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Diagnosing A Dishwasher That Won't Start

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A dishwasher is a great convenience to have in your home. You could spend a considerable amount of time in front of your sink washing the dishes by hand or you could invest in a dishwasher that will free up your valuable time. The average lifespan of a dishwasher is 9 years, according to a study conducted by the National Association of Home Builders. When your dishwasher starts to experience problems way before 9 years is up, you will likely want to fix it instead of replacing it. Diagnosing a broken dishwasher does not require a professional. With just a little knowledge about the unit, you can discover what is causing it not to work so you save time and money. Here are some ways to diagnose your dishwasher effectively.


Most dishwashers are powered by being plugged into the outlet in the wall. The first thing you want to do is be sure it is firmly plugged into the outlet. If you see that it is firmly in the wall, you are going to want to make sure a fuse or breaker has not blown. This can easily be done by checking the breaker box. 

Electrical Wiring

You should see several wires in the back of the unit. These wires can get damaged from rodents, pets, and overuse. Be sure to check each wire for damage. If you do spot any damage, make sure you replace the wire. If you choose to replace the wire yourself, you need to cut off power to the unit to avoid electrocution.


Most dishwashers will not run if the door is not properly latched. This is a safety precaution designed to ensure the dishwasher does not flood your home. In order to check the mechanical component of the door, you will want to check the latch to see if it is working right. Using a multimeter, you want to be sure to test the motor relay, motor, and timer on the appliance. 


If you are constantly using your dishwasher, you can expect the motor to go out eventually. Your motor is located in the back of the unit. When the motor does eventually go out, you can choose to replace just the motor or replace the entire unit. At times, the problem may just be a blockage in the motor or pump. Before replacing it, you should check for any blockages where debris has gotten into it. 

If none of these tips help, contact a dishwasher repair company for a professional diagnosis.