Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher is broken isn’t a good way to begin your day, especially if you have to deal with the expense of phoning a professional as well as taking time off work to let them in just to pinpoint the fault.

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

You may discover you can sort out the fault quite easily by yourself, especially if you are quite handy, and if not at worst you will have a better idea of the issue when you eventually do phone an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of looking for a new machine there are a few common issues you can identify fairly easily.

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

Common Dishwasher Problems That Will Prevent Your Machine From Starting

Before you begin investigating your machine for issues make sure that it hasn’t been switched off, plus that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

At this point you may wish to also check that the child lock hasn’t been activated and try resetting your machine.

You will most likely require the user manual to do this as machines vary but the child lock tends to be fairly simple to put on without meaning to. Likewise, if the dishwasher has lights however will not start, the solution could be as easy as resetting the program.

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

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

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

Testing the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your dishwasher is designed not to run if these are not working for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want start the dishwasher without meaning to with the door ajar.

A defective switch will prevent your dishwasher from starting plus running. You may wish to check the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally situated under the front door panel or control panel.

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

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

Testing the Timer

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

This is the component that distributes power to all the other electrical components the machine needs to operate such as the motor, and the valves.

If your dishwasher has an electronic control as opposed to a mechanical timer 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 program , it’s style and location will vary contingent on the make as well as the model of your dishwasher. A not working selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged might cause the machine not to start.

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

Testing the Motor Relay

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

To check this you will have to gain access to the motor and find the relay that will usually be mounted next to the motor. This may then be removed and checked with the help of a multimeter, if broken it may have to be replaced.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

If you have tested all the above yet still haven’t found the fault the next part of the machine to check would be the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is there to stop the control board overheating.

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

Checking the Drive Motor

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

When you have tested the other electrical components yet still aren’t getting anywhere this might be the culprit particularly if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You should be able to access the motor by removing the lower access panel. Check it with the help of a multimeter and replace if broken.

When to Contact a Professional

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 are happy to undertake the above checks then you may well be able to fix the fault without needing a professional. However if you are con confident it might be easier to call in the professionals.

Plus have a look at your insurance and your home cover as appliance repairs might be included meaning the expense may not be as high as you think.

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