Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher isn’t working isn’t a fun way to start your day, especially if you are also faced with the expense of phoning a professional as well as taking time off work to let them in just to determine the issue.

Fortunately it’s often easy to pinpoint and often resolve many dishwasher faults by yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to own a multimeter.

You might realize you are able to fix the issue quite easily by yourself, especially if you are mechanically minded, and if you can’t at least you will have a better idea of the fault when you eventually do call a repair person.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you start considering a new dishwasher there are a few simple faults you can identify without too much trouble.

Safety Warning: Always make sure your machine is unplugged before testing or replacing any electrical components.

Everyday Dishwasher Faults That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Turning On

In advance of investigating your machine for problems 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 see if the child lock hasn’t been activated as well as try resetting your dishwasher.

You will most likely require the user manual for this due to the fact that machines vary but the child lock tends to be fairly simple to engage inadvertently. Similarly, if the machine has lights but will not start, the solution could be as simple as resetting the cycle.

Once you have ruled out these faults you can start the real troubleshooting.

    1. Investigate the door latch or door latch switch.
    2. Examine the timer.
    3. Examine the selector switch.
    4. Test the motor relay.
    5. Examine 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 and test the components are operating as they should.

Examining the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

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

A faulty switch will stop your machine from turning on as well as running. You may wish to check the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally located behind the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure the dishwasher is disconnected before 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 not working you will need a replacement door latch assembly.

Testing the Timer

If you have tested your door latch plus door latch switch and discovered they are operating correctly the next thing to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that sends power to all the different components the machine needs to operate such as the motor, plus the valves.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it could have to be tested while plugged in, in which case you will need to call a repair person.

Testing the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the cycle and will vary depending on the make as well as the model of your dishwasher. A broken selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged could cause the dishwasher not to start.

You should be able to visually check to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you could need to disconnect the dishwasher and have a look at the control panel to check the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that may cause your machine not to run, thus this could be the issue if you have checked the control panel and so know that there is power running to the main pump.

To check this you need to find the motor as well as find the relay that should be located next to it. This may then be taken out as well as tested with the help of a multimeter, if faulty it might need to be replaced.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

If you have investigated all the above yet still haven’t found the fault the next part of the machine to test would be the thermal fuse. Note: Not all machines have a thermal fuse.

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

Checking the Drive Motor

The final component you can test that might 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 but still aren’t getting anywhere this could be the culprit especially if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You can usually gain access to the motor by taking off the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it with the help of a multimeter and replace if not working.

When to Contact an Engineer

If you don’t have a multimeter or are not confident in taking panels off your dishwasher and checking the components then you will be better off calling a repair person sooner rather than later.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you might well be able to sort out the fault without needing a professional. However if you are con confident it might be easier to call in the professionals.

Plus check your warranty plus your home cover as dishwasher repairs may be covered meaning the expense may be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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