Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher is broken isn’t a good way to start your day, particularly if you are also faced with the cost of calling out a repair person plus taking time off work to meet them just to diagnose the fault.

The good news is it’s often easy to diagnose and often sort out plenty of machine issues by yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you own a multimeter.

You might realize you are able to sort out the problem quite easily yourself, especially if you are good at DIY, and if not at least you will be better placed to describe the problem when you do phone a repair man.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you begin searching for a new machine there are a number of simple problems you can identify fairly easily.

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

Routine Dishwasher Issues That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Turning On

In advance of checking your machine for issues make sure that your dishwasher hasn’t been accidentally switched off, plus that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

At this point you should also check that the child lock hasn’t been activated plus try resetting your machine.

You will probably need the manual for this due to the fact that machines are all different but the child lock tends to be fairly simple to engage without meaning to. Likewise, the machine might have power but will not start, in this case the answer may 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. Check the timer.
    3. Examine the selector switch.
    4. Test the motor relay.
    5. Check the thermal fuse.
    6. Test the drive motor.

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

Checking the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches and door latch switches. Your dishwasher is designed not to start if the door latches are faulty for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want start the dishwasher without meaning to with the door open.

A broken switch will prevent your dishwasher from starting plus running. You should test the switch with a multimeter. The switch is generally situated behind the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure you have disconnected power to the machine before taking off the door panel plus testing for continuity to make sure you do not get an electric shock.

If the latches or switches are faulty you will need a replacement door latch assembly.

Testing the Timer

If you have tested your door latch and door latch switch and ascertained they are operating correctly the next component to check is the timer or electronic control.

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

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it might 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

The selector switch is the part of the dishwasher that selects the cycle , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make or model of your machine. A not working selector switch or even one that has not been fully pressed down may cause the machine not to start.

You can usually visually investigate to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you might need to disconnect the machine and access the control panel to check the connections for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that can result in your dishwasher not starting, so this might be the problem if you have tested the control panel and so have discovered that there should be power going to the motor.

To check if this is the case you need to gain access to the motor and locate the relay that should be located next to the motor. This may then be removed plus tested with the help of a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

If you have investigated all the above and are yet to find the problem the next part of the machine to investigate would be the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is designed 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.

Examining the Drive Motor

The final component you can check that might stop your dishwasher from running is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

If you have tested the other electrical components yet still aren’t getting anywhere this may be the cause of the problem 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. Test it by using a multimeter then replace if faulty.

When to Contact a Repair person

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

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you may well be able to fix the problem without needing a professional. But if you are unsure it’s always better to call in the professionals.

Plus examine your insurance plus your home cover as dishwasher repairs could be covered meaning the costs might not be as high as you think.

More Dishwasher Problems: