Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher isn’t working is never going to be the highlight your day, especially if you have to deal with the cost of phoning an engineer as well as taking time off work to meet them just to diagnose the issue.

The good news is it’s possible to determine and even resolve plenty of dishwasher faults alone without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to are able to find a multimeter.

You could realize you are able to resolve the issue quite easily yourself, especially if you are good at DIY, and if you can’t at worst you will have a better idea of the problem when you do phone a repair man.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you begin looking for a new machine there are a number of common faults you can identify without too much trouble.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Faults That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Turning On

Before you begin going through the following list of potential faults make sure that your machine hasn’t been inadvertently unplugged, as well as that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

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

You will often require the manual for this as machines are all different however the child lock tends to be quite simple to put on without meaning to. Similarly, the machine could have power but will not start, in this case the answer could be as easy as resetting the cycle.

Once you have ruled out these faults it’s time for the real detective work to start.

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

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

Testing the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches and door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to start if the door latches are broken for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to inadvertently begin the dishwasher with the door not closed.

A broken switch will prevent your machine from turning on and operating. You may wish to test the switch with a multimeter. The switch is generally found behind the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure you have disconnected power to the dishwasher before accessing the door panel and 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.

Testing the Timer

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

This is the component that sends electricity to all the other components the machine needs to run such as the motor, as well as the water inlet valve.

If your machine is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it may need to be tested while live, 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 cycle and will vary depending on the make and model of your dishwasher. A broken selector switch or one that has got stuck might cause the dishwasher not to run.

You should be able to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you may be required to unplug the machine in order to access the control panel to check the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that could cause your dishwasher not to run, and this may be the fault if you have checked the control panel and so have discovered that there should be power running to the main pump.

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

Checking the Thermal Fuse

Once you have checked all the above and are yet to find the fault the next part of the machine to test is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all machines have a thermal fuse.

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

Examining the Drive Motor

The final part of the machine you could test that could stop your machine from running is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

When you have tested the other electrical components yet still aren’t getting anywhere this may be the cause of the problem particularly if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You should be able to locate the motor by taking off the panel at the bottom of the machine. Check it using a multimeter and replace if not working.

When to Contact a Repair person

If you don’t have a multimeter and are not confident in taking panels off your machine and checking the parts then you will need to call a professional.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you might well be able to fix the problem without needing a professional. However if you are not sure it might be easier to call in the professionals.

Don’t forget to examine your warranty plus your home cover as appliance repairs may be covered and so the costs may not be as high as you think.

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