Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher is broken isn’t a fun way to begin your day, especially if you have to deal with the expense of calling out an engineer plus taking time off work to let them in just to diagnose the fault.

Fortunately it’s often easy to determine and often fix a number of machine problems by yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to are able to find a multimeter.

You may find you are able to fix the fault quite easily by yourself, especially if you are good at DIY, and if you can’t at least you will have a better idea of the fault when you do have to phone a repair man.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you begin searching for a new machine there are a few common issues you should be able to troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Common Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Machine From Starting

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

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

You will most likely require the user guide to do this due to the fact that machines are all different however the child lock is often fairly simple to engage without meaning to. Likewise, if the dishwasher has lights yet will not run, the solution might be as simple as resetting the program.

When you have eliminated these faults it’s time for the real investigations to begin.

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

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

Checking the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first thing to test is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your dishwasher is designed not to operate if these are faulty for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to inadvertently begin the machine with the door ajar.

A faulty switch will prevent your machine from turning on as well as running. You may wish to test the switch with a multimeter. The switch is generally found under the front door panel or control panel.

Double check you have disconnected power to the machine before taking off the door panel plus checking for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

Testing the Timer

If the latch mechanism is operating as it should the next thing to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that distributes power to all the different electrical components the machine requires to operate such as the motor, as well as the water inlet valve.

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

Checking the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the program and will vary depending on the make or model of your machine. A faulty selector switch or one that has got stuck might result in the machine not to run.

You can usually visually investigate to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you may need to unplug the machine and gain access to the control panel to test the contact points for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that could result in your dishwasher not starting, thus this might be the problem if you have tested the control panel and know that there is power going to the main pump.

To investigate if this is the case you need to locate the motor plus locate the relay that should be mounted next to it. This could then be taken out plus checked with the help of a multimeter, if faulty it may need to be replaced.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

Once you have investigated the above issues and are yet to find the fault the next component to test would be the thermal fuse. Note: Not all machines have a thermal fuse.

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

Examining the Drive Motor

The final part of the machine you can check that may stop your dishwasher from working is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

If you have checked the other electrical components yet still haven’t discovered the issue this could be the culprit particularly if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You can usually access the motor by taking off the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it by using a multimeter then replace if broken.

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 a professional sooner rather than later.

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

Don’t forget to examine your insurance as well as your home cover as dishwasher repairs could be covered and so the expense 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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