Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher is broken is never going to be the highlight your day, particularly if you are also faced with the expense of calling out an engineer as well as staying home to meet them just to diagnose the problem.

Fortunately it’s very feasible to determine and even fix plenty of dishwasher issues by yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to own a multimeter.

You might realize you can sort out the fault quite easily by yourself, particularly if you are quite handy, and if not at worst you will be better placed to describe the problem when you eventually do call a repair person.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you begin considering a new machine there are a few simple problems you can troubleshoot without too much issue.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Issues That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Starting

In advance of going through the following list of possible problems ensure that your dishwasher hasn’t been accidentally switched off, as well as 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 machine.

You will often need the manual to do this as models are all different but the child lock tends to be fairly easy to engage without meaning to. Similarly, if the dishwasher has lights yet will not start, the answer could be as easy as resetting the program.

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

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

To test these parts you will need a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to measure the resistance and check the parts are operating as they are meant to.

Testing 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 not designed to run if these are broken for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want start the machine without meaning to with the door ajar.

A broken switch will stop your machine from turning on as well as completing a cycle. You should check the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be found under the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure you have disconnected power to the machine before removing the door panel as well as checking for continuity to ensure you do not get an electric shock.

If you discover 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 and door latch switch and ascertained they are working correctly the next component to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that sends power to all the different components the machine needs to operate such as the motor, and the valves.

If your machine has an electronic control rather than a mechanical timer then it could have 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 component that selects the cycle , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make and model of your dishwasher. A not working selector switch or one that has got stuck could cause the machine not to turn on.

You should be able to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you might be required to unplug the machine in order to gain access to the control panel to test the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

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

To test this you will have to gain access to the motor and find the relay that will usually be mounted next to it. This can then be taken out and tested using a multimeter, if faulty it may need to be replaced.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

Once you have tested the above issues but still haven’t found the fault the next part of the dishwasher to investigate would be the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is designed to protect the control board.

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

Checking the Drive Motor

The final component you could check that may prevent your dishwasher from working is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

When you have checked the other electrical components and still haven’t discovered the issue this could be the cause of the problem especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You can usually access the motor by taking off the panel at the bottom of the machine. Check it by using a multimeter then replace if not working.

When to Contact an Engineer

If you don’t have a multimeter and are not confident in taking panels off your machine and testing the components then you will need to call an engineer.

If you are happy to undertake the above checks then you may well be able to sort out the issue without needing a professional. But if you are unsure it’s always better to contact an engineer.

And check your insurance and your home cover as appliance repairs might be covered which means the costs might not be as high as you think.

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