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Dishwasher Won’t Start After Power Outage [6 Reasons + Fixes]

Dishwasher Won’t Start After Power Outage [6 Reasons + Fixes]

Doing dishes is one of the most mundane and tedious household chores. But thankfully, innovators have given us dishwashers to take on this burden. One thing, though, like any other appliance, dishwashers are not perfect, and they can sometimes break down, leaving us stuck with a sink full of dirty dishes.

One common issue is when your dishwasher won’t start after a power outage. It’s such a frustrating experience, but there are a few things you can try to get your dishwasher up and running again. So, what should you do if your dishwasher won’t start after a power outage?

For a dishwasher that won’t start, check if it’s receiving power. If it is, press the start/reset button and remain patient for 2 minutes. If nothing happens, reboot it by turning the power supply to the dishwasher off for about 30 seconds and then back on. It should solve the issue unless there’s a problem with the dishwasher itself.

Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn on After a Power Outage?

Your dishwasher may not turn on after a power outage for several reasons. It could be that the power supply to the unit was interrupted, the child lock is on, the door switch is faulty, among other reasons. 

Most homeowners will confirm that it’s not uncommon for dishwashers to remain unresponsive after a power outage. It’s a problem thousands of people around the world face every day. That raises the question – what could really be the causes of this problem?

Well, here are some likely reasons your dishwasher doesn’t turn on;

1. No Power Getting To The Dishwasher

The likely cause of your dishwasher not getting power. So, check to see if power is indeed getting to the dishwasher. Inspect for a tripped circuit breaker, check if the wall outlet the dishwasher is plugged into is on and working, and ensure that the power cord is securely connected to both the outlet and the dishwasher.

2. The Child Lock Is On

Child lock is a feature that prevents accidental start or opening of the dishwasher. It’s a great safety feature, but it can also be frustrating if you forget that it’s on. To see if this is the case, look for a child lock icon on the display or control panel. If it is, consult your dishwasher’s manual for instructions to disable it.

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3. Defective Door Switch

A defective door switch is another common issue. The door switch prevents the dishwasher from starting when the door is open. If the switch is faulty, it will prevent the appliance from powering even when the door is shut. So, locate the door switches at the top and see if they get activated after you close the door. If they do but the washer isn’t starting, then use a multimeter to see if the switch is defective.

4. Thermal Fuse Failure

The thermal fuse is a safety feature that prevents the dishwasher from overheating. If this fuse has blown, it will prevent the dishwasher from receiving any power. Hence, use a multimeter to test the fuse and see if it has blown. You can find the thermal fuse near the dishwasher’s motor.

5. Damaged Selector Switch

The selector switch is the functionality that allows you to select the cycle you want the dishwasher to run. Once this switch develops defects, it can interfere with the machine’s proper functioning and may even keep it from starting. So again, use a multimeter and test the switch for continuity.

6. Check The Timer And Electronic Control

The timer and electronic control are the parts that control the amount of power sent to different parts of the appliance. If they’re defective, then that would mean some vital components may not receive enough power to function.

man-checking-dishwasher

Various Causes Of Power Outages

Causes of power outages range from extreme weather to motor vehicle accidents to faulty equipment and so much more. I mean, we have so many things that rely on electricity nowadays that it’s no wonder power outages are so common.

Here are some of the common causes;

1. Severe Weather

It’s by far the most common cause of power outages. In fact, over half of all power outages are caused by severe weather. Winter storms, thunderstorms, hurricanes, and tornadoes can all damage power lines and equipment.

2. Faulty Power Equipment

No matter how well maintained, power equipment will eventually break down. And here, I’m talking about the power lines, transformers, and other equipment that make up the power grid. When either fails, it can cause a power outage.

3. Fallen Trees

Trees are another common cause of power outages. After all, they’re constantly growing, and their roots can damage underground power lines. Not to mention, high winds can cause trees to fall, which can take down power lines with them.

4. Motor Vehicle Accidents

While not as common as the other causes on this list, motor vehicle accidents are still a leading cause of power outages. Whether it’s a car crashing into a power pole or a large truck taking out low-hanging power lines, accidents happen.

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5. Wildlife Interference

Believe it or not, animals are responsible for a fair share of power outages. Squirrels, birds, snakes, and other small animals can cause power outages by interfering with power equipment.

6. Planned Power Outages

Sometimes, power outages are planned. That’s right; utilities sometimes schedule an outage for maintenance or repair damage. Of course, they try to give customers as much notice as possible. Also, most of these outages are scheduled for the least inconvenient times.

7. High Energy Demand

Finally, power outages can also be caused by high energy demand. This usually happens during extreme weather conditions when everyone is trying to use their heating or air conditioning. When the demand exceeds the supply, it causes a power outage.

What Happens To a Dishwasher When Power Goes Out?

What happens to your dishwasher after the power goes out is that it will cease operating, the same as any other electrical appliance. Dishwashers run on electricity, so if the energy source isn’t there, your dishwasher won’t run.

Now, if your dishwasher was in the middle of a cycle when the power went out, it may resume that cycle once power is restored. Modern dishwashers come with “memory” that allows them to pick up where they left off.

However, if your dishwasher wasn’t in the middle of a cycle when the power went out, it will not start up again on its own. You’ll have to restart it manually. But again, all these depend on the specific model you buy. 

Is It Better To Repair or Replace a Dishwasher?

Whether to repair or replace a dishwasher depends on the nature of the problem. Some problems are minor and don’t require a lot of money to repair. Others, however, may be more serious and expensive to fix, making replacement the better option.

Generally, you should replace your machine if the repair cost is at least 50% of the actual value of the appliance. For repair costs between 33% and 49% of the actual value, you can think about whether or not you want to replace it. But for costs below 33% of the value of the dishwasher, the repair is probably the best option.

Of course, you also have to bring on board other factors. For instance, check the frequency of the problem. If it’s been occurring more often, then a replacement might be the best way to go. Also, take into account how old your dishwasher is. A new appliance might be necessary if you’ve used it for a while.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to repair or replace your dishwasher depends on a variety of factors. Consider the cost of repair, frequency of the problem, and age of your machine, among others, to make the best decision for your home.

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How Do I Reset My Dishwasher After a Power Outage?

To reset your dishwasher after a power outage, ensure it’s connected to power and click the start/reset button on the appliance. Wait for 2 minutes to see how the machine responds. If it doesn’t, then rebooting the entire system is what you need to do next.

And like resetting, rebooting is easy. Get to your circuit breaker box, turn off the switch that controls your dishwasher, wait for a minute, and then turn it back on. Once you’ve done that, get back to your dishwasher and hit the start/reset button again.

If you’re still having issues, it might be a good idea to reach out to a professional for help. Sometimes dishwashers can develop internal problems that are best diagnosed and solved by experts.

Can a Power Outage Damage a Dishwasher?

A power outage won’t damage your dishwasher or any other appliance. Power outage only causes withdrawal of power to the machine, whose absence doesn’t amount to any damage. Even so, the problem begins when the power comes back on because surges can highly affect the functionality of a dishwasher.

You see, after a power outage, it’s likely that power will come with a surge. A surge is a sudden increase in voltage that can either be too high or too low. The former can cause overheating and thus damage your dishwasher, while the latter increases amperage, which can cause some parts to melt down or the appliance to malfunction.

And just in case you’re wondering how a power surge can happen, it’s simple. When supply is interrupted and restored quickly, the sudden flow of electricity causes a surge. The good thing is that there are ways to prevent this from happening. One way is to use a surge protector, which you can plug your appliance into.

Appliances with microprocessors are the most likely to suffer when there’s a power surge. That’s because any surge can quickly fry the sensitive electronic components in the microprocessor. When this happens, it leaves your appliance unresponsive after you try to turn it on.

Final Verdict

It can be frustrating when your dishwasher doesn’t work after a power outage. However, panic is not necessary because the problem is usually not serious. In most cases, you can quickly fix the issue by resetting or rebooting your machine. If that doesn’t work, you might need to replace some parts or get professional help. And as a general rule of thumb, buying a new one is usually the best way to go if the repair cost exceeds 50% of the dishwasher’s value.