the panel at the bottom of the machine. 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 need to call a repair person.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you may well be able to resolve the issue without assistance. Yet if you are not sure it might be easier to contact an engineer.

And examine your warranty plus your home cover as dishwasher repairs might be included and so the costs may be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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