Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher has stopped working is never going to be the highlight your day, particularly if you have to deal with the expense of phoning a repair person and taking time off work to let them in just to determine the issue.

The good news is it’s often easy to diagnose and even sort out a number of machine problems alone without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you own a multimeter.

You may find you can fix the fault quite easily yourself, especially if you are mechanically minded, and if not at worst you will have a better idea of the issue when you eventually do phone a repair person.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you start looking for a new dishwasher there are a number of possible problems you should be able to identify fairly easily.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Faults That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Starting

Before you begin checking your machine for issues ensure that your dishwasher hasn’t been inadvertently switched off, as well as that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

This is also a good time to check if the child lock hasn’t been activated and try resetting your machine.

You will probably require the user manual for this due to the fact that machines are all different however the child lock is usually fairly simple to activate accidentally. Likewise, if the dishwasher has lights however will not run, the answer may be as easy as resetting the cycle.

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

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

To check 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 and Door Latch Switch

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

A faulty switch will stop your machine from turning on and completing a cycle. You may wish to check the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally situated under the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure the dishwasher is disconnected before taking off the door panel plus testing for continuity to ensure 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 component that distributes electricity to all the different components the machine needs to run including the pumps, as well as the valves.

If your machine is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it might need to be tested while plugged in, in which case you will need to call a repair man.

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the component that selects the cycle and will vary contingent on the make and model of your machine. A broken selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged may result in the machine not to start.

You should be able to visually check to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you could need to disconnect the machine in order to have a look at the control panel to check the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that can result in your dishwasher not starting, thus this may be the fault if you have tested the control panel and so have ascertained that there should be power going to the motor.

To investigate if this is the case you need to gain access to the motor plus locate the relay that will usually be mounted next to the motor. This can then be removed as well as checked using a multimeter and it could need to be replaced.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

Once you have checked the above issues and are still looking for the fault the next component to check would be the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is designed to protect the control board.

If it will need to be replaced in order to restore power to the control board.

Checking the Drive Motor

The final component you could test that might stop your machine from operating is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

When you have checked the other electrical components but still haven’t discovered the issue this may be the culprit especially if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You should be able to locate the motor by taking off the lower access panel. Check it using a multimeter then replace if faulty.

When to Get in Touch With a Repair person

Not everyone has a multimeter, or would know how to use one even if they do, in which case you will need to call an engineer sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to perform the above troubleshooting then you could well be able to sort out the issue without needing a professional. Yet if you are con confident it might be easier to call in the professionals.

And have a look at your warranty plus your home cover as appliance repairs might be included and so the costs might be less than you were expecting.

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