Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher is broken is never going to be the highlight your day, especially if you have to deal with the cost of phoning an engineer plus staying home to let them in just to pinpoint the issue.

Luckily it’s very feasible to pinpoint and often resolve a number of dishwasher issues alone without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you are able to find a multimeter.

You might find you can fix the fault quite easily yourself, particularly if you are quite handy, and if not at least you will be better placed to describe the problem when you do have to call a repair person.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of looking for a new machine there are a number of simple problems you can troubleshoot fairly easily.

Safety Warning: Always make sure your machine is unplugged before attempting repairs.

Everyday Dishwasher Faults That Will Prevent Your Machine From Starting

In advance of going through the following list of possible faults ensure that your dishwasher hasn’t been inadvertently unplugged, as well as that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

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

You will often require the user guide for this due to the fact that models vary however the child lock tends to be fairly easy to engage accidentally. Likewise, the dishwasher might have power but will not run, in this case the answer could be as simple as resetting the program.

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

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

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

Testing the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to test is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your dishwasher is not designed to run if these are broken for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want run the dishwasher without meaning to with the door ajar.

A faulty switch will prevent your dishwasher from turning on and operating. You can check the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally found behind the front door panel or control panel.

Double check you have disconnected power to the dishwasher before taking off the door panel as well as checking for continuity to ensure you do not get an electric shock.

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

Checking the Timer

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

This is the part of the machine that distributes electricity to all the other parts the machine needs to run such as the pumps, plus the valves.

If your dishwasher has an electric control rather than a mechanical timer then it may have to be tested while live, in which case you will need to call a repair man.

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the component that selects the program , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make as well as the model of your dishwasher. A not working selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed may cause the machine not to turn on.

You should be able to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you may be required to unplug the machine and have a look at the control panel to test the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that could result in your machine not running, and this might be the issue if you have tested the control panel and have ascertained that there should be power running to the motor.

To test this you will have to find the motor as well as locate the relay that will usually be located next to it. This can then be removed plus checked using a multimeter, if faulty it may need to be replaced.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

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

If it will need to be replaced in order for the control board to get power.

Checking the Drive Motor

The final component you should be able to investigate that could stop your dishwasher from working is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

If you have tested the other parts but still haven’t discovered the issue this could be the culprit particularly if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You can usually locate the motor by taking off the panel at the bottom of the machine. Check it with the help of a multimeter then replace if not working.

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 be better off calling a professional sooner rather than later.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you may well be able to fix the issue without needing a professional. But if you are con confident it’s always better to contact an engineer.

Don’t forget to examine your insurance and your home cover as dishwasher repairs could be covered meaning the costs 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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