Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher is broken isn’t a fun way to begin your day, especially if you are also faced with the expense of calling out an engineer as well as taking time off work to let them in just to pinpoint the issue.

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

You could realize you can fix the issue quite easily alone, especially if you are quite handy, and if you can’t at least you will be better placed to describe the problem when you do call an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of looking for a replacement dishwasher there are a few simple faults you can troubleshoot without too much trouble.

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

Routine Dishwasher Faults That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Turning On

In advance of going through the following list of possible faults make sure that your machine 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 isn’t on plus try resetting your machine.

You will probably need the user guide for this as models are all different but the child lock is usually quite simple to engage accidentally. Likewise, the dishwasher could have power but will not start, in this case the answer may be as easy as resetting the program.

When you have eliminated these problems it’s time for the real investigations to start.

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

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

Checking the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to test is the door latches and door latch switches. Your machine is not designed to operate if these are faulty for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to inadvertently begin the machine with the door ajar.

A faulty switch will stop your machine from turning on and completing a cycle. You may wish to test the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally found behind the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure you have disconnected power to the dishwasher before taking off the door panel as well as 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 the latch mechanism is operating as it should the next thing to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that distributes power to all the other parts the machine requires to operate including the pumps, as well as the valves.

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

Checking the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the cycle and will vary depending on the make and model of your dishwasher. A broken selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged may result in the machine not to run.

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 gain access to 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 issue if you have checked the control panel and know that there should be power going to the main pump.

To investigate if this is the case you will have to find the motor and find the relay that will usually be mounted next to it. This could then be removed as well as checked using a multimeter, if broken it could have to be replaced.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

Once you have tested all the above and are yet to find the issue the next component 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 to restore power to the control board.

Checking the Drive Motor

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

Once you have checked the other parts yet still haven’t discovered the issue this could be the culprit especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You can usually locate 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 Repair person

If you don’t have a multimeter or are not confident in taking panels off your machine and checking the parts then you will need to call a repair person sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to undertake the above troubleshooting then you could well be able to sort out the issue without assistance. But if you are not sure it’s always better to contact an engineer.

And check your warranty plus your home cover as dishwasher repairs might be included which means the costs may 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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