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How To Fix A Dishwasher That Isn't Responding

How To Fix A Dishwasher That Won't Respond

Is your dishwasher just sitting there, aimlessly not starting? Here are some things to check, and tips and tricks to try, before you go running to a service man and face those costly repair bills. Make sure you switch off the power to the machine before attempting any repairs.

Firstly, you will need to check your door latch switch.

  • Obviously, the door latch's job is to keep the door shut tight while the dishwasher does its thing, preventing water from leaking out. The door latch switch also helps by supplying power to the dishwasher controls. If either of these are faulty, then obviously your dishwasher could have an issue. If the foor is not shutting properly, the cycle will not begin, as the switches will not be activated. If the switches themselves are failing, then the dishwasher controls will not receive power for the dishwasher to begin.

  • Inspect the latch assembly, including the switches. This is usually located at the top of the door, behind the inner door panel. The door latch assembly typically has two switches that are wired in series as a safety feature. Check if the door catch will activate the switches by manually inserting the catch into the latch. If both switches that are activated, then you should nect check the switches with a multi-meter (make sure to turn the power off to your machine first). This will allow you to determine whether it is the door latch or faulty switches causing your machine not to start.

  • Check The Timer Or Electronic Control

  • Usually, the first job of a dishwasher is to remove any standing water that might be left in the tub. Therefore, if you don't hear the drain pump motor kicking into action, you should check the timer or electronic control.

  • With manual timer modes, it is the timer that supplies power to the pump motor, water inlet valve, heater circuit, and drain pump motor in the correct sequence. So, basically it controls yout whole dishwasher cycle. It is powered by a series of electrical contacts driven by a small motor. These are all encased in the timer housing. You can checkk the timer contacts with a multi-meter to ensure power is able to flow and access the timer, setting off the sequence. Use your model's schematic diagram to see which contacts control the motor and inlet valve circuits.

  • Remember to turn off the power to your machine before attempting to any electrical repairs. On electronic control models, it is the main circuit board that performs these same functions as the mechanical timer. However, this uses a microprocessor and electric relays to control the motor and inlet valve circuits. These can again be checked with a multi-meter, however this is only possible when there is a live voltage and therefore should only be checked by someone extremely confident and familiar with electrical devices to avoid any accidents. However, most electronic control models will display a fault code when something fails. You will most likely need to remove the inner door panel to gain access to the mechanical timer and the electronic control board, and this is where they are typically located.

  • The Selector Switch

  • This is used to chose which options you want for the cycle, like heated dries and headed wash cycles. It can also be used in the motor or fill circuit and therefore - if it fails - cause the dishwasher to not start. Check to see if the switch is properly depressed before attemting any disassembly. You can use a multi-meter to check continuity to the switch using the schematic diagram to determine the contacts. Typically located on the control panel, to access the selector switch you will need to remove the inner door panel.

  • The Start Relay

  • Some models also use a start relay on the main pump motor to supply power to the motor start windings. If your dishwasher won’t start – and you’ve determined that the motor is receiving power from the control circuit, then your problem could be being caused by the motor start relay. Usually mounted next to the motor, you can check for continuity using a multi meter, checking also the wiring diagram for the dishwasher. The coil portion of the relay should show continuity continuously, and the switch contact portion only when activated. This can manually be activated to test for continuity by turning it upside down and allowing the plunger to drop.

  • The Thermal Fuse

  • Some models also use a thermal fuse which protests the control board. Normally found on the top side of the circuit board assembly, there will be two wires attached to it. If the thermal fuse fails, then the control board will be unable to receive power, therefore your dishwasher will not start. To check if the thermal fuse is functional, access the control panel by removing the inner door and then remove the two wires from it. Then you will be able to check continuity using a multi meter. Remember to turn off and disconnect all power to your machine before attempting any repairs to avoid any accidents.

  • The Drive Motor

  • Finally, it could be your drive motor that is causing you the trouble. The drive motor’s job is to circulate the water that washes the dishes. Electrical power is supplied to the drive motor through the timer or the electronic control, as well as the start relay. If the motor fails to start – even after the start relay has sent power to the motor – then this could mean that it is the motor that is defective. You can test the motor windings for continuity with a multi meter. You may hear a load, humming noise coming from the motor which could indicate that it’s seized. If so, this means it needs replacing. Don’t forget to switch off and disconnect all power to the machine to avoid any accidents.

To find spare parts compatible with your specific dishwasher, you will need the model (type) number. This is usually made up of a combination of numbers and letters and can be found on the type plate which can be located on the inside of the dishwasher door, or all the way at the bottom (under the door, almost on the floor). In our shop, if you search by this number, you will be shown all the parts we have available that are suitable for your machine. Read here if you need help finding your type number.

Get In Touch

Let us know if this has helped you solve your problem on our Facebook. If you have any questions or queries about the spare parts you might need, then feel free to send us an email at, or get in touch with us via our contact form. Remember to include your model (type) number so we can make sure we're searching for the right parts for you.

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