Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher is broken is never going to be the highlight your day, especially if you have to deal with the cost of calling out a professional plus taking time off work to meet them just to diagnose the issue.

The good news is it’s possible to diagnose and often sort out many machine problems alone without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you are able to find a multimeter.

You could find you are able to fix the fault quite easily alone, especially if you are mechanically minded, and if not at worst you will be better placed to describe the fault when you eventually do phone an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you begin searching for a new machine there are a few common problems you can identify without too much trouble.

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

Routine Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Machine From Turning On

In advance of going through the following list of potential faults make sure that it hasn’t been accidentally unplugged, and 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 machine.

You will most likely need the manual to do this due to the fact that machines are all different however the child lock is often quite easy to engage inadvertently. Likewise, if the machine has lights but will not run, the answer might be as simple as resetting the program.

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

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

To check 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.

Examining the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to start if the door latches are broken for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want start the machine without meaning to with the door not closed.

A broken switch will prevent your machine from starting and running. You can check the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be found under the front door panel or control panel.

Double check the dishwasher is unplugged before removing the door panel plus checking for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

If the latches or switches are not working 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 thing to test is the timer or electronic control.

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

If your dishwasher has an electric control as opposed to a mechanical timer then it may need to be tested while connected, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Checking the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the component that chooses the cycle and will vary contingent on the make and model of your machine. A faulty selector switch or even one that has not been fully pressed down might result in the dishwasher not to start.

You can usually visually check to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you could need to disconnect the dishwasher in order to have a look at the control panel to test the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that could cause your machine not to start, so this may be the issue if you have checked the control panel and know that there should be power going to the main pump.

To test if this is the case you need to find the motor as well as locate the relay that will usually be located next to it. This may then be removed as well as tested with the help of a multimeter, if broken you may have to replace it.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

Once you have tested all the above yet still haven’t found the issue the next part of the dishwasher 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 component you can test that may stop your dishwasher from working is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

When you have checked the other parts and still haven’t discovered the issue this might be the cause of the problem especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You can usually access the motor by removing the lower access panel. Test it with the help of a multimeter and replace if broken.

When to Get in Touch With an Engineer

If you don’t have a multimeter or are not confident in taking panels off your machine and testing the electrical components then you will need to call a professional sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to undertake the above checks then you might well be able to fix the problem without assistance. However if you are unsure it’s always better to contact an engineer.

And have a look at your warranty as well as your home cover as appliance repairs might be covered which means 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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