Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher isn’t working isn’t a great way to begin your day, particularly if you are also faced with the expense of calling out an engineer and staying home to let them in just to pinpoint the problem.

The good news is it’s possible to determine and often sort out many machine problems by yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to are able to find a multimeter.

You might find you are able to resolve the issue quite easily by yourself, particularly if you are good at DIY, and if not at worst you will have a better idea of the issue when you do have to call an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of searching for a new machine there are a few common problems you can troubleshoot without too much trouble.

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

Common Dishwasher Issues That Will Prevent Your Machine From Turning On

In advance of investigating your dishwasher for issues make sure that your machine hasn’t been inadvertently unplugged, plus that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

This is also an opportune moment to see if the child lock hasn’t been activated as well as try resetting your machine.

You will probably need the manual to do this as machines are all different but the child lock tends to be fairly easy to activate inadvertently. Similarly, if the dishwasher has lights however will not run, the answer could be as simple as resetting the cycle.

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

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

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

Checking the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to check is the door latches as well as 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 run the dishwasher with the door open.

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

Ensure you have disconnected power to the dishwasher prior to removing the door panel as well as checking for continuity to ensure you do not get an electric shock.

If you discover the latches or switches are broken you will need a replacement door latch assembly.

Testing the Timer

If the door latch and door latch switch, are working as they should the next thing to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that distributes power to all the other parts the machine needs to run such as the pumps, as well as the water inlet valve.

If your dishwasher has an electric control rather than a mechanical timer then it might need to be checked while connected, in which case you will need to call an engineer.

Checking the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the part of the dishwasher that selects the program , it’s style and location will vary contingent on the make or model of your dishwasher. A not working selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged might result in the dishwasher not to run.

You can usually see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you may need to disconnect the machine in order to have a look at the control panel to test the connections for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another component that may cause your dishwasher not to run, thus this might be the fault if you have tested the control panel and so know that there should be power running to the motor.

To investigate if this is the case you need to gain access to the motor and find the relay that will usually be mounted next to it. This may then be removed plus tested with a multimeter, if faulty it could need to be replaced.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

Once you have tested all the above but still haven’t found the fault the next part of the dishwasher to test would be the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is designed to stop the control board overheating.

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

Examining the Drive Motor

The final component you should be able to investigate that may prevent your dishwasher from operating is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

If you have checked the other parts but 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 gain access to the motor by taking off the panel at the bottom of the machine. 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 need to call a repair person.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you might well be able to resolve the fault without needing a professional. But if you are con confident it’s always better to call in the professionals.

And check your warranty as well as your home cover as dishwasher repairs may be covered meaning the costs may 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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