Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher has stopped working is never going to be the highlight your day, especially if you are also faced with the expense of calling out an engineer as well as staying home to meet them just to determine the problem.

Fortunately it’s very feasible to pinpoint and often resolve plenty of machine issues by yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to are able to find a multimeter.

You could discover you can sort out the issue quite easily by yourself, especially if you are good at DIY, and if not at worst you will have a better idea of the fault when you eventually do phone a repair man.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of looking for a replacement machine there are a few simple faults you should be able to identify fairly easily.

Safety Warning: Always make sure your dishwasher is unplugged before testing or replacing any electrical components.

Common Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Machine From Turning On

In advance of going through the following list of potential faults ensure that your machine hasn’t been unplugged, and that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

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

You will probably require the user manual to do this as machines vary but the child lock tends to be quite simple to put on inadvertently. Likewise, the dishwasher could have power however will not run, in this case the answer might be as simple as resetting the program.

Once you have eliminated these problems you can start the real troubleshooting.

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

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

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 machine is designed not to start if these are broken for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want start the machine without meaning to with the door open.

A faulty switch will stop your dishwasher from turning on as well as running. You may wish to test the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be located behind the front door panel or control panel.

Double check you have disconnected power to the dishwasher prior to taking off the door panel plus testing for continuity to prevent yourself from getting 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 the door latch and door latch switch, are working as they should the next component to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes electricity to all the different components the machine requires to run including the motor, as well as the water inlet valve.

If your machine has an electronic control as opposed to a mechanical timer then it might have to be checked while live, in which case you should call a repair person.

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the part of the dishwasher that chooses the cycle , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make and model of your machine. A not working 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 could be required to unplug the machine and access the control panel to test the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that could result in your machine not starting, and this might be the problem if you have checked the control panel and so have discovered that there should be power going to the main pump.

To investigate if this is the case you need to gain access to the motor and locate the relay that should be mounted next to it. This could then be removed plus checked with the help of a multimeter, if broken you may have to replace it.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

When you have tested the above issues and are yet to find the fault the next part of the dishwasher to test is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers have a thermal fuse.

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

Checking the Drive Motor

The final component you can test that could stop your machine from working is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

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

You can usually access the motor by removing the lower access panel. Check it by using a multimeter then replace if faulty.

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 need to call a repair person sooner rather than later.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you may well be able to resolve the problem without needing a professional. But if you are con confident it might be easier to contact an engineer.

Plus examine your insurance plus your home cover as dishwasher repairs may be included meaning the costs might be less than you were expecting.

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