Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher has stopped working isn’t a good way to start your day, especially if you have to deal with the cost of phoning a professional plus staying home to let them in just to diagnose the issue.

The good news is it’s often easy to determine and often fix many dishwasher faults by yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to have a multimeter.

You could discover you can fix the fault quite easily by yourself, especially if you are mechanically minded, and if you can’t at worst you will have a better idea of the problem when you do phone a repair person.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of looking for a replacement machine there are a few common faults you should be able to identify without too much trouble.

Safety Warning: Never attempt repairs while your machine is plugged in.

Common Dishwasher Problems That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Starting

Before you begin going through the following list of potential issues make sure that your dishwasher hasn’t been switched off, as well as that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

This is also an opportune moment to check if the child lock isn’t on as well as try resetting your dishwasher.

You will probably need the user guide to do this as models vary but the child lock tends to be fairly simple to engage inadvertently. Likewise, the machine may have lights yet will not start, in this case the solution may be as simple as resetting the cycle.

When you have eliminated these faults it’s time for the real detective work to begin.

    1. Investigate the door latch or door latch switch.
    2. Examine the timer.
    3. Examine the selector switch.
    4. Examine the motor relay.
    5. Examine the thermal fuse.
    6. Check the drive motor.

To examine these parts you will have to have a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to measure the resistance as well as test the components are working as they should.

Testing the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your dishwasher is designed not to operate if these are not working for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to inadvertently run the machine with the door not closed.

A defective switch will prevent your machine from starting plus operating. You should test the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be located behind the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure you have disconnected power to the dishwasher before accessing the door panel as well as checking for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

If you discover the latches or switches are faulty you will need to replace them.

Testing the Timer

If you have tested your door latch as well as door latch switch and ascertained they are operating as they should the next thing to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes electricity to all the different electrical components the machine requires to operate such as the pumps, as well as the valves.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it might have to be checked while plugged in, in which case you will need to call a repair person.

Checking the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the part of the dishwasher that chooses the program and will vary depending on the make and model of your dishwasher. A broken selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed may result in the dishwasher not to run.

You can usually see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you may need to disconnect the dishwasher in order to have a look at the control panel to check the contact points for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that can result in your dishwasher not starting, so this might be the issue if you have checked the control panel and so have discovered that there is power running to the main pump.

To check if this is the case you will have to find the motor as well as locate the relay that should be mounted next to the motor. This could then be taken out and checked using a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

When you have investigated all the above but still haven’t found the problem the next part of the machine to investigate is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers have a thermal fuse.

If it will need to be replaced in order to restore power to the control board.

Examining the Drive Motor

The final component you can check that could prevent your machine from operating is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

Once you have tested the other parts yet still aren’t getting anywhere this may be the culprit particularly if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You can usually access the motor by removing the lower access panel. Check it by using a multimeter then replace if not working.

When to Get in Touch With a Professional

If you don’t have a multimeter or are not confident in taking panels off your dishwasher and checking the components then you will be better off calling a repair person sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to perform the above checks then you might well be able to fix the issue without needing a professional. But if you are not sure it might be easier to contact an engineer.

And examine your warranty and your home cover as appliance repairs could be included and so the expense may not be as high as you think.

More Dishwasher Problems:

  • Dishwasher Being Loud
  • Dishwasher Leaking
  • Dishwasher Not Draining
  • Dishwasher Not Drying
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