Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher isn’t working isn’t a great way to begin your day, especially if you have to deal with the cost of phoning a professional plus taking time off work to meet them just to diagnose the problem.

The good news is it’s possible to determine and often resolve plenty of machine problems yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you are able to find a multimeter.

You might discover you are able to resolve the issue quite easily yourself, particularly if you are mechanically minded, and if you can’t at least you will be better placed to describe the problem when you eventually do phone a repair man.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you begin searching for a new dishwasher there are a few common issues you should be able to identify without too much trouble.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Problems That Will Stop Your Machine From Turning On

In advance of going through the following list of possible issues ensure that your dishwasher hasn’t been accidentally unplugged, as well as that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

This is also an opportune moment to see if the child lock hasn’t been activated as well as try resetting your machine.

You will often need the manual for this as models are all different but the child lock is usually quite easy to put on inadvertently. Similarly, the machine could have lights however will not start, in this case the solution might be as simple as resetting the cycle.

Once you have ruled out these problems 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. Examine the motor relay.
    5. Check 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 test the resistance as well as test the parts are working as they are meant to.

Checking the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to test is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your machine is not designed to start if the door latches are broken for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want run the machine without meaning to with the door ajar.

A broken switch will stop your dishwasher from starting as well as running. You can check the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be found behind the front door panel or control panel.

Double check the dishwasher is unplugged prior to 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.

Checking the Timer

If you have tested your door latch as well as door latch switch and ascertained they are operating correctly the next thing to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that sends electricity to all the other components the machine needs to run including the motor, and the valves.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it may need to be tested while plugged in, in which case you will need to call an engineer.

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the part of the machine that chooses the cycle , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make and model of your machine. A broken selector switch or one that has got stuck might cause the dishwasher not to turn on.

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

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that can cause your machine not to start, and this could be the fault if you have checked the control panel and know that there should be power going to the main pump.

To check this you need to locate the motor as well as locate the relay that should be mounted next to it. This could then be removed as well as checked using a multimeter, if broken you may have to replace it.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

If you have investigated all the above and are still looking for the problem the next component to test is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers have a thermal fuse.

If it will need to be replaced in order for the control board to get power.

Testing the Drive Motor

The final part of the dishwasher you can investigate that might stop your machine from running is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

If you have tested the other parts but still aren’t getting anywhere this could be the culprit especially if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You can usually gain access to the motor by taking off the panel at the bottom of the machine. Check it using a multimeter and 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 components then you will need to call an engineer.

If you are happy to undertake the above checks then you may well be able to fix the issue without needing a professional. Yet if you are con confident it’s always better to contact an engineer.

And examine your insurance as well as your home cover as appliance repairs may be included meaning the costs could be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

  • Dishwasher Being Loud
  • Dishwasher Leaking
  • Dishwasher Not Draining
  • Dishwasher Not Drying
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