Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher has stopped working is never going to be the best part of your day, especially if you are also faced with the cost of calling out a professional as well as taking time off work to meet them just to diagnose the fault.

The good news is it’s often easy to diagnose and even fix a number of dishwasher problems by yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to are able to find a multimeter.

You may discover you are able to resolve the fault quite easily yourself, especially if you are good at DIY, and if not at least 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 begin considering a new machine there are a number of common problems you should be able to identify without too much issue.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Issues That Will Prevent Your Machine From Turning On

In advance of going through the following list of potential faults ensure that your dishwasher hasn’t been inadvertently unplugged, plus that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

At this point you can also check that the child lock isn’t on plus try resetting your dishwasher.

You will probably need the user manual for this as machines are all different but the child lock is usually quite simple to activate inadvertently. Likewise, the machine might have power but will not start, in this case the solution might be as easy as resetting the program.

When you have eliminated these issues it’s time for the real detective work to begin.

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

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

Examining the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your dishwasher is designed not to start if these are faulty for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want run the dishwasher without meaning to with the door not closed.

A broken switch will prevent your dishwasher from turning on plus completing a cycle. You may wish to check the switch with a multimeter. The switch is generally found under the front door panel or control panel.

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

If the latches or switches are broken you will need to replace them.

Testing the Timer

If the latch mechanism is working as it should the next component to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes electricity to all the different electrical components the machine needs to operate including the motor, plus the valves.

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

Testing 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 as well as the model of your machine. A broken selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged might cause the dishwasher not to turn on.

You can usually see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you could have to unplug the dishwasher in order to access the control panel to check the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that could result in your machine not starting, so this might be the issue if you have checked the control panel and so have ascertained that there should be power going to the motor.

To check if this is the case you will have to gain access to the motor and find the relay that should be mounted next to the motor. This may then be taken out as well as tested using a multimeter, if faulty you may have to replace it.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

If you have investigated all the above and are still looking for the issue the next part of the dishwasher to test is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers have a thermal fuse.

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

Examining the Drive Motor

The final part of the dishwasher you should be able to test that might prevent your dishwasher from operating is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

Once you have checked the other parts yet still aren’t getting anywhere this could be the cause of the problem particularly if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You can usually access the motor by taking off the lower access panel. Test it using a multimeter then replace if faulty.

When to Get in Touch With 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 resolve the issue without needing a professional. Yet if you are not sure it’s always better to contact an engineer.

Don’t forget to have a look at your warranty plus your home cover as dishwasher repairs could be covered which means the costs might 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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