Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher is broken isn’t a fun way to begin your day, especially if you are also faced with the expense of calling out a professional and taking time off work to let them in just to pinpoint the fault.

The good news is it’s often easy to diagnose and often sort out many machine faults by yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you are able to find a multimeter.

You may realize you are able to fix the fault quite easily by yourself, especially if you are quite handy, and if not at worst you will have a better idea of the issue when you do have to call a repair man.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of looking for a replacement machine there are a few simple faults you should be able to identify fairly easily.

Safety Warning: Always make sure your machine is unplugged before attempting repairs.

Common Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Starting

In advance of investigating your dishwasher for issues ensure that your machine hasn’t been inadvertently switched off, as well as that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

At this point you can also check that the child lock hasn’t been activated as well as try resetting your machine.

You will often require the user manual for this as models vary however the child lock tends to be fairly simple to engage inadvertently. Similarly, if the machine has lights however will not start, the solution may be as easy as resetting the cycle.

When you have ruled out these issues it’s time for the real troubleshooting 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. Test the drive motor.

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

Examining the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your machine is not designed to run if these are broken for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to accidentally start the machine with the door open.

A broken switch will prevent your dishwasher from turning on as well as operating. You can check the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally located under the front door panel or control panel.

Double check you have disconnected power to the machine before removing the door panel and checking for continuity to ensure you do not get an electric shock.

If you discover the latches or switches are faulty you will need a replacement door latch assembly.

Testing the Timer

If the door latch and door latch switch, are working as they are meant to the next thing to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that sends electricity to all the different parts the machine needs to run including the motor, and the water inlet valve.

If your machine has an electronic control rather than a mechanical timer then it may have to be tested while connected, in which case you will need to call a repair man.

Checking the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the program and will vary depending on the make and model of your dishwasher. A faulty selector switch or even one that has not been fully pressed down might result in the machine not to run.

You should be able to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you could be required to unplug the machine and have a look at 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 result in your machine not running, and this may be the issue if you have checked the control panel and thus know that there should be power running to the motor.

To check this you will have to find the motor as well as locate the relay that should be mounted next to the motor. This can then be taken out and checked with the help of a multimeter, if broken you may have to replace it.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

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

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

Testing the Drive Motor

The final component you can test that may stop your machine from running 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 may be the issue particularly if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

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

When to Contact a Repair person

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 are happy to perform the above checks then you might well be able to fix the fault without needing a professional. Yet if you are unsure it might be easier to call in the professionals.

Don’t forget to have a look at your insurance as well as your home cover as appliance repairs might be included meaning the costs may be less than you were expecting.

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