Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher is broken isn’t a good way to begin your day, particularly if you have to deal with the cost of calling out a repair person plus staying home to meet them just to diagnose the fault.

Fortunately it’s possible to pinpoint and even resolve many dishwasher faults by yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you have a multimeter.

You may realize you can fix the issue quite easily yourself, especially if you are mechanically minded, and if not at worst you will be better placed to describe the fault when you do call a repair person.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you start looking for a replacement machine there are a few possible issues you can troubleshoot without too much issue.

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

Routine Dishwasher Problems That Will Prevent Your Machine From Starting

Before you begin checking your machine for problems make sure that your dishwasher hasn’t been inadvertently switched off, plus that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

This is also an opportune moment to see if the child lock isn’t on plus try resetting your machine.

You will most likely need the user manual to do this as machines are all different but the child lock is usually fairly easy to engage accidentally. Likewise, the dishwasher may have power however will not start, in this case the answer might be as easy as resetting the cycle.

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

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

To test these parts you will have to have a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to test 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 dishwasher is designed not to operate if these are faulty for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to inadvertently run the machine with the door not closed.

A faulty switch will stop your dishwasher from turning on plus completing a cycle. You may wish to test the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be found behind the front door panel or control panel.

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

If you discover the latches or switches are faulty you will need a replacement door latch assembly.

Testing the Timer

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

This is the part of the machine that distributes electricity to all the other electrical components the machine needs to operate such as the pumps, plus the water inlet valve.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it may need to be checked while plugged in, in which case you should call a repair person.

Testing the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the cycle and will vary contingent on the make or model of your dishwasher. A not working selector switch or one that has got stuck could cause the dishwasher not to turn on.

You should be able to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you may need to disconnect the dishwasher in order to access the control panel to check the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that can cause your machine not to run, thus this could be the fault if you have tested the control panel and thus have ascertained that there should be power going to the main pump.

To investigate this you need to find the motor plus find the relay that will usually be located next to the motor. This can then be removed as well as tested using a multimeter and it may have to be replaced.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

If you have tested the above issues but still haven’t found the issue the next part to test would be the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is there to stop the control board overheating.

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

Testing the Drive Motor

The final part of the machine you should be able to investigate that could prevent your dishwasher from operating is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

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

You can usually locate the motor by taking off the lower access panel. Check it by using a multimeter and 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 dishwasher and testing the parts then you will need to call a professional sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to perform the above troubleshooting then you might well be able to fix the fault without needing a professional. But if you are con confident it’s always better to contact an engineer.

And have a look at your insurance as well as your home cover as appliance repairs might be covered which means the expense could 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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