Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher has stopped working is never going to be the best part of your day, particularly if you are also faced with the cost of calling out a repair person and staying home to let them in just to pinpoint the issue.

Luckily it’s possible to diagnose and often sort out a number of dishwasher problems by yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you are able to find a multimeter.

You might find you can resolve the issue quite easily alone, particularly if you are mechanically minded, and if you can’t at worst you will be better placed to describe the problem when you do call an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of considering a replacement dishwasher there are a number of simple problems you should be able to identify fairly easily.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Machine From Starting

In advance of going through the following list of potential issues ensure that your machine hasn’t been inadvertently unplugged, and that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

This is also a good time to check if the child lock isn’t on plus try resetting your machine.

You will most likely require the user guide to do this due to the fact that models vary however the child lock is usually quite easy to put on without meaning to. Likewise, the machine may have power but will not run, in this case the answer may be as simple as resetting the cycle.

Once you have ruled out these faults it’s time for the real troubleshooting to start.

    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. Examine the thermal fuse.
    6. Examine the drive motor.

To examine these parts you will need a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to measure the resistance as well as check the parts are operating as they should.

Checking 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 machine is designed not to run if these are faulty for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want run the dishwasher without meaning to with the door ajar.

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 will usually be situated behind the front door panel or control panel.

Double check you have disconnected power to the dishwasher prior to accessing the door panel and checking for continuity to make sure you do not get an electric shock.

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

Checking the Timer

If you have tested your door latch and door latch switch and ascertained they are operating as they should the next component to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that distributes electricity to all the different parts the machine needs to operate including the pumps, as well as the valves.

If your machine is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it may need to be tested while plugged in, in which case you will need to call a repair man.

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the component that selects the program and will vary contingent on the make and model of your dishwasher. A faulty selector switch or one that has got stuck might result in the dishwasher not to turn on.

You should be able to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you may be required to unplug the dishwasher and gain access to the control panel to check the contact points for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that can result in your dishwasher not starting, so this may be the problem if you have tested the control panel and so have ascertained that there is power running to the main pump.

To investigate if this is the case you need to gain access to the motor plus locate the relay that should be mounted next to it. This could then be taken out as well as tested using a multimeter, if faulty it could need to be replaced.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

When you have tested the above issues yet still haven’t found the fault the next part of the dishwasher to investigate is the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is there to protect the control board.

If it will need to be replaced in order to restore power to the control board.

Testing the Drive Motor

The final part of the machine you could check that might prevent your dishwasher from running is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

If you have tested the other components but still aren’t getting anywhere this could be the culprit particularly if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You can usually locate the motor by removing the lower access panel. Check it with the help of a multimeter and replace if not working.

When to Get in Touch With a Professional

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 sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to perform the above checks then you might well be able to resolve the problem without needing a professional. Yet if you are unsure it might be easier to call in the professionals.

Don’t forget to check your warranty plus your home cover as dishwasher repairs could be covered and so the expense could be less than you were expecting.

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