Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher isn’t working is never going to be the best part of your day, especially if you are also faced with the expense of phoning a professional plus staying home to let them in just to pinpoint the problem.

Luckily it’s possible to determine and often fix many dishwasher problems alone without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to own a multimeter.

You could realize you can fix the problem quite easily alone, especially if you are quite handy, and if not at worst you will be better placed to describe the issue when you eventually do call an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of looking for a new dishwasher there are a number of simple faults you should be able to troubleshoot without too much issue.

Safety Warning: Always make sure your machine is unplugged before attempting repairs.

Commonplace Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Turning On

Before you begin going through the following list of possible problems ensure that it hasn’t been inadvertently switched off, 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 dishwasher.

You will most likely need the user manual to do this due to the fact that models vary however the child lock tends to be quite simple to engage inadvertently. Similarly, if the machine has lights yet will not start, the solution might be as simple as resetting the program.

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

    1. Investigate the door latch or door latch switch.
    2. Examine the timer.
    3. Check the selector switch.
    4. Examine the motor relay.
    5. Check the thermal fuse.
    6. Examine 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 components are working as they should.

Testing the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first thing to test is the door latches and door latch switches. Your dishwasher is designed not to operate if these are broken for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to inadvertently run the dishwasher with the door open.

A broken switch will stop your machine from starting as well as completing a cycle. You may wish to test the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally situated behind the front door panel or control panel.

Double check the machine is disconnected before taking off the door panel and checking for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

If 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 plus door latch switch and ascertained they are working as they should the next thing to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that sends electricity to all the different components the machine needs to run including the motor, plus the valves.

If your dishwasher has an electric control rather than a mechanical timer then it may have to be checked while plugged in, in which case you should call an engineer.

Checking 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 and model of your machine. A faulty selector switch or one that has got stuck may cause the dishwasher not to run.

You should be able to visually investigate to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you may need to unplug the dishwasher and gain access to the control panel to check the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that could cause your machine not to run, so this could be the problem if you have tested the control panel and thus have discovered that there is power running to the main pump.

To investigate if this is the case you need to gain access to the motor plus find the relay that will usually be located next to the motor. This could then be taken out as well as tested using a multimeter, if faulty it might have to be replaced.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

When you have investigated all the above but still haven’t found the problem the next component to investigate is the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is there to protect the control board.

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

Testing the Drive Motor

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

Once you have checked the other electrical components but still aren’t getting anywhere this might be the culprit particularly if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You can usually access the motor by taking off the panel at the bottom of the machine. Check it with the help of a multimeter and replace if broken.

When to Get in Touch With an Engineer

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 troubleshooting then you might well be able to sort out the fault without assistance. But if you are unsure it might be easier to contact an engineer.

And examine your insurance plus your home cover as appliance repairs may be included and so the expense 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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