Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher has stopped working isn’t a fun way to begin your day, especially if you have to deal with the expense of phoning a professional as well as staying home to let them in just to diagnose the fault.

Luckily it’s very feasible to diagnose and often resolve a number of machine faults by yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to are able to find a multimeter.

You may find you are able to sort out the issue quite easily alone, especially if you are good at DIY, and if you can’t at least you will be better placed to describe the problem when you eventually do phone an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you begin considering a new machine there are a number of possible problems you can troubleshoot without too much issue.

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

Common Dishwasher Problems That Will Prevent Your Machine From Starting

In advance of investigating your machine for problems make sure 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 hasn’t been activated as well as try resetting your dishwasher.

You will probably require the user manual to do this due to the fact that machines vary but the child lock tends to be fairly easy to engage accidentally. Similarly, if the dishwasher has lights yet will not run, the solution might be as easy as resetting the program.

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

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

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

Testing the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to test is the door latches and door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to run if these are not working for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to inadvertently start the machine with the door not closed.

A faulty switch will prevent your dishwasher from turning on and running. You can check the switch with a multimeter. The switch is generally located under the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure the dishwasher is unplugged before removing the door panel as well as checking for continuity to make sure you do not get an electric shock.

If the latches or switches are not working you will need a replacement door latch assembly.

Checking the Timer

If you have tested your door latch plus door latch switch and discovered they are operating as they should the next thing to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that sends power to all the different components the machine needs to operate such as the pumps, plus the valves.

If your machine is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it might need to be checked while plugged in, in which case you should call an engineer.

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the component that chooses the cycle and will vary depending on the make and model of your dishwasher. A broken selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged could cause the machine not to run.

You can usually visually check to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you might be required to unplug the machine and access the control panel to check the contact points for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that may result in your dishwasher not running, and this may be the issue if you have tested the control panel and so know that there should be power running to the main pump.

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

Checking the Thermal Fuse

When you have investigated all the above but still haven’t found the fault the next component to check is the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is designed to stop the control board overheating.

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

Examining the Drive Motor

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

When you have tested the other electrical components but still aren’t getting anywhere this may be the cause of the problem especially if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You should be able to access the motor by removing the lower access panel. Check it with the help of 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 checking the electrical components then you will be better off calling an engineer sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to perform the above troubleshooting then you may well be able to resolve the fault without needing a professional. Yet if you are con confident it might be easier to contact an engineer.

And have a look at your warranty and your home cover as appliance repairs may be included and so the costs might be less than you were expecting.

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