Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher is broken isn’t a good way to start your day, particularly if you have to deal with the expense of phoning a repair person plus staying home to let them in just to pinpoint the issue.

Fortunately it’s possible to diagnose and often fix many dishwasher problems by yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you are able to find a multimeter.

You may realize you can fix the issue quite easily by yourself, especially if you are mechanically minded, and if not at least you will have a better idea of the fault when you do phone an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of searching for a replacement machine there are a number of possible issues you should be able to identify fairly easily.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Problems That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Turning On

In advance of going through the following list of potential issues make sure that it hasn’t been accidentally switched off, plus that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

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

You will most likely require the user manual to do this as machines vary but the child lock is usually fairly easy to put on without meaning to. Similarly, if the machine has lights however will not run, the answer might be as simple as resetting the cycle.

When you have ruled out these problems 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. Examine the selector switch.
    4. Check the motor relay.
    5. Test the thermal fuse.
    6. Check the drive motor.

To examine these components you will have to have a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to test the resistance plus test the parts are working as they should.

Checking the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches and door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to run if the door latches are faulty for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to inadvertently start the dishwasher with the door open.

A faulty switch will stop your dishwasher from turning on as well as completing a cycle. You should check the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally situated behind the front door panel or control panel.

Double check the machine is unplugged before taking off 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 broken you will need a replacement door latch assembly.

Checking the Timer

If the door latch as well as door latch switch, are working as they are meant to the next component to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that distributes electricity to all the other parts the machine needs to operate such as the pumps, plus the valves.

If your machine has an electronic control as opposed to a mechanical timer then it might need to be checked while connected, in which case you should call a repair person.

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the component that chooses the program and will vary depending on the make and model of your dishwasher. A faulty selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed could result in the machine not to start.

You should be able to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you could be required to disconnect the machine in order to gain access to the control panel to check the contact points for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that can result in your machine not running, thus this may be the fault if you have checked the control panel and have ascertained that there is power going to the motor.

To investigate this you will have to locate the motor plus locate the relay that will usually be located next to it. This may then be taken out plus checked with the help of a multimeter, if broken you may have to replace it.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

Once you have tested all the above but still haven’t found the fault the next part to check would be the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is designed 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.

Examining the Drive Motor

The final component you can check that could prevent your dishwasher from operating is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

When you have checked the other components yet still haven’t discovered the issue this could be the culprit particularly if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You should be able to access the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it by using a multimeter and replace if faulty.

When to Get in Touch With a Professional

If you don’t have a multimeter or are not confident in taking panels off your dishwasher and checking the parts then you will need to call a professional sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to perform the above checks then you may well be able to sort out the problem without needing a professional. But if you are con confident it might be easier to contact an engineer.

And check your warranty as well as your home cover as appliance repairs could be covered which means the costs might be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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