Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher isn’t working is never going to be the highlight your day, especially if you are also faced with the cost of phoning an engineer and staying home to let them in just to determine the issue.

Fortunately it’s very feasible to determine and often resolve many machine problems yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to are able to find a multimeter.

You might realize you are able to sort out the issue quite easily alone, particularly if you are good at DIY, and if not at least you will be better placed to describe the fault when you do phone a repair person.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you begin considering a replacement dishwasher there are a number of simple faults you should be able to identify fairly easily.

Safety Warning: Never attempt repairs while your machine is plugged in.

Routine Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Machine From Turning On

Before you begin investigating your dishwasher for issues make sure that your dishwasher hasn’t been accidentally switched off, plus that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

At this point you may wish to also check that the child lock hasn’t been activated and try resetting your dishwasher.

You will probably require the user guide for this as machines are all different but the child lock tends to be fairly easy to put on inadvertently. Similarly, if the dishwasher has lights but will not start, the answer might be as simple as resetting the program.

When you have ruled out 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 check these electrical components you will need a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to measure the resistance plus test 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 as well as door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to run if these are faulty for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to inadvertently start the machine with the door not closed.

A faulty switch will prevent your dishwasher from turning on and operating. You can test the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally located behind the front door panel or control panel.

Double check you have disconnected power to the dishwasher before taking off the door panel plus checking for continuity to ensure you do not get an electric shock.

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

Checking the Timer

If the door latch as well as door latch switch, are working as they are meant to the next thing to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that distributes electricity to all the other parts the machine requires to operate including the pumps, plus the valves.

If your dishwasher has an electronic control as opposed to a mechanical timer then it could have to be checked while live, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Checking the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the program , it’s style and location will vary contingent on the make as well as the model of your machine. A faulty selector switch or one that has got stuck might cause the machine not to start.

You should be able to visually investigate to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you may be required to unplug the machine and have a look at the control panel to test the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

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

To check if this is the case you need to gain access to the motor as well as find the relay that will usually be located next to the motor. This may then be taken out plus tested with the help of a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

If you have checked all the above and are yet to find the fault the next part of the machine to investigate is 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 it will need to be replaced in order for the control board to get power.

Testing the Drive Motor

The final component you could investigate that could prevent your machine from working 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 parts yet still haven’t discovered the issue this could be the issue particularly if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You can usually locate the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it with the help of a multimeter and replace if faulty.

When to Get in Touch With an Engineer

If you don’t have a multimeter and are not confident in taking panels off your dishwasher and checking the components then you will be better off calling a repair person.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you might well be able to fix the problem without assistance. But if you are not sure it might be easier to call in the professionals.

And have a look at your warranty and your home cover as appliance repairs may be included meaning the costs may not be as high as you think.

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