Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher isn’t working is never going to be the highlight your day, particularly if you have to deal with the cost of phoning an engineer as well as staying home to let them in just to pinpoint the fault.

Fortunately it’s very feasible to determine and even resolve many machine faults alone without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to own a multimeter.

You may find you are able to resolve the issue quite easily by yourself, particularly if you are quite handy, and if not at least you will have a better idea of the fault when you eventually do call an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you start searching for a new dishwasher there are a few simple issues you can identify without too much issue.

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

Routine Dishwasher Problems That Will Stop Your Machine From Starting

Before you start checking your machine for faults make sure that your dishwasher hasn’t been inadvertently switched off, and that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

At this point you should also check that the child lock isn’t on and try resetting your dishwasher.

You will most likely need the manual for this as machines vary however the child lock tends to be quite simple to put on accidentally. Likewise, if the machine has lights however will not start, the solution may be as simple as resetting the program.

When you have eliminated these issues it’s time for the real troubleshooting to begin.

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

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

Checking the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first thing to check is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your dishwasher is not designed to operate if the door latches are broken for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want run the machine without meaning to with the door not closed.

A defective switch will stop your machine from turning on plus running. You can test the switch with a multimeter. The switch is generally located under the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure you have disconnected power to the dishwasher before removing 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 a replacement door latch assembly.

Testing the Timer

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

This is the component that sends electricity to all the other components the machine requires to run including the motor, plus the water inlet valve.

If your dishwasher has an electric control rather than a mechanical timer then it might need to be tested while live, in which case you will need to call an engineer.

Checking the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the program and will vary depending on the make and model of your dishwasher. A faulty selector switch or one that has got stuck might cause the dishwasher not to run.

You can usually visually check to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you may have to disconnect the machine and have a look at 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 cause your machine not to start, thus this might be the fault if you have tested the control panel and so have ascertained that there should be power going to the motor.

To test if this is the case you will have to locate the motor and locate the relay that should be located next to the motor. This may then be taken out and checked with a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

Once you have checked all the above yet still haven’t found the problem the next part of the dishwasher to check would be the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers 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 dishwasher you could investigate that could stop your dishwasher from operating is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

If you have checked the other components yet still haven’t discovered the issue this might be the culprit particularly if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

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

When to Get in Touch With a Repair person

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

If you are happy to perform the above troubleshooting then you might well be able to fix the fault without needing a professional. But if you are not sure it’s always better to call in the professionals.

Plus examine your warranty plus your home cover as dishwasher repairs may be covered and so the costs could not be as high as you think.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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