Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher has stopped working is never going to be the highlight your day, particularly if you have to deal with the expense of calling out an engineer and taking time off work to meet them just to diagnose the problem.

Luckily it’s very feasible to determine and even resolve many dishwasher issues yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to own a multimeter.

You may discover you are able to sort out the fault quite easily by yourself, particularly if you are good at DIY, and if you can’t at least you will have a better idea of the problem when you do have to call a repair man.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of searching for a new machine there are a number of simple faults you should be able to troubleshoot fairly easily.

Safety Warning: Always make sure your dishwasher is unplugged before testing or replacing any electrical components.

Common Dishwasher Problems That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Turning On

In advance of investigating your machine for problems ensure that your dishwasher hasn’t been accidentally unplugged, as well as 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 and try resetting your machine.

You will probably require the user guide to do this as models vary but the child lock is often fairly easy to put on inadvertently. Likewise, the dishwasher may have lights but will not run, in this case the solution could be as easy as resetting the program.

When you have ruled out these issues it’s time for the real detective work to start.

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

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

Examining 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 run if the door latches are faulty for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to inadvertently begin the machine with the door open.

A broken switch will stop your machine from turning on and operating. You may wish to check the switch with a multimeter. The switch is generally located behind the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure you have disconnected power to the dishwasher prior to accessing the door panel plus checking for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

Testing the Timer

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

This is the component that distributes electricity to all the other components the machine needs to run including the motor, as well as the water inlet valve.

If your machine is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it might have to be checked while connected, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the component that selects the program , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make and model of your dishwasher. A broken selector switch or even one that has not been fully pressed down may cause the dishwasher not to run.

You can usually visually investigate to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you could have to disconnect the machine and have a look at the control panel to check the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that may cause your dishwasher not to run, so this might be the problem if you have tested the control panel and have discovered that there should be power going to the main pump.

To investigate this you will have to find the motor and locate the relay that should be located next to the motor. This may then be removed and tested using a multimeter, if faulty you may have to replace it.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

When you have checked the above issues and are still looking for the fault the next component to test is the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is there to protect the control board.

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

Checking the Drive Motor

The final part of the machine you should be able to check that could stop your machine from working 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 yet still aren’t getting anywhere this may be the culprit particularly if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

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

When to Get in Touch With a Repair person

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

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you might well be able to sort out the issue without assistance. But if you are unsure it’s always better to call in the professionals.

Don’t forget to have a look at your insurance plus your home cover as appliance repairs could be covered which means the costs may not be as high as you think.

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