Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher is broken is never going to be the best part of your day, particularly if you have to deal with the cost of phoning a professional plus taking time off work to meet them just to determine the issue.

Fortunately it’s very feasible to pinpoint and often fix plenty of machine problems by yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you are able to find a multimeter.

You may find you are able to fix the issue quite easily alone, particularly if you are quite handy, and if not at least you will have a better idea of the fault when you eventually do phone a repair man.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of looking for a new dishwasher there are a few common issues you can troubleshoot without too much issue.

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

Common Dishwasher Issues That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Starting

In advance of investigating your dishwasher for issues ensure that it hasn’t been accidentally switched off, plus that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

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

You will most likely need the user manual for this due to the fact that models are all different but the child lock tends to be fairly easy to activate accidentally. Likewise, the machine could have lights but will not run, in this case the solution could be as simple as resetting the cycle.

When you have eliminated these problems it’s time for the real troubleshooting to begin.

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

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

Examining the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your dishwasher is not designed to start if these are not working for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to accidentally begin the machine with the door not closed.

A faulty switch will prevent your machine from turning on and completing a cycle. You may wish to test the switch with a multimeter. The switch is generally situated under the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure the machine is disconnected prior to taking off the door panel as well as testing for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

If you discover the latches or switches are not working you will need a replacement door latch assembly.

Testing the Timer

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

This is the part of the machine that sends electricity to all the different components the machine requires to run such as the motor, and the water inlet valve.

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

Checking the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the cycle , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make or model of your dishwasher. A faulty selector switch or one that has got stuck might cause the machine not to start.

You should be able to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you might have to disconnect the machine in order to gain access to the control panel to test the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that can cause your machine not to run, and this might be the issue if you have tested the control panel and have ascertained that there is power going to the motor.

To test this you need to find the motor as well as find the relay that will usually be located next to the motor. This can then be taken out as well as tested with a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

When you have tested all the above and are yet to find the fault the next component to check would be the thermal fuse. Note: Not all machines have a thermal fuse.

If you locate the fuse and discover it is blown it will need to be replaced in order to restore power to the control board.

Testing the Drive Motor

The final part of the dishwasher you should be able to investigate that might prevent your machine from running is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

Once you have tested the other components yet 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 gain access to the motor by taking off the lower access panel. Test it with the help of a multimeter then replace if faulty.

When to Contact a Professional

If you don’t have a multimeter and are not confident in taking panels off your machine and checking the components then you will need to call a professional.

If you are happy to undertake the above troubleshooting then you could well be able to resolve the fault without needing a professional. But if you are unsure it might be easier to call in the professionals.

Plus have a look at your insurance as well as your home cover as dishwasher repairs may 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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