Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher has stopped working is never going to be the highlight your day, especially if you have to deal with the cost of calling out a professional as well as taking time off work to let them in just to determine the issue.

Fortunately it’s very feasible to determine and often sort out a number of machine issues yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you are able to find a multimeter.

You might discover you are able to fix the problem quite easily alone, especially if you are mechanically minded, and if you can’t at worst you will have a better idea of the fault when you do have to phone a repair man.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you start looking for a new machine 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.

Everyday Dishwasher Issues That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Starting

In advance of going through the following list of potential issues make sure that your machine hasn’t been accidentally switched off, and that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

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

You will most likely require the user guide for this due to the fact that machines are all different however the child lock is usually quite simple to engage accidentally. Likewise, the machine could have power yet will not start, in this case the solution might be as simple as resetting the cycle.

When you have eliminated these problems you can start the real troubleshooting.

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

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

Checking the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first thing to check is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your dishwasher is designed not to operate if the door latches are not working for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to inadvertently start the dishwasher with the door ajar.

A defective switch will prevent your dishwasher from starting as well as operating. You may wish to check the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be found under the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure the machine is disconnected prior to taking off the door panel plus testing 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 ascertained they are operating as they should the next thing to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes power to all the different parts the machine requires to operate such as the motor, as well as the water inlet valve.

If your machine is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it could have to be checked while live, in which case you will need to call an engineer.

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the part of the dishwasher that chooses the cycle , it’s style and location will vary contingent on the make or model of your dishwasher. A broken selector switch or one that has got stuck could cause the dishwasher not to start.

You should be able to visually check to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you may be required to unplug the machine and gain access to the control panel to check the contact points for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that may result in your dishwasher not starting, and this may be the problem if you have checked the control panel and so know that there should be power running to the motor.

To test this you will have to gain access to the motor plus locate the relay that should be located next to it. This could then be removed plus checked using a multimeter and it might have to be replaced.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

Once you have investigated all the above yet still haven’t found the fault the next component to test would be the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers have a thermal fuse.

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

Testing the Drive Motor

The final part of the dishwasher you can investigate that may prevent your dishwasher from working is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

If you have checked the other components 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 should be able to locate the motor by taking off the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it using a multimeter then replace if not working.

When to Get in Touch With an Engineer

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 repair person.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you could well be able to fix the fault without assistance. But if you are unsure it might be easier to contact an engineer.

Plus have a look at your insurance and your home cover as appliance repairs might be covered meaning the costs could not be as high as you think.

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