Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher is broken is never going to be the best part of your day, particularly if you are also faced with the cost of phoning a repair person plus staying home to let them in just to determine the issue.

Luckily it’s possible to determine and even sort out many dishwasher issues yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to have a multimeter.

You may discover you can sort out the fault quite easily yourself, especially if you are good at DIY, and if not at worst you will be better placed to describe the issue when you eventually do call an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you begin considering a replacement dishwasher there are a few common faults you should be able to identify fairly easily.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Problems That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Turning On

Before you start investigating your machine for problems ensure that your machine hasn’t been switched off, plus that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

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

You will most likely require the user guide for this due to the fact that machines vary but the child lock is usually quite easy to activate without meaning to. Similarly, the machine might have lights but will not start, in this case the solution could be as simple as resetting the program.

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

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

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

Examining the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first thing to test is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your dishwasher is not designed to run if these are not working for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want begin the dishwasher without meaning to with the door ajar.

A defective switch will prevent your machine from turning on as well as operating. You may wish to check the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally situated under the front door panel or control panel.

Double check you have disconnected power to the machine prior to taking off the door panel and checking for continuity to ensure you do not get an electric shock.

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

Testing the Timer

If the latch mechanism is operating as it should the next thing to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that sends power to all the different parts the machine requires to operate such as the motor, plus the water inlet valve.

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

Checking the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the part of the machine that selects the program , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make and model of your machine. A not working selector switch or one that has got stuck might result in the machine not to run.

You should be able to visually check to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you could have to unplug the machine in order to gain access to the control panel to check the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

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

To test this you need to find the motor as well as find the relay that should be located next to the motor. This could then be taken out plus checked with the help of a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

Once you have checked all the above but still haven’t found the fault the next part to investigate would be the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is designed to stop the control board overheating.

If you locate the fuse and discover it is blown you will need to replace it in order for the control board to get power.

Testing the Drive Motor

The final part of the machine you should be able to test that may prevent your dishwasher from running is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

If you have tested the other parts but still haven’t discovered the issue this might be the issue especially 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 and 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 components then you will need to call a repair person sooner rather than later.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you may well be able to resolve the problem without assistance. However if you are con confident it might be easier to contact an engineer.

Don’t forget to have a look at your insurance and your home cover as dishwasher repairs could be covered which means the expense might not be as high as you think.

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