Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher is broken is never going to be the highlight your day, especially if you have to deal with the cost of phoning an engineer and taking time off work to meet them just to diagnose the fault.

Luckily it’s very feasible to pinpoint and even resolve many dishwasher problems yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you are able to find a multimeter.

You might realize you are able to resolve the problem quite easily alone, particularly if you are good at DIY, and if you can’t at worst you will have a better idea of the problem when you do phone a repair person.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of searching for a new machine there are a few simple faults you can identify fairly easily.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Problems That Will Stop Your Machine From Starting

Before you begin going through the following list of possible issues make sure that it hasn’t been 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 machine.

You will most likely require the user manual to do this as machines vary but the child lock is usually quite easy to engage accidentally. Likewise, if the machine has lights however will not start, the solution may be as easy as resetting the program.

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

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

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

Checking the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first thing to check is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your machine is not designed to run if the door latches are faulty for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want start the machine without meaning to with the door open.

A broken switch will stop your dishwasher from starting and completing a cycle. You can test the switch with a multimeter. The switch is generally situated under the front door panel or control panel.

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

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

Testing the Timer

If the door latch plus door latch switch, are working as they should the next component to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes electricity to all the different parts the machine needs to operate such as the pumps, and the valves.

If your dishwasher has an electric control as opposed to a mechanical timer then it could need to be tested while plugged in, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the component that chooses the cycle , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make or model of your dishwasher. A not working selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed could result in the dishwasher not to start.

You should be able to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you may be required to unplug the machine in order to have a look at the control panel to check the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that can cause your dishwasher not to start, thus this may be the problem if you have tested the control panel and thus know that there should be power going to the motor.

To check if this is the case you will have to locate the motor and locate the relay that should be mounted next to it. This can then be removed as well as checked using a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

If you have checked all the above and are still looking for the issue the next part to investigate is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers have a thermal fuse.

If you locate the fuse and discover it is blown you will need to replace it in order to restore power to the control board.

Checking the Drive Motor

The final component you can test that might prevent your dishwasher from operating is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

Once you have tested the other components but still aren’t getting anywhere this could be the issue 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 lower access panel. Test it with the help of a multimeter and replace if broken.

When to Get in Touch With an Engineer

If you don’t have a multimeter or are not confident in taking panels off your machine and checking the components then you will be better off calling an engineer.

If you are happy to undertake the above checks then you could well be able to fix the fault without needing a professional. However if you are con confident it might be easier to contact an engineer.

Plus check your warranty plus your home cover as dishwasher repairs could be included and so the costs could be less than you were expecting.

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