Question about Dishwashers
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
SOURCE: My dishwasher simply won't start
Start with the simple things and work your way from there. You will be
amazed how many people call a plumber who flips a breaker or simply
clears a stuck float valve (for $80 minimal fee).
If no lights are coming on.
First check the breaker to the machine.
If you have an exposed power source to the machine such as a plug or junction box open the box and check the wiring is intact and not rusted etc. Take care here and shut the breaker off first.
No go so far?
Check if your float valve is jammed.
The valve is a safety feature to stop the machine from over filling. If anything gets under the valve it will jam open and stop the machine.
Look inside the machine on the floor will be a small float valve. Looks like a small upside down cup. Lift it and clear anything from underneath.
Not the float valve either?
Check the door interlock latch.
Much like a washing machine a dishwasher will only operate with the door closed (or when it thinks it is closed!). There is a metal tab that engages a switch in the door. This is the same switch that activates as you operate the handle to open the door. If it is misaligned it will not signal the machine that the door is closed and the machine will not operate.
You can check this by overriding the locking tab. Put a screwdriver in the door latch and press the switch. You should see the lights come on and power flow to the machine.
Note: if the machine is in run mode you will get water spraying.
To fix this problem bend the tab to properly engage the switch. Or if necessary loosen the screws retaining the switch and move it to correctly align with the tab.
OK now you are into electronics.
First is quite simple. Some units have an internal fuse to protect the control panel. Check that first. Take your time and take care. Turn the breaker off.
The control panel is screwed in place. Remove the screws and gently remove the control panel. Take care not to have parts of the door latch fall out or springs drop out etc. On newer units it is very simple as it is just a circuit board. Look for the fuse and check that it is OK. Replace if necessary with correctly rated thermal fuse.
Do you have water in the bottom of the machine?
Power is there, lights are one, seems to want to work. Water will come in but will not drain.
A small amount around the drain is normal for some machines. This is held to keep the pump primed in some units. However it should not fill the bottom of the unit. You know what it normally looked like so it if is full then you probably have a jammed float valve as above or a clog in the drain.
Remove the cover from the drain in the bottom of the dishwasher. They usually lift out or have a few screws holding them down. Simple to figure out just take your time and try not to force anything. Look for a clog and clear if necessary.
Your drain can run either direct to the drain under the sink or to the disposal unit if you have one. The drain can clog at either point.
Check by disconnecting the drain line from the dishwasher where if connects to the sink or disposal unit. Look for a clog and clear if necessary.
Water exits the machine via the drain pump. If it is not operating the machine will not drain. It will fill usually to the point where the float valve lifts and does its job by stopping the machine before if floods your house.
If you have water in the machine to the point the float valve is lifted then drain it out first.
Your machine should be running now. Lights will come on and it will run again to the point where if fills with water and trips the float valve again. If so then check the pump and timer (see also timer below).
Remove the units as per below.
If your pump is belt driven check he belt (very few have belts).
If direct drive switch the unit on and let if run to the drain cycle. If the pump does not come on check for voltage at the pump during the drain cycle. If you have voltage replace the pump. If not it is the timer that is faulty (see below).
OK now your are getting to some deeper issues. Not necessarily hard but only go here if the simple things are OK.
If you are not getting water into the unit but you have lights on and you hear clicking and the timer runs and things are trying to work then we know you have power and the timer is running.
No water coming to the unit.
Make sure nobody shut the supply line off. There should be a tap under the sink on the water supply line to the unit.
Turn the unit on an listen at the base for a click as the water supply solenoid (electric switch) opens. No click?
Check the solenoid. Remove the machine from under the counter. There will be screws holding it to the underside of the counter. You may have to lower the legs to get it out. They turn with a wrench to lower.
Under the unit where the water supply line comes in is a solenoid switch it opens to allow the water to enter the machine. Water comes in under household pressure (it is not pumped in by the unit). Chances are it is faulty. Replace it as it can't be serviced.
Still no luck?
The unit is guided by a timer. The timer tells the machine what to do and for how long. If it fails the unit will stop or jam in one cycle. If you have a physical switch the you turn to select the type of wash cycle check it. If you are all touch control then replace the whole board or machine.
To check the switch open the control panel above and use a voltage tester to see if you have current at each cycle point. Cleaning sometimes helps if not replace.
Hope this helps you. Please rate this tip for me.
Posted on May 03, 2010
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