Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher is broken is never going to be the best part of your day, particularly if you are also faced with the expense of calling out an engineer and staying home to meet them just to diagnose the issue.

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

You could find you can sort out the issue quite easily yourself, especially if you are quite handy, and if you can’t at least you will have a better idea of the issue when you eventually do phone an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of considering a new machine there are a few common issues you can identify without too much trouble.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Problems That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Starting

Before you begin checking your dishwasher for issues make sure that your dishwasher hasn’t been inadvertently switched off, as well as that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

This is also a good time to check if the child lock hasn’t been activated and try resetting your dishwasher.

You will most likely need the user guide to do this as models are all different but the child lock is often quite easy to engage inadvertently. Similarly, if the dishwasher has lights yet will not start, the solution may be as simple as resetting the program.

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

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

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

Examining 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 not designed to run if these are not working for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want run the dishwasher without meaning to with the door not closed.

A broken switch will stop your dishwasher from turning on plus running. You should check the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally found behind the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure you have disconnected power to the dishwasher before accessing the door panel as well as testing for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

Testing the Timer

If the door latch plus door latch switch, are working as they should the next thing to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that sends electricity to all the different components the machine needs to run including the motor, as well as the valves.

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

Testing the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the cycle and will vary contingent on the make or model of your machine. A faulty selector switch or one that has got stuck could cause the machine not to turn on.

You should be able to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you might have to disconnect the dishwasher and gain access to the control panel to test the connections for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that could cause your dishwasher not to run, thus this may be the issue if you have checked the control panel and know that there is power going to the motor.

To test this you will have to locate the motor plus find the relay that will usually be located next to it. This could then be removed as well as checked using a multimeter, if faulty you may have to replace it.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

Once you have checked all the above and are still looking for the issue the next part of the machine to test is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all machines have a thermal fuse.

If the fuse 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 test that might stop your dishwasher from operating is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

When you have tested the other electrical components but still aren’t getting anywhere this could be the issue particularly if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You should be able to access the motor by removing the lower access panel. Test it with the help of a multimeter then replace if not working.

When to Contact an Engineer

If you don’t have a multimeter or are not confident in taking panels off your dishwasher and testing the electrical components then you will need to call a professional sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to perform the above troubleshooting then you could well be able to fix the problem without needing a professional. Yet if you are unsure it’s always better to call in the professionals.

Plus check your insurance as well as your home cover as appliance repairs might be included meaning the costs might be less than you were expecting.

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