Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher has stopped working isn’t a fun way to start your day, especially if you have to deal with the cost of calling out an engineer and taking time off work to meet them just to pinpoint the problem.

Fortunately it’s very feasible to determine and even sort out many dishwasher issues yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you own a multimeter.

You could find you can fix the problem quite easily by yourself, particularly if you are good at DIY, and if you can’t at worst you will have a better idea of the fault when you eventually do call a repair man.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of searching for a new machine there are a few simple issues you should be able to identify fairly easily.

Safety Warning: Always make sure your machine is unplugged before attempting repairs.

Common Dishwasher Issues That Will Prevent Your Machine From Turning On

In advance of going through the following list of possible faults make sure that your machine hasn’t been switched off, plus that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

This is also a good time to see if the child lock hasn’t been activated and try resetting your dishwasher.

You will probably need the user guide for this due to the fact that models are all different however the child lock is usually quite easy to engage inadvertently. Similarly, the dishwasher could have power yet will not start, in this case the solution may be as easy as resetting the program.

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

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

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

Checking the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to check is the door latches and door latch switches. Your dishwasher is not designed to start if these are broken for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want start the machine without meaning to with the door ajar.

A defective switch will prevent your dishwasher from turning on and completing a cycle. You can test the switch with a multimeter. The switch is generally located under the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure the dishwasher is disconnected prior to accessing the door panel and testing for continuity to ensure you do not get an electric shock.

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

Checking the Timer

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

This is the component that sends power to all the other parts the machine requires to operate such as the motor, and the valves.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it could need to be checked while connected, 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 as well as the model of your dishwasher. A broken selector switch or one that has got stuck might cause the machine not to start.

You can usually see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you could need to disconnect the dishwasher and 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 could cause your dishwasher not to start, thus this might be the fault if you have checked the control panel and thus have discovered that there is power going to the motor.

To test this you need to locate the motor as well as locate the relay that will usually be mounted next to it. This can then be taken out plus checked with the help of a multimeter, if broken you may have to replace it.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

If you have investigated the above issues but still haven’t found the problem the next part to investigate is the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is designed to protect the control board.

If the fuse is blown it will need to be replaced in order for the control board to get power.

Testing the Drive Motor

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

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

You can usually locate the motor by removing the lower access panel. Check it by using a multimeter then replace if faulty.

When to Contact an Engineer

If you don’t have a multimeter or are not confident in taking panels off your machine and checking the parts then you will be better off calling a repair person sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to undertake the above troubleshooting then you might well be able to resolve the fault without needing a professional. But if you are con confident it might be easier to contact an engineer.

And examine your insurance plus your home cover as appliance repairs might 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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