Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher isn’t working is never going to be the highlight your day, particularly if you have to deal with the expense of phoning a professional and taking time off work to let them in just to pinpoint the problem.

Luckily it’s very feasible to pinpoint and often resolve plenty of dishwasher problems by yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you are able to find a multimeter.

You might find you are able to sort out the issue quite easily by yourself, especially if you are quite handy, and if not at worst you will be better placed to describe the issue when you do have to phone a repair person.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of searching for a new machine there are a number of simple problems you can troubleshoot without too much trouble.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Issues That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Starting

In advance of checking your machine for problems make sure that your dishwasher hasn’t been inadvertently switched off, and that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

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

You will often need the user manual for this due to the fact that models are all different however the child lock is usually quite simple to activate inadvertently. Likewise, the machine might have power but will not run, in this case the solution may be as simple as resetting the cycle.

When you have ruled out these problems you can start the real troubleshooting.

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

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

Testing the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to run if these are not working for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to inadvertently begin the dishwasher with the door ajar.

A defective switch will stop your dishwasher from starting and operating. You may wish to check the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally found behind the front door panel or control panel.

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

Checking the Timer

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

This is the part of the machine that distributes power to all the other electrical 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 may need to be checked while live, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the part of the machine that chooses the cycle and will vary contingent on the make and model of your dishwasher. A faulty selector switch or one that has got stuck might result in the machine not to turn on.

You can usually visually check to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you could have to disconnect the machine in order to gain access to the control panel to test the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that can result in your dishwasher not starting, thus this may be the problem if you have checked the control panel and know that there is power going to the main pump.

To check if this is the case you will have to find the motor as well as locate the relay that should be mounted next to it. This could then be taken out plus checked with the help of a multimeter, if faulty it could have to be replaced.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

If you have tested the above issues and are still looking for the issue the next part of the dishwasher to test would be the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is designed to protect the control board.

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 dishwasher you can test that may prevent your dishwasher from running is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

Once you have checked the other components and still aren’t getting anywhere this might 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. Check it using a multimeter then replace if broken.

When to Contact a Professional

If you don’t have a multimeter or are not confident in taking panels off your dishwasher and testing the components then you will be better off calling a professional.

If you are happy to undertake the above troubleshooting then you may well be able to resolve the fault without assistance. Yet if you are not sure it’s always better to contact an engineer.

And check your insurance and your home cover as dishwasher repairs could be included and so the costs may be less than you were expecting.

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