Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher isn’t working isn’t a great way to begin your day, particularly if you have to deal with the expense of calling out an engineer plus taking time off work to meet them just to diagnose the issue.

Fortunately it’s very feasible to diagnose and even fix a number of machine problems by yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you are able to find a multimeter.

You may realize you can resolve the issue quite easily alone, especially if you are quite handy, and if not at least you will have a better idea of the problem when you eventually do phone a repair person.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you begin searching for a replacement machine there are a few simple problems you should be able to identify fairly easily.

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

Common Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Machine From Starting

In advance of going through the following list of possible faults ensure that your machine hasn’t been inadvertently unplugged, and 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 plus try resetting your dishwasher.

You will most likely need the user manual to do this due to the fact that machines are all different however the child lock is usually quite easy to activate accidentally. Likewise, if the machine has lights however will not run, the answer might be as easy as resetting the cycle.

When you have ruled out these faults it’s time for the real troubleshooting to begin.

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

To examine these parts you will need a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to test the resistance plus check the components are working 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 machine is designed not to operate if the door latches are faulty for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to accidentally run the dishwasher with the door ajar.

A defective switch will stop your dishwasher from starting as well as running. You may wish to test the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be situated under the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure you have disconnected power to the dishwasher before taking off the door panel plus testing for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

Testing the Timer

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

This is the part of the machine that sends electricity to all the different electrical components the machine needs to operate such as the pumps, plus the valves.

If your dishwasher has an electronic control as opposed to a mechanical timer then it could have to be checked 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 part of the dishwasher that chooses the program and will vary depending on the make or model of your dishwasher. A faulty selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed might result in the machine not to turn on.

You should be able to visually check to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you may be required to unplug the machine in order to have a look at the control panel to check the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another component that can cause your machine not to start, so this might be the problem if you have checked the control panel and thus know that there is power going to the main pump.

To investigate this you will have to locate the motor as well as find the relay that will usually be located next to it. This may then be taken out as well as checked using a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

If you have investigated all the above and are yet to find the fault the next part to check would be the thermal fuse. Note: Not all machines have a thermal fuse.

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

Examining the Drive Motor

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

When you have checked the other parts and still aren’t getting anywhere this might be the cause of the problem especially if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You should be able to access 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 a Professional

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 an engineer sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to undertake the above checks then you could well be able to fix the problem without needing a professional. Yet if you are con confident it might be easier to contact an engineer.

And check your warranty plus your home cover as dishwasher repairs may be included which means the expense may be less than you were expecting.

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