Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher is broken is never going to be the best part of your day, especially if you have to deal with the cost of phoning a professional plus staying home to let them in just to determine the fault.

The good news is it’s often easy to pinpoint and often fix many dishwasher faults alone without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to are able to find a multimeter.

You might discover you can resolve the fault quite easily by yourself, particularly if you are mechanically minded, and if not at least you will have a better idea of the issue when you eventually do phone an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you start looking for a new machine there are a number of common issues you can troubleshoot without too much issue.

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

Routine Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Machine From Turning On

Before you start investigating your dishwasher for problems make sure that your machine hasn’t been switched off, and that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

At this point you should also check that the child lock hasn’t been activated plus try resetting your dishwasher.

You will often require the manual for this as models vary however the child lock is often fairly easy to put on inadvertently. Similarly, if the dishwasher has lights however will not run, the answer might be as simple as resetting the program.

Once you have ruled out these faults you can start the real troubleshooting.

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

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

Testing the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your dishwasher is designed not to operate if these are broken for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to inadvertently start the dishwasher with the door open.

A broken switch will stop your dishwasher from starting as well as completing a cycle. You may wish to check the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be found behind the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure the dishwasher is disconnected prior to taking off the door panel as well as testing for continuity to make sure you do not get an electric shock.

If the latches or switches are faulty you will need to replace them.

Checking the Timer

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

This is the part of the machine that distributes electricity to all the different parts the machine needs to operate such as the motor, as well as the water inlet valve.

If your machine is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it could have to be tested while plugged in, in which case you should call an engineer.

Checking the Selector Switch

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

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

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another component that could result in your dishwasher not starting, thus this may be the fault if you have checked the control panel and know that there is power going to the main pump.

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

Examining the Thermal Fuse

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

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

Testing the Drive Motor

The final component you should be able to test that could stop your dishwasher from running is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

When you have checked the other components but still haven’t discovered the issue this could 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 panel at the bottom of the machine. Check it using a multimeter and replace if broken.

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 a professional.

If you are happy to undertake the above troubleshooting then you may well be able to resolve the fault without needing a professional. But if you are unsure it might be easier to call in the professionals.

And examine your insurance plus your home cover as appliance repairs might be covered meaning the costs might not be as high as you think.

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