Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher has stopped working is never going to be the highlight your day, especially if you have to deal with the cost of calling out a repair person and staying home to meet them just to pinpoint the problem.

The good news is it’s possible to pinpoint and even fix plenty of machine issues yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you own a multimeter.

You may realize you can resolve the problem quite easily by yourself, especially if you are good at DIY, 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 searching for a new machine there are a few simple faults you should be able to troubleshoot without too much issue.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Problems That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Starting

Before you start going through the following list of possible issues make sure that your dishwasher hasn’t been unplugged, plus that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

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

You will probably need the manual to do this as machines are all different but the child lock is usually fairly simple to engage without meaning to. Similarly, the dishwasher may have power yet will not run, in this case the solution might be as easy as resetting the cycle.

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

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

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

Examining the Door Latch as well as the 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 faulty for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to accidentally begin the machine with the door ajar.

A broken switch will stop your machine from turning on and running. You may wish to check the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be situated under the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure the machine is disconnected before accessing the door panel plus checking for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

If the latches or switches are faulty 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 thing to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that sends electricity to all the other parts the machine requires to operate including the pumps, as well as the water inlet valve.

If your machine has an electronic control rather than a mechanical timer then it may need to be checked 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 program , it’s style and location will vary contingent on the make or model of your machine. A faulty selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged might result in the dishwasher not to run.

You can usually see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you may be required to unplug 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 can cause your machine not to start, and this might be the fault if you have checked the control panel and so have ascertained that there should be power going to the main pump.

To investigate this you need to gain access to the motor plus find the relay that should be mounted next to the motor. This could then be taken out and tested using a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

When you have checked all the above yet still haven’t found the fault the next part to test would be the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is designed to stop the control board overheating.

If the fuse 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 machine you can investigate that may prevent your dishwasher from working is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

If you have checked the other parts and still haven’t discovered the issue this could be the issue 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 using a multimeter and replace if not working.

When to Get in Touch With a Repair person

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 professional.

If you are happy to perform the above checks then you might well be able to resolve the fault without assistance. However if you are not sure it might be easier to call in the professionals.

Plus check your insurance and your home cover as dishwasher repairs may be included which means the expense may 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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