Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher isn’t working isn’t a good way to begin your day, especially if you are also faced with the expense of phoning a professional and taking time off work to meet them just to determine the problem.

Luckily it’s possible to pinpoint and even fix many machine problems by yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you have a multimeter.

You may realize you are able to fix the fault quite easily by yourself, especially if you are quite handy, and if you can’t at least you will have a better idea of the problem when you do have to call a repair man.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of considering a new dishwasher there are a number of common problems you should be able to troubleshoot without too much trouble.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Issues That Will Prevent Your Machine From Starting

In advance of investigating your machine for issues ensure that your dishwasher hasn’t been accidentally switched off, plus 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 and try resetting your dishwasher.

You will probably need the manual for this as models vary however the child lock tends to be fairly easy to put on inadvertently. Similarly, the dishwasher could have power yet will not start, in this case the answer could be as easy as resetting the cycle.

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

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

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

Testing the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to test is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your dishwasher is not designed to run if these are broken for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to inadvertently begin the dishwasher with the door ajar.

A faulty switch will stop your machine from turning on plus running. You may wish to check the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be located under the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure the machine is disconnected before removing the door panel as well as testing for continuity to make sure you do not get an electric shock.

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

Testing the Timer

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

This is the part of the machine that sends power to all the other parts the machine needs to operate including the motor, and the water inlet valve.

If your machine has an electric control rather than a mechanical timer then it could have to be checked while plugged in, in which case you should call a repair person.

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the component that chooses the program and will vary contingent on the make and model of your dishwasher. A faulty selector switch or one that has got stuck may result in the machine not to run.

You can usually see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you could need to unplug the machine in order to gain access to the control panel to check the contact points for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another component that can result in your machine not running, thus this may be the problem if you have checked the control panel and thus have ascertained that there is power running to the motor.

To investigate this you need to locate the motor plus find the relay that will usually be mounted next to it. This may then be removed and checked with the help of a multimeter and it may need to be replaced.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

Once you have checked all the above and are yet to find the fault the next part to check is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all machines have a thermal fuse.

If 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 could investigate that may prevent your machine from working is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

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

You can usually locate the motor by removing the lower access panel. Test it using a multimeter then 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 be better off calling a repair person sooner rather than later.

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

Plus have a look at your warranty and your home cover as appliance repairs might be included meaning the costs could be less than you were expecting.

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