Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher has stopped working is never going to be the highlight your day, particularly if you have to deal with the expense of calling out an engineer plus taking time off work to meet them just to diagnose the issue.

Luckily it’s possible to diagnose and even sort out many dishwasher faults yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you are able to find a multimeter.

You might find you are able to sort out the issue quite easily by yourself, particularly if you are good at DIY, and if you can’t at worst you will be better placed to describe the issue when you do have to call a repair person.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of looking for a replacement dishwasher there are a few common issues you should be able to troubleshoot without too much issue.

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

Common Dishwasher Faults That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Starting

Before you start going through the following list of possible issues ensure that your machine hasn’t been inadvertently switched off, plus that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

This is also an opportune moment to see if the child lock isn’t on and try resetting your machine.

You will often need the user manual to do this as machines vary however the child lock is usually quite simple to activate inadvertently. Similarly, if the dishwasher has lights however will not run, the solution could be as easy as resetting the cycle.

When you have ruled out these problems you can start the real troubleshooting.

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

To check these electrical components you will have to have a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to measure the resistance as well as check the electrical components are working as they are meant to.

Checking the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your dishwasher is not designed to start if these are faulty for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to accidentally begin the dishwasher with the door ajar.

A broken switch will prevent your machine from turning on and completing a cycle. You may wish to check the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be found behind the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure the machine is disconnected prior to accessing the door panel and checking for continuity to ensure you do not get an electric shock.

If the latches or switches are not working you will need to replace them.

Testing the Timer

If the door latch and door latch switch, are working as they should the next thing to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes electricity to all the other components the machine requires to operate such as the pumps, as well as the water inlet valve.

If your machine is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it could have to be checked while live, in which case you will need to call a repair person.

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the component that selects the cycle , it’s style and location will vary contingent on the make and model of your machine. A broken selector switch or one that has got stuck might result in the machine not to turn on.

You can usually visually check to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you may be required to unplug the dishwasher in order to have a look at the control panel to test the connections for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that could result in your machine not running, and this might be the fault if you have tested the control panel and thus know that there is power going to the motor.

To check this you need to find the motor as well as locate the relay that will usually be located next to the motor. This could then be removed as well as tested with the help of a multimeter, if faulty you may have to replace it.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

If you have tested the above issues and are still looking for the problem the next component to check would be the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is there to stop the control board overheating.

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.

Testing the Drive Motor

The final component you could investigate that may stop your dishwasher from running is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

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

You should be able to access the motor by taking off the lower access panel. Check it using a multimeter then replace if not working.

When to Get in Touch With an Engineer

If you don’t have a multimeter and are not confident in taking panels off your machine and checking the electrical components then you will be better off calling a professional sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to perform the above checks then you may well be able to resolve the fault without assistance. However if you are con confident it might be easier to contact an engineer.

And examine your warranty and your home cover as appliance repairs might be included and so the costs might not be as high as you think.

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