Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher has stopped working is never going to be the best part of your day, particularly if you are also faced with the expense of calling out an engineer and taking time off work to meet them just to determine the fault.

The good news is it’s often easy to determine and often fix a number of dishwasher problems by yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to have a multimeter.

You might discover you can resolve the issue quite easily yourself, especially if you are quite handy, and if you can’t at worst you will be better placed to describe the issue when you do phone an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of looking for a replacement machine there are a few simple faults you should be able to identify fairly easily.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Issues That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Starting

Before you start investigating your dishwasher for problems ensure that your dishwasher hasn’t been unplugged, as well as that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

This is also a good time to see if the child lock hasn’t been activated as well as try resetting your machine.

You will often require the user guide to do this as models vary however the child lock is often fairly simple to activate without meaning to. Similarly, if the dishwasher has lights yet will not start, the solution might be as easy as resetting the program.

Once you have eliminated these faults it’s time for the real investigations to begin.

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

To examine these components you will need a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to test the resistance and 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 as well as door latch switches. Your dishwasher is not designed to operate if these are faulty for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to accidentally start the machine with the door not closed.

A faulty switch will prevent your machine from starting as well as running. You may wish to check the switch with a multimeter. The switch is generally situated under the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure the dishwasher is disconnected before removing the door panel plus testing for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

If you discover the latches or switches are broken 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 correctly the next thing to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes electricity to all the other electrical components the machine requires to run such as the motor, as well as the valves.

If your machine is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it could need to be tested while connected, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Checking the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the program and will vary contingent on the make as well as the model of your dishwasher. A faulty selector switch or one that has got stuck may cause the machine not to turn on.

You should be able to visually check to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you could be required to disconnect the dishwasher and have a look at the control panel to check the connections for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another component that could result in your machine not starting, and this could be the fault if you have checked the control panel and thus have discovered that there is power going to the main pump.

To test if this is the case you will have to gain access to the motor plus find the relay that should be mounted next to it. This could then be taken out and checked with the help of a multimeter and it might need to be replaced.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

Once you have investigated all the above and are yet to find the problem the next part to test would be the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is there to protect the control board.

If it will need to be replaced in order for the control board to get power.

Checking the Drive Motor

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

Once you have checked the other parts yet still aren’t getting anywhere this might be the issue especially if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You can usually gain access to the motor by removing the lower access panel. Test it using a multimeter then replace if not working.

When to Get in Touch With an Engineer

Not everyone has a multimeter, or would know how to use one even if they do, in which case you will need to call a repair person.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you could well be able to sort out the fault without assistance. However if you are not sure it might be easier to call in the professionals.

Don’t forget to examine your warranty and your home cover as appliance repairs may be included meaning the costs may be less than you were expecting.

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