Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher isn’t working is never going to be the best part of your day, especially if you are also faced with the expense of phoning an engineer as well as staying home to meet them just to determine the issue.

Luckily it’s often easy to pinpoint and often sort out a number of dishwasher faults alone without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to are able to find a multimeter.

You could realize you are able to sort out the problem quite easily yourself, especially if you are mechanically minded, and if you can’t at least you will have a better idea of the fault when you eventually do call a repair man.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of considering a new dishwasher there are a number of common issues you should be able to troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Routine Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Machine From Turning On

In advance of going through the following list of potential faults ensure that it hasn’t been inadvertently unplugged, as well as that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

This is also an opportune moment to see if the child lock isn’t on and try resetting your dishwasher.

You will most likely require the manual to do this due to the fact that machines are all different but the child lock tends to be fairly easy to activate without meaning to. Likewise, if the dishwasher has lights however will not start, the answer may be as simple as resetting the program.

When you have eliminated these issues it’s time for the real detective work 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. Check the drive motor.

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

Testing the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first thing to test is the door latches and door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to operate if these are not working for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to accidentally begin the machine with the door not closed.

A broken switch will prevent your dishwasher from starting and operating. You should test the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be located under the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure the machine is unplugged before accessing 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 as well as door latch switch and discovered they are operating correctly the next component to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that sends power to all the different components the machine requires to run including the pumps, as well as the water inlet valve.

If your machine has an electronic control rather than a mechanical timer then it could have to be checked while connected, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Checking the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the component that selects the cycle and will vary contingent on the make or model of your dishwasher. A faulty selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged may cause the machine not to turn on.

You should be able to visually check to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you may need to unplug the machine and access the control panel to check the connections for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that can cause your dishwasher not to start, and this may be the problem if you have checked the control panel and so know that there should be power going to the main pump.

To investigate if this is the case you will have to gain access to the motor plus find the relay that will usually be mounted next to it. This could then be taken out and checked using a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

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

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

Testing the Drive Motor

The final component you could investigate that might prevent your dishwasher from operating is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

When you have checked the other components yet still haven’t discovered the issue this might 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. Test 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 be better off calling a professional sooner rather than later.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you might well be able to resolve the problem without needing a professional. But if you are unsure it might be easier to contact an engineer.

Plus have a look at your insurance and your home cover as dishwasher repairs might be included and so the expense could not be as high as you think.

More Dishwasher Problems:

  • Dishwasher Being Loud
  • Dishwasher Leaking
  • Dishwasher Not Draining
  • Dishwasher Not Drying
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