Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher isn’t working isn’t a good way to begin your day, particularly if you have to deal with the expense of calling out a professional and staying home to let them in just to diagnose the problem.

Fortunately it’s often easy to diagnose and often resolve many dishwasher issues yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you own a multimeter.

You may discover you are able to sort out the issue quite easily yourself, especially if you are mechanically minded, and if you can’t at least you will be better placed to describe the problem when you eventually do phone a repair person.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you begin looking for a new dishwasher there are a number of possible faults you should be able to identify without too much issue.

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

Common Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Machine From Starting

In advance of investigating your machine for problems ensure that your machine hasn’t been inadvertently switched off, plus that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

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

You will probably need the manual to do this due to the fact that machines are all different but the child lock tends to be fairly easy to engage without meaning to. Likewise, the machine may have lights but will not start, in this case the solution might be as simple as resetting the cycle.

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

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

To examine these electrical components you will have to have a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to test the resistance as well as check the electrical components are working as they are meant to.

Checking the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first thing to test is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your dishwasher is designed not to operate if the door latches are faulty for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want start the machine without meaning to with the door open.

A defective switch will prevent your machine from starting plus completing a cycle. You should check the switch with a multimeter. The switch is generally situated behind the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure you have disconnected power to the machine prior to removing the door panel and 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 you have tested your door latch and door latch switch and discovered they are operating as they should the next thing to check is the timer or electronic control.

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

If your dishwasher has an electric control as opposed to a mechanical timer then it could have to be checked while plugged in, in which case you will need to call a repair man.

Checking the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the component that selects the cycle , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make or model of your dishwasher. A faulty selector switch or one that has got stuck may cause the dishwasher not to start.

You should be able to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you might have to unplug the machine in order to access the control panel to check the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that may result in your dishwasher not running, thus this could be the problem if you have checked the control panel and thus have ascertained that there is power running to the main pump.

To check if this is the case you need to find the motor plus locate the relay that should be mounted next to it. This may then be removed as well as tested with the help of a multimeter, if broken you may have to replace it.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

Once you have tested the above issues yet still haven’t found the fault the next part to test would be the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is designed to stop the control board overheating.

If you will need to replace it in order for the control board to get power.

Examining the Drive Motor

The final component you could test that may prevent your machine from working is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

Once you have tested the other components but still haven’t discovered the issue this might be the issue especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You can usually gain access to the motor by taking off the lower access panel. Check it by using a multimeter then 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 be better off calling a professional.

If you are happy to perform the above troubleshooting then you might well be able to resolve the problem without assistance. Yet if you are not sure it’s always better to contact an engineer.

Don’t forget to examine your insurance plus your home cover as appliance repairs could be covered which means the expense could not be as high as you think.

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