Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher isn’t working isn’t a great way to start your day, especially if you are also faced with the cost of calling out a repair person plus taking time off work to let them in just to determine the problem.

Fortunately it’s possible to diagnose and often fix plenty of machine problems alone without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you are able to find a multimeter.

You might 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 be better placed to describe the issue when you do have to call an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of looking for a replacement machine there are a number of possible issues you can troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Issues That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Starting

In advance of going through the following list of possible problems ensure that your dishwasher hasn’t been inadvertently unplugged, and that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

This is also an opportune moment to see if the child lock isn’t on and try resetting your machine.

You will probably need the manual to do this due to the fact that models are all different but the child lock is often fairly simple to put on inadvertently. Similarly, if the machine has lights but will not run, the answer could be as easy as resetting the cycle.

Once you have ruled out these issues it’s time for the real investigations to begin.

    1. Have a look at the door latch or door latch switch.
    2. Test the timer.
    3. Examine the selector switch.
    4. Test the motor relay.
    5. Examine the thermal fuse.
    6. Test the drive motor.

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

Testing the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to check is the door latches and door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to run if the door latches are broken for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want start the dishwasher without meaning to with the door open.

A defective switch will prevent your dishwasher from starting and running. You should check the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be situated under the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure you have disconnected power to the machine prior to taking off the door panel and checking for continuity to make sure you do not get an electric shock.

If you discover the latches or switches are faulty you will need a replacement door latch assembly.

Checking the Timer

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

This is the component that distributes power to all the different components the machine needs to operate such as the pumps, and the water inlet valve.

If your machine has an electronic control as opposed to a mechanical timer then it might have to be tested while connected, in which case you will need to call a repair man.

Testing the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the program , it’s style and location will vary contingent on the make or model of your dishwasher. A not working selector switch or one that has got stuck may result in the machine not to turn on.

You should be able to visually check to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you may have to disconnect the dishwasher and gain access to the control panel to check the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that can result in your machine not starting, thus this may be the problem if you have tested the control panel and so have ascertained that there is power going to the motor.

To check if this is the case you need to gain access to the motor plus locate the relay that should be mounted next to it. This may then be taken out plus tested with a multimeter, if faulty it might need to be replaced.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

If you have tested the above issues yet still haven’t found the problem the next component to test is the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is designed to protect the control board.

If you locate the fuse and discover it is blown it will need to be replaced in order for the control board to get power.

Testing the Drive Motor

The final component you can investigate that could stop your machine from operating is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

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

You can usually access the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Check it with the help of a multimeter then replace if broken.

When to Contact a Repair person

If you don’t have a multimeter and are not confident in taking panels off your dishwasher and checking the components then you will need to call a repair person.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you might well be able to fix the problem without assistance. However if you are not sure it might be easier to call in the professionals.

Plus have a look at your warranty plus your home cover as dishwasher repairs might be included and so the expense could be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

  • Dishwasher Being Loud
  • Dishwasher Leaking
  • Dishwasher Not Draining
  • Dishwasher Not Drying
CLICK-TO-CALL