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My Dishwasher is Not Starting - What Can It Be?

The dishes are in the dishwasher and you close the door. You hit the start button and nothing happens. What now? First make sure the dishwasher is getting power. Check your fuse box for blown fuses. If you have circuit breakers, check to see if they are tripped. Make sure the dishwasher's plug is secure in the outlet.

If power is not the problem, take a closer look at some of the electrical parts of your dishwasher. The most common part to fail is the door switch. A door switch is used to start and stop your dishwasher. It's a safety feature that won't allow water to flow with the door open. With a faulty door switch, there is a chance your dishwasher won't start at all.

Dishwasher door switches are about an inch long. They are usually black but can be red. There are metal prongs on the body of the switch called terminals. Some door switches have two terminals and some have three. If your door switch is OK, check the timer assembly. This controls when and how long power is sent to other controls on your dishwasher. If these controls don't receive power, they won't work. The timer assembly contains a motor. Check this motor as well. It is often cheaper just to replace the timer motor rather than the complete assembly.

My last suggestion is to check the cycle selector switches. These switches indicate cycles for washing, drying, and setting the temperature of the water. If one of your switches is the problem your dishwasher may not start. Dishwasher cycle selector switches tell the timer which cycle to run by opening and closing electrical circuits. Most selector switches are six to eight inches long. They are usually black and have terminals. By testing each one of these parts with an ohmmeter you should be able to determine why your dishwasher is not working. It is possible for other parts to fail but these are the most common parts to check.


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