Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher is broken is never going to be the highlight your day, especially if you are also faced with the cost of calling out a repair person plus staying home to let them in just to determine the problem.

Luckily it’s possible to diagnose and even fix a number of machine problems yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you are able to find a multimeter.

You may realize you are able to resolve the issue quite easily yourself, particularly if you are good at DIY, and if not at least you will be better placed to describe the issue when you do have to call a repair person.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of searching for a new dishwasher there are a number of possible problems you should be able to identify without too much trouble.

Safety Warning: Never attempt repairs while your machine is plugged in.

Common Dishwasher Faults That Will Prevent Your Machine From Starting

Before you begin checking your machine for faults make sure that your dishwasher hasn’t been unplugged, as well as that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

This is also an opportune moment to check if the child lock hasn’t been activated as well as try resetting your dishwasher.

You will most likely require the user manual to do this as machines vary however the child lock tends to be quite easy to activate accidentally. Likewise, if the dishwasher has lights however will not start, the solution could be as easy as resetting the program.

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

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

To examine these components you will need a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to test the resistance plus check the electrical components are operating as they are meant to.

Checking the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your machine is not designed to run if these are faulty for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want begin the dishwasher without meaning to with the door ajar.

A defective switch will stop your dishwasher from starting as well as operating. You should test the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be situated under the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure you have disconnected power to the machine prior to taking off the door panel as well as checking for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

Testing the Timer

If you have tested your door latch and door latch switch and discovered they are operating correctly the next component to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that distributes power to all the other components the machine needs to run such as the pumps, and the water inlet valve.

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

Checking 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 machine. A faulty selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged might result in the machine not to run.

You can usually see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you may have to unplug the dishwasher and gain access to the control panel to test the contact points for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another component that could cause your dishwasher not to start, thus this may be the fault if you have tested the control panel and have discovered that there is power going to the main pump.

To test if this is the case you will have to gain access to the motor and locate the relay that should be located next to it. This can then be removed and checked with the help of a multimeter, if faulty it could need to be replaced.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

Once you have investigated the above issues and are yet to find the fault the next part to test would be the thermal fuse. Note: Not all machines have a thermal fuse.

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

Checking the Drive Motor

The final part of the dishwasher you can investigate that might prevent your dishwasher from working is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

Once you have tested the other components but still aren’t getting anywhere this might be the culprit particularly if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You should be able to locate the motor by taking off the lower access panel. Check it with the help of a multimeter then replace if broken.

When to Contact an Engineer

If you don’t have a multimeter and are not confident in taking panels off your dishwasher and checking the parts then you will be better off calling a professional sooner rather than later.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you may well be able to fix the fault without assistance. However if you are unsure it’s always better to call in the professionals.

Plus check your insurance and your home cover as appliance repairs may be covered and so the costs might not be as high as you think.

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