Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher isn’t working is never going to be the best part of your day, especially if you have to deal with the expense of phoning an engineer and taking time off work to let them in just to pinpoint the problem.

The good news is it’s very feasible to determine and even sort out a number of dishwasher issues yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you are able to find a multimeter.

You might find you are able to sort out the fault quite easily by yourself, especially if you are quite handy, and if you can’t at worst you will be better placed to describe the fault when you do have to phone an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of looking for a replacement dishwasher there are a few possible issues you should be able to troubleshoot fairly easily.

Safety Warning: Always make sure your machine is unplugged before testing or replacing any electrical components.

Commonplace Dishwasher Problems That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Starting

Before you begin checking your machine for issues ensure that your dishwasher hasn’t been inadvertently switched off, and that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

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

You will most likely need the user guide for this as machines are all different however the child lock is usually quite easy to activate inadvertently. Likewise, the dishwasher could have power however will not start, in this case the solution may be as simple as resetting the cycle.

Once you have eliminated these issues you can start the real troubleshooting.

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

To test these electrical components you will have to have a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to test the resistance plus test the components are operating as they should.

Testing the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to run if the door latches are broken for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to accidentally run the dishwasher with the door not closed.

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

Double check the machine is disconnected prior to removing the door panel plus testing for continuity to make sure you do not get an electric shock.

If the latches or switches are faulty you will need a replacement door latch assembly.

Testing the Timer

If you have tested your door latch and 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 part of the machine that sends power to all the other components the machine requires to run including the motor, plus the water inlet valve.

If your machine has an electronic control rather than a mechanical timer then it might have to be checked while plugged in, in which case you will need to call a repair man.

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the part of the machine that chooses the program , it’s style and location will vary contingent on the make and model of your machine. A not working selector switch or one that has got stuck could result in the dishwasher not to start.

You should be able to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you could have to disconnect the dishwasher in order to access the control panel to test the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

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

To investigate this you need to gain access to the motor and locate the relay that will usually be mounted next to it. This could then be removed as well as checked with the help of a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

When you have tested 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 the fuse is blown you will need to replace it in order for the control board to get power.

Checking the Drive Motor

The final component you can check that could stop your dishwasher from running is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

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

You should be able to gain access to the motor by removing the lower access panel. Check it using a multimeter then replace if not working.

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 perform the above checks then you may well be able to fix the issue without needing a professional. Yet if you are con confident it’s always better to contact an engineer.

Plus check your insurance and your home cover as appliance repairs could be covered and so the expense could be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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