Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher is broken isn’t a good way to start your day, especially if you are also faced with the cost of phoning a professional as well as taking time off work to let them in just to diagnose the fault.

Fortunately it’s very feasible to pinpoint and even sort out a number of dishwasher issues yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you own a multimeter.

You could find you can fix the fault quite easily by yourself, especially if you are quite handy, and if not at worst you will be better placed to describe the fault when you do call a repair man.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of searching for a replacement machine there are a number of common faults you should be able to identify without too much trouble.

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

Routine Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Machine From Turning On

In advance of going through the following list of possible issues make sure that your dishwasher hasn’t been inadvertently switched off, and that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

At this point you may wish to also check that the child lock hasn’t been activated as well as try resetting your dishwasher.

You will probably need the user guide for this due to the fact that models are all different however the child lock tends to be quite simple to put on without meaning to. Similarly, the machine might have power however will not start, in this case the solution might be as easy as resetting the program.

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

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

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

Checking 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 dishwasher is designed not to start if the door latches are not working for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to accidentally begin the machine with the door open.

A broken switch will stop your dishwasher from turning on plus completing a cycle. You can check the switch with a multimeter. The switch is generally situated behind the front door panel or control panel.

Double check you have disconnected power to the machine before taking off 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.

Checking the Timer

If your latch mechanism is working as it should the next thing to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that distributes electricity to all the different components the machine requires to run including the motor, as well as the valves.

If your machine is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it may have to be checked while live, 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 selects the program , it’s style and location will vary contingent on the make or model of your machine. A not working selector switch or even one that has not been fully pressed down could cause the machine not to turn on.

You should be able to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you could need to unplug the dishwasher in order to gain access to the control panel to check the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that can cause your dishwasher not to run, thus this might be the fault if you have tested the control panel and know that there should be power running to the motor.

To check this you need to locate the motor and find the relay that will usually be located next to the motor. This can then be removed plus tested with the help of a multimeter and it might have to be replaced.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

When you have checked all the above yet still haven’t found the problem the next part to test would be the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is designed to protect the control board.

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 component you could investigate that may stop your dishwasher from operating is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

If you have tested the other parts and still haven’t discovered the issue this might be the cause of the problem particularly if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You can usually access the motor by taking off the lower access panel. Test it using a multimeter then replace if not working.

When to Contact an Engineer

If you don’t have a multimeter or are not confident in taking panels off your machine and checking the parts then you will be better off calling an engineer 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 issue without assistance. Yet if you are not sure it might be easier to call in the professionals.

Plus examine your warranty and your home cover as dishwasher repairs could be covered and so the costs may be less than you were expecting.

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