Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher is broken is never going to be the best part of your day, especially if you have to deal with the expense of phoning a professional and staying home to meet them just to diagnose the fault.

The good news is it’s very feasible to determine and often sort out many dishwasher problems by yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you own a multimeter.

You could realize you can resolve the fault quite easily by yourself, especially if you are mechanically minded, and if not at worst you will be better placed to describe the fault when you do have to phone a repair man.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of looking for a replacement machine there are a number of possible faults you can troubleshoot without too much trouble.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Problems That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Turning On

In advance of checking your machine for problems ensure that your machine hasn’t been inadvertently 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 hasn’t been activated plus try resetting your machine.

You will most likely need the user manual to do this as models vary however the child lock tends to be quite easy to activate accidentally. Similarly, if the machine has lights yet will not run, the solution may be as simple as resetting the cycle.

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

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

To check these parts you will have to have a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to test the resistance and check the electrical components are operating 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 run if these are broken for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to inadvertently begin the dishwasher with the door ajar.

A defective switch will stop your dishwasher from starting and running. You can test the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be situated behind the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure you have disconnected power to the dishwasher prior to removing the door panel as well as checking for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

If you discover the latches or switches are not working you will need a replacement door latch assembly.

Checking the Timer

If the latch mechanism is operating as it should the next component to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that distributes power to all the other parts the machine requires to operate including the motor, and the water inlet valve.

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

Checking the Selector Switch

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

You should be able to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you could have to disconnect the dishwasher in order to access the control panel to check the connections for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that may cause your dishwasher not to start, thus this could be the issue if you have checked the control panel and know that there should be power going to the main pump.

To test this you need to gain access to the motor and find the relay that should be located next to it. This can then be taken out plus tested with the help of a multimeter, if faulty it might have to be replaced.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

When you have investigated all the above but still haven’t found the issue the next component to investigate would be the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is designed to protect the control board.

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

Examining the Drive Motor

The final part of the machine you can check that might stop your dishwasher from working is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

When you have tested the other electrical components and still aren’t getting anywhere this may be the issue especially if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You can usually gain access to the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it using a multimeter then replace if faulty.

When to Contact a Repair person

If you don’t have a multimeter or are not confident in taking panels off your machine and testing the electrical components then 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 problem without needing a professional. But if you are con confident it’s always better to contact an engineer.

Plus examine your warranty plus your home cover as appliance repairs may be covered and so the expense might be less than you were expecting.

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