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 expense of phoning a professional as well as staying home to meet them just to diagnose the issue.

Fortunately it’s often easy to determine and even resolve plenty of machine faults yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to own a multimeter.

You may find you can resolve the problem quite easily alone, especially if you are mechanically minded, and if not at least you will be better placed to describe the issue when you eventually do call a repair man.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you start searching for a new dishwasher there are a number of simple issues you can troubleshoot without too much trouble.

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

Common Dishwasher Problems That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Starting

Before you begin going through the following list of possible faults ensure that your dishwasher hasn’t been unplugged, plus that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

This is also an opportune moment to check if the child lock hasn’t been activated plus try resetting your machine.

You will probably need the user manual for this due to the fact that machines vary however the child lock tends to be quite easy to engage accidentally. Similarly, the machine might 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 faults it’s time for the real investigations to begin.

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

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

Examining the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to test is the door latches and door latch switches. Your machine is not designed to run if these are faulty for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to accidentally run the machine with the door ajar.

A broken switch will prevent your machine from turning on plus completing a cycle. You can check the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be located under the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure the dishwasher is unplugged before removing the door panel plus testing for continuity to make sure you do not get an electric shock.

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

Checking the Timer

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

This is the part of the machine that sends power to all the other parts the machine needs to operate including the motor, and the water inlet valve.

If your machine has an electronic control rather than a mechanical timer then it might need to be tested while connected, in which case you will need to call a repair man.

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 or model of your machine. A not working selector switch or one that has got stuck could cause the dishwasher not to start.

You can usually visually check to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you might be required to unplug the dishwasher in order to gain access to the control panel to check the connections for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that could cause your dishwasher not to run, thus this may be the problem if you have checked the control panel and so know that there is power going to the main pump.

To test this you will have to gain access to the motor plus find the relay that should be mounted next to it. This can then be taken out as well as checked using a multimeter, if faulty it may need to be replaced.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

If you have tested the above issues but still haven’t found the issue the next part to investigate is the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is there to protect the control board.

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.

Checking the Drive Motor

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

Once you have tested the other parts and still haven’t discovered the issue this might be the issue particularly if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You should be able to locate the motor by taking off the panel at the bottom of the machine. Check it using a multimeter then replace if not working.

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 need to call an engineer.

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

And examine your insurance and your home cover as dishwasher repairs may be included and so the costs might be less than you were expecting.

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