Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher has stopped working is never going to be the best part of your day, especially if you are also faced with the cost of calling out a professional plus staying home to let them in just to diagnose the fault.

Fortunately it’s possible to determine and often resolve many dishwasher faults alone without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you own a multimeter.

You might discover you are able to resolve the fault quite easily yourself, especially if you are quite handy, and if not at worst you will have a better idea of the problem when you eventually do call a repair man.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of considering a replacement dishwasher there are a few possible issues you should be able to identify without too much trouble.

Safety Warning: Always make sure your machine is unplugged before testing or replacing any electrical components.

Routine Dishwasher Problems That Will Prevent Your Machine From Turning On

Before you begin going through the following list of potential faults ensure that your machine hasn’t beenaccidentally unplugged, 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 dishwasher.

You will most likely need the user guide for this due to the fact that machines vary however the child lock tends to be fairly simple to put on without meaning to. Likewise, the dishwasher may have lights yet will not run, in this case the answer may be as easy as resetting the cycle.

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

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

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

Examining the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

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

A faulty switch will stop your dishwasher from starting and operating. You may wish to check the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be found behind the front door panel or control panel.

Double check you have disconnected power to the machine prior to taking off the door panel and testing 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.

Testing the Timer

If you have tested your door latch as well as door latch switch and discovered they are working correctly the next thing to test 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 including the pumps, as well as the valves.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it may need to be tested while connected, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Testing 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 or model of your machine. A not working selector switch or one that has got stuck might cause the dishwasher not to run.

You can usually visually investigate to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you might have to disconnect the machine and have a look at the control panel to test the connections for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that could cause your machine not to start, so this may be the issue if you have checked the control panel and thus have ascertained that there should be power running to the motor.

To check if this is the case you will have to find the motor and locate the relay that should be located next to it. This may then be taken out as well as checked with the help of a multimeter, if faulty you may have to replace it.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

When you have investigated all the above yet still haven’t found the fault the next part of the dishwasher 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 for the control board to get power.

Examining the Drive Motor

The final part of the dishwasher you can investigate that might stop your dishwasher 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 tested the other electrical components and still haven’t discovered the issue this may be the cause of the problem especially if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You can usually access the motor by taking off the lower access panel. Check it using a multimeter and replace if faulty.

When to Get in Touch With an Engineer

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 an engineer sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to undertake the above troubleshooting then you might well be able to fix the problem without assistance. However if you are not sure it might be easier to call in the professionals.

Don’t forget to check your insurance and your home cover as appliance repairs could be included meaning the costs might not be as high as you think.

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