Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher is broken isn’t a fun way to start your day, especially if you have to deal with the expense of phoning a repair person plus staying home to let them in just to diagnose the issue.

Luckily it’s possible to determine and often sort out a number of dishwasher faults by yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you have a multimeter.

You could realize you can resolve the problem quite easily alone, particularly if you are mechanically minded, and if not at worst you will have a better idea of the issue when you do have to phone an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of considering a replacement machine there are a number of possible problems you should be able to troubleshoot without too much issue.

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

Common Dishwasher Issues That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Starting

Before you begin going through the following list of possible problems make sure that your dishwasher hasn’t been unplugged, plus that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

This is also a good time to see if the child lock hasn’t been activated and try resetting your dishwasher.

You will most likely need the manual for this as machines are all different however the child lock tends to be quite easy to put on accidentally. Similarly, the machine may have power however will not start, in this case the solution might be as simple as resetting the cycle.

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

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

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

Examining the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

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

A broken switch will prevent your dishwasher from starting and running. You may wish to check the switch with a multimeter. The switch is generally found under the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure the machine is disconnected prior to removing the door panel as well as testing for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

Testing the Timer

If the door latch and door latch switch, are working as they should the next component to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that sends power to all the different parts the machine needs to operate including the pumps, plus the valves.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it might need to be checked while plugged in, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the component that chooses the program , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make and model of your dishwasher. A broken selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed could cause the dishwasher not to start.

You can usually visually investigate to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you could need to disconnect the machine in order to have a look at the control panel to test the connections for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that may result in your machine not starting, 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 test if this is the case you will have to locate the motor and find the relay that should be located next to the motor. This can then be taken out and tested with a multimeter, if broken it might need to be replaced.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

Once you have checked all the above and are yet to find the issue the next part of the dishwasher to test is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all machines have a thermal fuse.

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

Checking the Drive Motor

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

Once you have tested the other components yet still haven’t discovered the issue this could be the issue especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You should be able to gain access to the motor by taking off the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it using a multimeter and replace if broken.

When to Contact a Repair person

Not everyone has a multimeter, or would know how to use one even if they do, in which case you will need to call a professional sooner rather than later.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you might well be able to resolve the problem without needing a professional. But if you are con confident it might be easier to call in the professionals.

And examine your warranty as well as your home cover as dishwasher repairs could be included meaning 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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