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 are also faced with the cost of calling out a professional plus staying home to meet them just to diagnose the fault.

The good news is it’s possible to determine and even fix plenty of machine problems yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to own a multimeter.

You may find you can fix the issue quite easily by yourself, especially if you are mechanically minded, and if not at least you will have a better idea of the problem when you eventually do phone an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of considering a replacement machine there are a few simple faults you should be able to identify without too much issue.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Problems That Will Stop Your Machine From Starting

Before you begin checking your machine for faults make sure that your machine hasn’t been accidentally switched off, 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 and try resetting your machine.

You will most likely need the user guide to do this due to the fact that models vary but the child lock is often quite simple to engage accidentally. Likewise, the machine might have power but will not run, in this case the solution may be as easy as resetting the program.

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

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

To examine these components you will need a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to test the resistance plus test the electrical components are operating as they are meant to.

Testing the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first thing to test is the door latches and door latch switches. Your machine is not designed to start if the door latches are faulty for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want run the machine without meaning to with the door ajar.

A broken switch will stop your machine from starting and completing a cycle. You should check the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be located under the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure you have disconnected power to the machine prior to taking off the door panel as well as checking for continuity to make sure you do not get an electric shock.

If you discover the latches or switches are not working you will need a replacement door latch assembly.

Checking the Timer

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

This is the component that distributes electricity to all the other electrical components the machine requires to operate including the motor, and the valves.

If your machine has an electronic control rather than a mechanical timer then it may have to be tested while live, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Checking the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the component that chooses the cycle , it’s style and location will vary contingent on the make as well as the model of your dishwasher. A not working selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged could cause the dishwasher not to turn on.

You should be able to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you might have to unplug the machine and have a look at the control panel to test the connections for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that may cause your machine not to run, so this could be the problem if you have tested the control panel and so have discovered that there is power running to the main pump.

To check if this is the case you need to find the motor as well as locate the relay that will usually be located next to it. This could then be taken out and checked using a multimeter and it might need to be replaced.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

If you have investigated all the above and are yet to find the issue the next part of the machine to investigate is the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is designed to stop the control board overheating.

If you will need to replace it in order to restore power to the control board.

Testing the Drive Motor

The final component you could test that might stop your machine from operating is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

Once you have checked the other parts and still haven’t discovered the issue this could be the cause of the problem 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 broken.

When to Get in Touch With an Engineer

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 undertake the above troubleshooting then you may well be able to fix the problem without assistance. However if you are con confident it’s always better to call in the professionals.

And check your insurance as well as your home cover as appliance repairs may be covered and so the expense might not be as high as you think.

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