Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher isn’t working is never going to be the highlight your day, especially if you are also faced with the expense of calling out a professional and taking time off work to meet them just to pinpoint the issue.

Luckily it’s possible to pinpoint and often resolve plenty of machine issues alone 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 alone, particularly if you are good at DIY, and if not at least you will have a better idea of the problem when you eventually do call an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of looking for a new dishwasher there are a few simple faults you can identify fairly easily.

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

Routine Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Machine From Starting

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

At this point you can also check that the child lock isn’t on plus try resetting your machine.

You will probably need the manual to do this as machines are all different but the child lock is usually fairly simple to put on inadvertently. Likewise, if the dishwasher has lights however will not start, the answer might be as simple as resetting the program.

When you have eliminated these problems you can start the real troubleshooting.

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

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

Examining the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your dishwasher is not designed to run if these are faulty for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to accidentally start the machine with the door open.

A defective switch will stop your dishwasher from starting plus completing a cycle. You may wish to test the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be located under the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure the dishwasher is disconnected 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.

Testing the Timer

If the door latch as well as door latch switch, are working as they should the next thing to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that sends electricity to all the different electrical components the machine requires to operate including the pumps, as well as the valves.

If your machine is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it could have to be tested while plugged in, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the component that selects the program and will vary contingent on the make and model of your machine. A faulty selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed might cause the machine not to start.

You can usually visually check to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you may be required to unplug the machine and access the control panel to check the contact points for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that can result in your machine not starting, and this may be the issue if you have checked the control panel and so have discovered that there should be power going to the main pump.

To investigate this you will have to locate the motor as well as find the relay that should be located next to the motor. This could then be taken out and tested with the help of a multimeter and it might need to be replaced.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

If you have checked all the above but still haven’t found the fault the next part to investigate would be the thermal fuse. Note: Not all machines have a thermal fuse.

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

Testing the Drive Motor

The final part of the machine you could investigate that could prevent your machine from working is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

When you have tested the other electrical components but 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 locate the motor by taking off the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it by using a multimeter then replace if faulty.

When to Get in Touch With 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 professional sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to undertake the above troubleshooting then you could well be able to resolve the fault without assistance. Yet if you are not sure it’s always better to call in the professionals.

Don’t forget to have a look at your insurance plus your home cover as appliance repairs might be included and so the expense could not be as high as you think.

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