Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher is broken is never going to be the highlight your day, particularly if you are also faced with the cost of calling out a professional plus taking time off work to meet them just to diagnose the fault.

Luckily it’s very feasible to pinpoint and often sort out plenty of dishwasher faults alone without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to are able to find a multimeter.

You may discover you are able to resolve the problem quite easily by yourself, particularly if you are mechanically minded, and if you can’t at worst 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

In advance of searching for a replacement machine there are a few simple problems you can identify fairly easily.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Problems That Will Stop Your Machine From Turning On

Before you begin investigating your machine for problems ensure that your dishwasher hasn’t been switched off, and that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

At this point you can also check that the child lock isn’t on as well as try resetting your machine.

You will probably need the user manual for this due to the fact that machines are all different but the child lock tends to be fairly simple to engage inadvertently. Similarly, the dishwasher might have power but will not start, in this case the solution could be as easy as resetting the cycle.

When you have ruled out these problems it’s time for the real detective work to begin.

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

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

Testing the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to check is the door latches and door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to operate if these are not working for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want run the machine without meaning to with the door open.

A broken switch will stop your machine from starting plus completing a cycle. You may wish to test the switch with a multimeter. The switch is generally situated under the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure the machine is disconnected prior to removing the door panel as well as testing for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

If you discover the latches or switches are not working you will need to replace them.

Checking the Timer

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

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

If your machine is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it could have to be tested while connected, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Checking the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the program , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make or model of your dishwasher. A broken selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged might result in the dishwasher not to turn on.

You can usually see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you might have to disconnect the machine in order to gain access to the control panel to test the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that can cause your dishwasher not to start, thus this might be the issue if you have tested the control panel and so know that there should be power going to the motor.

To test this you will have to find the motor plus find the relay that should be located next to it. This could then be taken out and tested using a multimeter, if faulty it could need to be replaced.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

If you have tested all the above and are yet to find the fault the next part of the machine to check would be the thermal fuse. Note: Not all machines have a thermal fuse.

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

Testing the Drive Motor

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

If you have tested the other components yet still haven’t discovered the issue this might be the culprit particularly if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You can usually locate the motor by taking off the panel at the bottom of the machine. Check it by using a multimeter and replace if faulty.

When to Contact an Engineer

If you don’t have a multimeter or are not confident in taking panels off your machine and testing the parts then you will be better off calling an engineer.

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

Don’t forget to examine your insurance and your home cover as appliance repairs may be covered and so the costs could 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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