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What to Do if the Dishwasher Won't Start?

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A dishwasher that won’t start can be a frustrating experience after a holiday dinner with a large family. If you consider yourself to be somewhat handy, Instead of resorting to washing all of those dishes by hand you may want to try and fix the issue yourself. Here’s everything you need to know to troubleshoot and fix a dishwasher that won’t start.

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Common Reasons Why Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn On

Before you can make any attempt to repair a dishwasher that would not start, you have to first figure out what the reason for the problem is. There are several different issues that can arise preventing your dishwasher from operating. Here are some of the more common possibilities.

The Door Latch May Be The Reason Your Dishwasher is Not Turning On

When you close the door of your dishwasher the latch engages and it sends a signal through a circuit board that lets the appliance know that it’s safe starting the motor and to begin the washing cycle. If the machine doesn’t start, you’ve tried resetting the power and you’re still having no luck your door latch may not be engaging. 0

To test this theory the first thing you should do is to examine the latch visibly for obvious signs of wear. If it looks okay that doesn’t mean it’s working as it should. Try pushing the latch mechanism with your fingers, if it seems to resist your efforts or sticks a little you may still have a problem with the latch that’s preventing your machine from starting to run.

If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start But Has Power it Could Be The Selector Switch

Most modern dishwashers have multiple settings. These usually allow us to change our options for heavy-duty cleaning versus lighter cleaning duties, heated cleaning, etc. To change between the different options available to the operator your dishwasher uses a selector switch.

If this selector switch stops working correctly your appliance doesn’t get the signal to begin. If your machine has buttons that allow you to select the setting check to see if one of them is sticking and try to return it to the off position. Then test a setting again, if the machine starts your issue is the button that’s not disengaging properly.

When the Dishwasher Light’s On But Won’t Start You May Have a Faulty Timer

It’s possible that you’ll see your dishwasher light up as it’s supposed to, but it won’t start. One other common problem that may prevent it from operating is the timer. Your dishwasher goes through different functions as it cycles. That starts with the appliance draining any standing water leftover from the last time you used it. If you don’t hear the machine begin to drain when you start it up, the timer may not be sending the signal to the dishwasher to start the process and begin cleaning.

What to Do When Your Dishwasher Doesn’t Run

A dishwasher is a major appliance like any other. That means there are many moving parts and circuit boards that play a role in how it operates. If you’re not confident in your ability to work with these types of components it’s always best to leave the repair attempts to professionals. For those that do have the basic knowledge needed to try, here are the methods you might use to attempt to fix the problems mentioned above yourself.

Repairing Your Dishwasher’s Door Latch

To repair or replace a door latch on a dishwasher you’re going to need a screwdriver. You’ll need it to remove the inner door panel to access the latch and latch assembly. The latch uses a switch that communicates with a circuit board through connecting wires. If you’re not comfortable working with electrical components it’s best to reach out to a qualified repair company.

The first step is to test check the switch to ensure it is engaging with the wires. If it isn’t it’s the source of your problem. Assuming the switches are working as they should and the latch seems to be engaging you may have a problem with power from the switch to the wires. You can use a multimeter to test this. Once you’ve identified which part of the process is causing the problem you can replace that component.

Fixing a Selector Switch in a Dishwasher

Fixing a selector switch will also require you to remove the inner panel to gain access to the switch. Once you have the panel removed you can use the multimeter we mentioned above to test for power between the switch and its connectors. If there’s no power it probably needs to be replaced. Again if you’re not comfortable working with electrical components always opt for safety first. Contact the professionals at FIX Appliances CA for help.

How to Replace a Faulty Timer in a Dishwasher

The timer in your dishwasher is one of the more complicated components to replace. In most modern dishwashers it’s actually the circuit board and microprocessor that controls the timing function of your machine. This isn’t an easy fix and so unless you’re a qualified technician yourself, we don’t recommend attempting this repair on your own.

I’ve Tried Troubleshooting, but the Dishwasher’s Not Starting

If you’ve exhausted your DIY skills and you can’t quite figure out what the root cause of why your dishwasher would not start, it’s time to call FIX Appliances CA. We have a lot of experience working out why your appliance has stopped and how to fix it. It doesn’t matter whether it won’t turn on at all or the lights are on and the machine just won’t cycle.

Our factory-trained technicians have more than 15 years of hands-on experience troubleshooting potential causes for why your machine isn’t starting and fixing it so you can get back to washing dishes. Contact us today by phone at 1-888-242-0777 or through our quote page.


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