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 have to deal with the expense of phoning an engineer as well as taking time off work to meet them just to diagnose the problem.

The good news is it’s often easy to pinpoint and even sort out a number of machine faults by yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to have a multimeter.

You may find you can sort out the issue quite easily yourself, particularly if you are good at DIY, and if not at worst you will have a better idea of the issue when you eventually do phone an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you begin considering a replacement machine there are a number of simple faults you should be able to identify fairly easily.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Issues That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Starting

In advance of investigating your dishwasher for problems make sure that your machine hasn’t been unplugged, and that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

This is also a good time to check if the child lock isn’t on as well as try resetting your machine.

You will most likely need the manual for this as models are all different but the child lock tends to be fairly simple to put on accidentally. Similarly, if the dishwasher has lights yet will not run, the answer might be as easy as resetting the cycle.

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

    1. Check the door latch or door latch switch.
    2. Check the timer.
    3. Check 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 have to have a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to measure the resistance plus test the electrical components 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 operate if the door latches are faulty for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want start the dishwasher without meaning to with the door ajar.

A broken switch will stop your dishwasher from turning on as well as operating. You can check the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be located behind the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure you have disconnected power to the machine before taking off the door panel plus checking for continuity to make sure you do not get an electric shock.

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

Testing the Timer

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

This is the part of the machine that sends electricity to all the different parts the machine requires to operate such as the motor, plus the valves.

If your machine has an electric control as opposed to a mechanical timer then it may need to be checked while live, in which case you will need to call a repair man.

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 or model of your dishwasher. A broken selector switch or one that has got stuck might result in the dishwasher not to turn on.

You should be able to visually check to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you could be required 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 another component that could result in your dishwasher not starting, and this might be the issue if you have tested the control panel and so know that there is power running to the main pump.

To check this you will have to locate the motor plus find the relay that should be located next to it. This may then be taken out plus tested with the help of a multimeter, if faulty you may have to replace it.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

When you have tested all the above and are still looking for the problem the next part to investigate is the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is there to stop the control board overheating.

If the fuse is blown it will need to be replaced in order to restore power to the control board.

Checking the Drive Motor

The final component you can investigate that may stop your dishwasher from running is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

When you have checked the other components but still haven’t discovered the issue this might be the culprit particularly if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You should be able to access the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Check it using a multimeter then replace if broken.

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 be better off calling a repair person.

If you are happy to perform the above checks then you might well be able to fix the issue without assistance. But if you are not sure it’s always better to call in the professionals.

And check your insurance plus your home cover as dishwasher repairs may be included which means the costs might be less than you were expecting.

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