Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher isn’t working is never going to be the highlight your day, especially if you are also faced with the expense of phoning an engineer plus taking time off work to let them in just to diagnose the problem.

The good news is it’s possible to determine and often sort out many machine problems by yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to own a multimeter.

You may find you can fix the problem quite easily alone, particularly if you are good at DIY, and if not at worst you will have a better idea of the issue when you eventually do call an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of looking for a new machine there are a number of possible faults you should be able to identify without too much issue.

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

Common Dishwasher Faults That Will Prevent Your Machine From Turning On

Before you start going through the following list of possible faults ensure that it hasn’t been accidentally unplugged, and that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

At this point you may wish to also check that the child lock isn’t on and try resetting your dishwasher.

You will most likely need the user manual to do this as machines are all different but the child lock tends to be quite simple to activate inadvertently. Similarly, the machine might have power however will not start, in this case the answer may be as easy as resetting the program.

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

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

To check these parts you will have to have a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to measure the resistance as well as test the parts are working as they should.

Checking the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches and door latch switches. Your dishwasher is not designed to run if the door latches are broken for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to accidentally begin the dishwasher with the door not closed.

A broken switch will prevent your dishwasher from turning on plus completing a cycle. You should test the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally situated under the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure the machine is unplugged prior to accessing the door panel as well as testing for continuity to make sure you do not get an electric shock.

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

Testing the Timer

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

This is the part of the machine that sends power to all the different electrical components the machine needs to run including the pumps, plus the water inlet valve.

If your machine is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it may have to be tested while live, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Checking the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the component that chooses the cycle , it’s style and location will vary contingent on the make and model of your machine. A faulty selector switch or one that has got stuck may result in the machine not to turn on.

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

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that can result in your machine not starting, so this could be the fault if you have checked the control panel and thus have ascertained that there is power going to the motor.

To check this you will have to locate the motor plus find the relay that will usually be mounted next to it. This could then be taken out and tested using a multimeter and it might need to be replaced.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

Once you have investigated all the above but still haven’t found the issue the next component to test is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers have a thermal fuse.

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 could check that might prevent your machine from running 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 cause of the problem especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You should be able to access the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it with the help of a multimeter and replace if broken.

When to Get in Touch With an Engineer

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.

If you are happy to perform the above checks then you may well be able to sort out the fault without needing a professional. However if you are unsure it might be easier to call in the professionals.

Plus check your warranty and your home cover as appliance repairs may be included which means the costs could be less than you were expecting.

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