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, particularly if you have to deal with the cost of calling out an engineer and taking time off work to meet them just to pinpoint the fault.

Fortunately it’s often easy to determine and often fix many machine issues yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you own a multimeter.

You could realize you can sort out the fault quite easily yourself, particularly if you are good at DIY, and if you can’t at worst you will have a better idea of the fault when you do have to call an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you begin looking for a new dishwasher there are a number of possible faults you can identify fairly easily.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Starting

Before you begin going through the following list of potential problems make sure that your dishwasher hasn’t been accidentally 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 dishwasher.

You will most likely require the manual for this due to the fact that machines vary however the child lock is often quite easy to engage accidentally. Likewise, if the dishwasher has lights but will not run, the answer could be as simple as resetting the cycle.

When you have ruled out these issues it’s time for the real investigations to start.

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

To check these parts you will need a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to test the resistance plus test the electrical components are working as they are meant to.

Testing the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

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

A faulty switch will prevent your dishwasher from turning on as well as operating. You can test the switch with a multimeter. The switch is generally situated under the front door panel or control panel.

Double check you have disconnected power to the machine before accessing the door panel and checking for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

Checking the Timer

If you have tested your door latch and door latch switch and discovered they are working as they 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 parts the machine needs to operate such as the motor, as well as the water inlet valve.

If your dishwasher has an electronic control as opposed to a mechanical timer then it could have to be checked while live, in which case you should call an engineer.

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the component that selects the cycle , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make or model of your dishwasher. A broken selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed may cause the dishwasher not to run.

You should be able to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you might be required to disconnect the machine and have a look at the control panel to test the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that can result in your machine not starting, so this might be the problem if you have checked the control panel and thus have discovered that there should be power running to the motor.

To investigate if this is the case you will have to find the motor plus find the relay that will usually be located next to it. This may then be taken out and checked using a multimeter, if faulty you may have to replace it.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

If you have checked all the above yet still haven’t found the problem the next part to investigate is 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 part of the dishwasher you can check that may stop your dishwasher from running is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

Once you have checked the other electrical components yet still aren’t getting anywhere this could be the cause of the problem especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You should be able to gain access to the motor by taking off the panel at the bottom of the machine. Check it with the help of a multimeter and replace if broken.

When to Contact a Professional

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 professional sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to perform the above troubleshooting then you could well be able to sort out the problem without needing a professional. But if you are con confident it’s always better to call in the professionals.

Plus have a look at your warranty as well as your home cover as dishwasher repairs might 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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