Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher isn’t working isn’t a good way to start your day, especially if you are also faced with the cost of phoning a repair person plus staying home to let them in just to diagnose the fault.

Fortunately it’s often easy to pinpoint and often fix plenty of machine faults yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to own a multimeter.

You could discover you can sort out the issue quite easily by yourself, particularly if you are mechanically minded, and if you can’t at worst you will be better placed to describe the fault when you do call a repair man.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you begin looking for a new machine there are a number of possible problems you can troubleshoot without too much trouble.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Faults That Will Prevent Your Machine From Turning On

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

At this point you can also check that the child lock isn’t on plus try resetting your machine.

You will probably require the manual to do this as models vary however the child lock is often quite simple to engage without meaning to. Similarly, the dishwasher could have power but will not run, in this case the solution might be as easy as resetting the cycle.

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

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

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

Examining the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

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

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

Make sure you have disconnected power to the dishwasher before accessing the door panel and testing for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

Testing the Timer

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

This is the part of the machine that sends electricity to all the other parts the machine requires to operate such as the pumps, and the water inlet valve.

If your machine is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it may have to be checked while plugged in, in which case you should call a repair man.

Testing the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the cycle , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make as well as the model of your machine. A faulty selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed might cause the machine not to start.

You should be able to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you may be required to disconnect the machine and have a look at the control panel to check the contact points for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that can cause your dishwasher not to run, and this may be the issue if you have checked the control panel and know that there is power running to the main pump.

To test if this is the case you need to find the motor and find the relay that will usually be mounted next to the motor. This may then be removed and tested using a multimeter and it might have to be replaced.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

When you have investigated the above issues yet still haven’t found the problem the next part of the dishwasher to check is the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is there to protect the control board.

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 dishwasher you should be able to check that might stop your dishwasher from running is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

If you have checked the other parts and still haven’t discovered the issue this may be the issue especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You should be able to access the motor by removing the lower access panel. Test it with the help of a multimeter then replace if faulty.

When to Get in Touch With a Professional

If you don’t have a multimeter or are not confident in taking panels off your machine and checking the parts then you will need to call a professional.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you could well be able to sort out the issue without needing a professional. However if you are unsure it’s always better to call in the professionals.

Plus have a look at your warranty as well as your home cover as dishwasher repairs may be included which means the costs could not be as high as you think.

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