Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher is broken is never going to be the highlight your day, particularly if you are also faced with the cost of calling out a repair person as well as staying home to let them in just to pinpoint the fault.

Luckily it’s very feasible to diagnose and often fix a number of dishwasher problems alone without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to are able to find a multimeter.

You could realize you can resolve the problem quite easily by yourself, particularly if you are quite handy, and if you can’t at least you will be better placed to describe the issue when you do call a repair man.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of considering a new machine there are a few possible faults you can identify fairly easily.

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

Common Dishwasher Faults That Will Prevent Your Machine From Turning On

In advance of checking your dishwasher for faults make sure that your dishwasher hasn’t been accidentally unplugged, as well as that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

This is also a good time to check if the child lock isn’t on plus try resetting your dishwasher.

You will most likely require the manual to do this as models vary but the child lock tends to be quite simple to engage inadvertently. Similarly, the dishwasher might have power however will not start, in this case the answer could be as simple as resetting the cycle.

Once you have ruled out these faults it’s time for the real detective work to begin.

  1. Investigate the door latch or door latch switch.
  2. Examine the timer.
  3. Examine the selector switch.
  4. Examine 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 as well as check the electrical components are operating as they are meant to.

Examining the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

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

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

Double check you have disconnected power to the machine prior to accessing 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 faulty you will need to replace them.

Checking the Timer

If your latch mechanism is working as it should the next thing to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that sends electricity to all the other electrical components the machine requires to run such as the motor, and the water inlet valve.

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

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the part of the dishwasher that chooses the program and will vary depending on the make as well as the model of your dishwasher. A not working selector switch or one that has got stuck could cause the machine not to turn on.

You should be able to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you could be required to unplug the machine in order to access 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 machine not running, thus this could be the issue if you have checked the control panel and have ascertained that there is power going to the motor.

To check if this is the case you need to gain access to the motor and locate the relay that should be located next to it. This can then be removed as well as checked using a multimeter, if faulty it could have to be replaced.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

If you have tested the above issues but still haven’t found the issue the next part of the machine to test is 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.

Testing the Drive Motor

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

If you have tested the other parts yet still haven’t discovered the issue this might be the issue especially if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You can usually locate the motor by taking off the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it using a multimeter and replace if not working.

When to Get in Touch With a Professional

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

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you may well be able to fix the problem without assistance. However if you are not sure it’s always better to contact an engineer.

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

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