Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher is broken isn’t a good way to start your day, particularly if you have to deal with the cost of calling out a professional and staying home to meet them just to diagnose the fault.

The good news is it’s often easy to determine and even fix a number of machine problems by yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you own a multimeter.

You may find you can resolve the problem quite easily by yourself, especially if you are quite handy, and if not at worst you will have a better idea of the issue when you eventually do phone a repair person.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you start searching for a new dishwasher there are a number of simple problems you should be able to identify fairly easily.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Turning On

Before you start going through the following list of possible faults make sure that it hasn’t been inadvertently unplugged, and that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

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

You will probably require the user manual for this due to the fact that models are all different however the child lock is usually quite easy to activate without meaning to. Likewise, if the machine has lights but will not start, the solution may be as simple as resetting the cycle.

When you have eliminated these issues it’s time for the real detective work to start.

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

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

Testing the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

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

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

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

If you discover 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 component to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that sends electricity to all the other parts the machine needs to operate including the motor, plus the water inlet valve.

If your dishwasher has an electric control rather than a mechanical timer then it might have to be checked while plugged in, 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 dishwasher that chooses the program and will vary depending on the make and model of your machine. A not working selector switch or one that has got stuck may cause the dishwasher not to run.

You should be able to see if the buttons are depressing fully, 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.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that may cause your dishwasher not to run, and this might be the fault if you have checked the control panel and so have discovered that there is power running to the motor.

To check this you need to find the motor plus find the relay that should be mounted 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.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

When you have tested the above issues yet still haven’t found the issue the next component to investigate is the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is there to stop the control board overheating.

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

Testing the Drive Motor

The final component you can test that could stop your dishwasher from running is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

When you have checked the other parts and still aren’t getting anywhere this could be the issue especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You should be able to access the motor by taking off the lower access panel. Test it using a multimeter then replace if broken.

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 testing the components then you will need to call a repair person sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to perform the above checks then you could well be able to fix the problem without needing a professional. But if you are con confident it’s always better to contact an engineer.

Don’t forget to have a look at your warranty and your home cover as dishwasher repairs might be included meaning the expense might be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

  • Dishwasher Being Loud
  • Dishwasher Leaking
  • Dishwasher Not Draining
  • Dishwasher Not Drying
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