Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher isn’t working is never going to be the highlight your day, particularly if you have to deal with the expense of phoning an engineer plus taking time off work to meet them just to pinpoint the fault.

Fortunately it’s possible to diagnose and often fix a number of dishwasher faults by yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you own a multimeter.

You could realize you are able to sort out the problem quite easily yourself, especially if you are quite handy, and if not at worst you will have a better idea of the fault when you do have to phone an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you start looking for a replacement dishwasher there are a few common faults you should be able to identify fairly easily.

Safety Warning: Always make sure your machine is unplugged before testing or replacing any electrical components.

Common Dishwasher Problems That Will Stop Your Machine From Turning On

In advance of going through the following list of possible faults ensure that it hasn’t been unplugged, and that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

This is also a good time to see if the child lock isn’t on as well as try resetting your machine.

You will most likely require the manual to do this as models are all different but the child lock tends to be fairly simple to activate inadvertently. Likewise, if the dishwasher has lights however will not run, the answer could be as simple as resetting the cycle.

When you have eliminated these problems it’s time for the real troubleshooting to start.

  1. Check the door latch or door latch switch.
  2. Examine the timer.
  3. Test the selector switch.
  4. Check the motor relay.
  5. Examine 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 measure the resistance plus check the parts are operating as they are meant to.

Examining 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 start if the door latches are faulty for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want run the machine without meaning to with the door open.

A faulty switch will prevent your dishwasher from turning on plus operating. You may wish to check the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be located behind the front door panel or control panel.

Double check the machine is disconnected before removing the door panel as well as checking for continuity to make sure you do not get an electric shock.

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

Testing the Timer

If the door latch and door latch switch, are working as they are meant to the next thing to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that distributes electricity to all the different parts the machine needs to operate such as the pumps, as well as the water inlet valve.

If your dishwasher has an electronic control rather than a mechanical timer then it may have to be checked while live, in which case you should call a repair man.

Testing the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the cycle and will vary contingent on the make and model of your dishwasher. A faulty selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged might cause the dishwasher not to run.

You can usually visually check to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you may need to unplug the machine and access the control panel to check the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that can cause your machine not to run, thus this may be the fault if you have tested the control panel and so have discovered that there is power going to the main pump.

To investigate if this is the case you need to locate the motor plus locate the relay that should be located next to the motor. This could then be taken out and checked using a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

When you have checked all the above but still haven’t found the fault the next component to test would be the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is designed to protect the control board.

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

Examining the Drive Motor

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

If you have checked the other electrical components and still haven’t discovered the issue this might be the culprit particularly if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You should be able to gain access to the motor by taking off the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it with the help of a multimeter then replace if not working.

When to Get in Touch With a Repair person

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

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you may well be able to fix the fault without assistance. But if you are not sure it might be easier to contact an engineer.

Plus examine your warranty and your home cover as appliance repairs could be included which means the costs might be less than you were expecting.

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