Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher isn’t working is never going to be the best part of your day, especially if you have to deal with the cost of calling out a repair person as well as taking time off work to let them in just to pinpoint the fault.

Luckily it’s very feasible to determine and even resolve many dishwasher issues yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you are able to find a multimeter.

You could realize you can sort out the issue quite easily alone, especially if you are good at DIY, and if not at least you will be better placed to describe the issue when you do phone an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you begin considering a replacement machine there are a few common faults you can troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Routine Dishwasher Issues That Will Prevent Your Machine From Turning On

In advance of investigating your dishwasher for issues make sure that it hasn’t been switched off, and that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

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

You will probably require the user manual for this as machines are all different but the child lock tends to be quite simple to engage without meaning to. Similarly, if the dishwasher has lights yet will not run, the answer could be as easy as resetting the cycle.

When you have eliminated these issues it’s time for the real troubleshooting to begin.

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

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

Checking the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to check is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your dishwasher is designed not to operate if the door latches are faulty for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want begin the dishwasher without meaning to with the door open.

A defective switch will prevent your dishwasher from turning on and completing a cycle. You may wish to test the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally situated behind the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure the machine is disconnected prior to taking off the door panel plus checking for continuity to ensure 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.

Checking the Timer

If you have tested your door latch plus door latch switch and ascertained they are working as they should the next thing to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes electricity to all the different parts the machine needs to run including the pumps, plus the water inlet valve.

If your dishwasher has an electric control rather than a mechanical timer then it may have to be tested while connected, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Checking the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the component that chooses the program and will vary contingent on the make as well as the model of your machine. A broken selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged might result in the machine not to turn on.

You should be able to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you might need to disconnect the machine and access the control panel to test the contact points for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that could result in your dishwasher not starting, so this could be the problem if you have tested the control panel and so have discovered that there should be power running to the motor.

To test this you need to locate the motor and locate the relay that should be located next to the motor. This can then be taken out and checked using a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

Once you have tested the above issues and are still looking for the issue the next component to investigate would be the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers have a thermal fuse.

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

Checking the Drive Motor

The final component you should be able to check that could prevent your machine from working is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

If you have tested the other parts but still haven’t discovered the issue this could be the issue particularly if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You can usually locate the motor by removing the lower access panel. Test it with the help of a multimeter then replace if faulty.

When to Contact a Repair person

If you don’t have a multimeter or are not confident in taking panels off your machine and testing the electrical components then you will need to call a repair person.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you could well be able to resolve the problem without assistance. But if you are unsure it’s always better to call in the professionals.

Don’t forget to have a look at your warranty plus your home cover as appliance repairs may be covered and so the expense may not be as high as you think.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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