Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher has stopped working isn’t a good way to begin your day, especially if you have to deal with the cost of phoning a repair person plus taking time off work to meet them just to diagnose the problem.

Luckily it’s possible to diagnose and often resolve many dishwasher issues by yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to have a multimeter.

You might discover you can resolve the problem quite easily by yourself, especially if you are good at DIY, and if you can’t at least you will be better placed to describe the issue when you eventually do phone a repair man.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you start considering a new machine there are a number of possible issues you can identify fairly easily.

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

Routine Dishwasher Issues That Will Prevent Your Machine From Starting

In advance of investigating your machine for problems ensure that it hasn’t been accidentally switched off, plus that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

At this point you can also check that the child lock isn’t on and try resetting your dishwasher.

You will most likely require the user guide to do this as machines vary but the child lock is usually fairly simple to activate inadvertently. Likewise, the machine may have power but will not run, in this case the answer may be as easy as resetting the program.

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

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

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

Checking the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to check is the door latches and door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to run if these are faulty for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to inadvertently begin the machine with the door open.

A defective switch will prevent your machine from turning on and running. You may wish to check the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be situated under the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure you have disconnected power to the dishwasher prior to taking off the door panel as well as testing for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

If the latches or switches are faulty you will need to replace them.

Checking the Timer

If you have tested your door latch and door latch switch and discovered they are working as they should the next thing to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes power to all the different parts the machine requires to run such as the motor, and the valves.

If your dishwasher has an electronic control as opposed to a mechanical timer then it could have to be tested while live, in which case you should call a repair man.

Checking the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the part of the machine that selects the program and will vary contingent on the make as well as the model of your machine. A broken selector switch or even one that has not been fully pressed down might result in the dishwasher not to run.

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

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that can result in your machine not starting, so this could be the issue if you have tested the control panel and have ascertained that there should be power running to the motor.

To check this you will have to locate the motor as well as find the relay that should be mounted next to it. This could then be taken out plus checked with a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

If you have checked all the above and are yet to find the problem the next part of the dishwasher to investigate is the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is designed to protect the control board.

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

Testing the Drive Motor

The final component you could 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 tested the other electrical components but still aren’t getting anywhere this could be the culprit particularly if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You should be able to gain access to the motor by taking off the lower access panel. Check it with the help of a multimeter and replace if not working.

When to Contact an Engineer

Not everyone has a multimeter, or would know how to use one even if they do, in which case you will need to call a professional sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to perform the above troubleshooting then you may well be able to fix the issue without assistance. However if you are con confident it might be easier to call in the professionals.

And have a look at your warranty plus your home cover as dishwasher repairs may be covered meaning the costs might 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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