Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher has stopped working isn’t a good way to begin 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 determine the fault.

Fortunately it’s very feasible to diagnose and often fix a number of machine faults by yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you have a multimeter.

You could find you can resolve the problem quite easily by yourself, particularly if you are good at DIY, and if not at least you will be better placed to describe the fault when you eventually do phone a repair person.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you begin looking for a new machine there are a few possible faults you can identify fairly easily.

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

Common Dishwasher Problems That Will Prevent Your Machine From Turning On

Before you start going through the following list of potential problems make sure that your dishwasher hasn’t been unplugged, as well as that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

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

You will probably need the user guide to do this due to the fact that machines vary but the child lock is usually quite simple to put on inadvertently. Likewise, the dishwasher might have power however will not run, in this case the answer might be as easy as resetting the program.

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

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

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

Checking the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to test 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 inadvertently run the machine with the door not closed.

A broken switch will prevent your dishwasher from turning on and running. You may wish to test the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be located under the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure you have disconnected power to the dishwasher prior to taking off the door panel plus checking for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

If the latches or switches are not working you will need to replace them.

Checking the Timer

If the door latch and door latch switch, are working as they are meant to the next component to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that distributes power to all the different parts the machine requires to operate such as the motor, and the valves.

If your machine has an electric control as opposed to a mechanical timer then it might have to be tested 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 part of the machine that chooses the program , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make as well as the model of your machine. A not working selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged could result in the machine not to start.

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

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that could cause your machine not to start, so this may be the fault if you have tested the control panel and thus have ascertained that there is power running to the motor.

To investigate if this is the case you will have to locate the motor and locate the relay that should be located next to the motor. This can then be taken out as well as tested with the help of a multimeter, if faulty you may have to replace it.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

Once you have checked the above issues but still haven’t found the problem the next part of the dishwasher to investigate would be the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is designed to stop the control board overheating.

If 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 can test that might prevent your dishwasher from running is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

When you have checked the other electrical components but still aren’t getting anywhere this could be the cause of the problem particularly if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You can usually locate the motor by taking off the lower access panel. Check it by using a multimeter and replace if faulty.

When to Contact a Repair person

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 repair person.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you may well be able to fix the fault without needing a professional. But if you are unsure it might be easier to call in the professionals.

Plus have a look at your insurance and your home cover as appliance repairs could be included and so the costs could be less than you were expecting.

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