Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher isn’t working is never going to be the best part of your day, especially if you have to deal with the expense of calling out a repair person as well as staying home to meet them just to determine the issue.

The good news is it’s often easy to determine and even sort out plenty of machine faults alone without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to are able to find a multimeter.

You may realize you can sort out the problem quite easily by yourself, especially if you are mechanically minded, and if not at least you will be better placed to describe the problem when you do call an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of considering a replacement machine there are a number of possible faults you can troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Common Dishwasher Problems That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Turning On

Before you start going through the following list of potential faults make sure that your machine hasn’t been inadvertently 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 and try resetting your dishwasher.

You will probably need the user manual to do this due to the fact that machines are all different but the child lock tends to be fairly simple to put on inadvertently. Similarly, the machine may have lights but will not start, in this case the solution could be as easy as resetting the cycle.

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

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

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

Testing the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first thing to test 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 start the dishwasher without meaning to with the door not closed.

A defective switch will prevent your machine from starting and operating. You should test the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be found behind the front door panel or control panel.

Double check the dishwasher is unplugged prior to taking off the door panel plus checking for continuity to make sure you do not get an electric shock.

If you discover the latches or switches are not working you will need to replace them.

Testing the Timer

If you have tested your door latch and door latch switch and ascertained they are working as they should the next thing to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that sends electricity to all the other components the machine needs to operate including the motor, and the valves.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it may have to be tested while live, in which case you will need to call a repair person.

Testing the Selector Switch

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

You can usually visually check to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you may need to disconnect the machine and gain access to the control panel to test the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that could cause your machine not to run, and this might be the issue if you have checked the control panel and know that there should be power running to the main pump.

To investigate this you will have to locate the motor and find the relay that should be mounted next to it. This can then be removed plus checked with the help of a multimeter and it may need to be replaced.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

Once you have tested all the above and are yet to find the problem the next part to check would be the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers have a thermal fuse.

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

Testing the Drive Motor

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

Once you have tested the other components and still haven’t discovered the issue this could be the issue particularly if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You should be able to access the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it with the help of a multimeter and replace if broken.

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 an engineer.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you could well be able to fix the fault without needing a professional. But if you are unsure it’s always better to call in the professionals.

Don’t forget to have a look at your warranty as well as your home cover as dishwasher repairs may be covered and so the expense might not be as high as you think.

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