Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher is broken isn’t a good way to start your day, especially if you are also faced with the cost of calling out a repair person as well as staying home to let them in just to pinpoint the problem.

The good news is it’s possible to pinpoint and even fix plenty of dishwasher problems alone without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to have a multimeter.

You could find you can sort out the fault quite easily yourself, especially if you are mechanically minded, and if not at least you will be better placed to describe the problem when you do have to phone a repair person.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you start looking for a new machine there are a few possible problems you should be able to troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Common Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Turning On

Before you begin investigating your machine for issues ensure that your machine hasn’t been inadvertently unplugged, and that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

This is also an opportune moment to see if the child lock hasn’t been activated and try resetting your dishwasher.

You will most likely require the manual to do this as machines vary however the child lock is often quite easy to activate accidentally. Similarly, if the dishwasher has lights however will not start, the answer might be as easy as resetting the cycle.

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

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

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

Checking the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

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

A broken switch will prevent your dishwasher from turning on plus operating. You can test the switch with a multimeter. The switch is generally located under the front door panel or control panel.

Double check you have disconnected power to the machine before taking off the door panel and testing for continuity to ensure 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 you have tested your door latch and door latch switch and discovered they are working as they should the next component to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes electricity to all the different parts the machine requires to run including the pumps, plus the water inlet valve.

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

Checking the Selector Switch

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

You should be able to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you may be required to unplug the machine and gain access to the control panel to check the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that may 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 running to the motor.

To investigate if this is the case you need to gain access to the motor and find the relay that should be mounted next to the motor. This may then be removed plus checked with the help of a multimeter, if faulty you may have to replace it.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

If you have tested the above issues and are still looking for the problem the next component to check would be the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is designed to stop the control board overheating.

If you locate the fuse and discover it is blown you will need to replace it in order for the control board to get power.

Examining the Drive Motor

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

Once you have tested the other components but still aren’t getting anywhere this may 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. Test it by using a multimeter and replace if faulty.

When to Get in Touch With a Professional

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 are happy to perform the above troubleshooting then you may well be able to resolve the fault without assistance. But if you are con confident it’s always better to call in the professionals.

Plus examine your insurance and your home cover as appliance repairs could be covered meaning the expense may not be as high as you think.

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