Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher has stopped working isn’t a fun way to begin your day, especially if you are also faced with the cost of phoning a professional plus taking time off work to let them in just to pinpoint the problem.

The good news is it’s possible to pinpoint and even resolve many dishwasher problems alone without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to are able to find a multimeter.

You may realize you are able to resolve the issue quite easily by yourself, especially if you are mechanically minded, and if not at worst you will be better placed to describe the issue when you do have to call an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you start looking for a new dishwasher there are a few common faults you can troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Common Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Machine From Turning On

In advance of going through the following list of possible issues make sure that your dishwasher hasn’t been unplugged, 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 and try resetting your dishwasher.

You will probably need the user guide for this as machines vary however the child lock tends to be quite easy to put on inadvertently. Similarly, the machine may have lights yet will not start, in this case the solution could be as simple as resetting the cycle.

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

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

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

Testing 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 run if the door latches are faulty for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to inadvertently begin the machine with the door ajar.

A defective switch will prevent your dishwasher from turning on as well as completing a cycle. You should test the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be situated behind the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure the machine is unplugged prior to accessing the door panel plus testing for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

Testing the Timer

If the latch mechanism is operating as it should the next thing to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that sends power to all the other electrical components the machine needs to run such as the motor, plus the valves.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it might have to be tested while connected, in which case you will need to call a repair person.

Checking the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the program and will vary depending on the make as well as the model of your machine. A not working selector switch or one that has got stuck might cause the dishwasher not to start.

You should be able to visually investigate to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you could have to disconnect the dishwasher and access the control panel to check the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that could result in your dishwasher not running, and this might be the problem if you have tested the control panel and so have discovered that there should be power running to the motor.

To investigate if this is the case you need to locate the motor as well as locate the relay that will usually be mounted next to it. This may then be taken out and tested using a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

When you have checked the above issues and are yet to find the fault the next part to test would be the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is designed to protect the control board.

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

Checking the Drive Motor

The final part of the dishwasher you should be able to test that may stop your machine from operating is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

When you have checked the other electrical components yet still haven’t discovered the issue this might be the cause of the problem 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 panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it by using a multimeter then replace if faulty.

When to Contact a Professional

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 repair person sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to undertake the above checks then you might well be able to fix the issue without needing a professional. Yet if you are con confident it might be easier to contact an engineer.

And have a look at your warranty and your home cover as dishwasher repairs might be included meaning the expense might be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

  • Dishwasher Being Loud
  • Dishwasher Leaking
  • Dishwasher Not Draining
  • Dishwasher Not Drying
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