Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher isn’t working isn’t a good way to begin your day, especially if you have to deal with the cost of calling out a repair person plus taking time off work to let them in just to pinpoint the issue.

Fortunately it’s very feasible to pinpoint and even sort out a number of machine issues by yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you are able to find a multimeter.

You may discover you are able to sort out the issue quite easily by yourself, especially if you are mechanically minded, and if not at worst you will have a better idea of the fault 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 few simple issues you can identify without too much trouble.

Safety Warning: Always make sure your machine is unplugged before attempting repairs.

Commonplace Dishwasher Problems That Will Stop Your Machine From Turning On

In advance of checking your machine for issues make sure that it hasn’t been inadvertently unplugged, and that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

This is also a good time to see if the child lock isn’t on as well as try resetting your dishwasher.

You will probably require the user guide for this due to the fact that models vary but the child lock is usually quite easy to activate accidentally. Likewise, if the dishwasher has lights however will not start, the answer may be as easy as resetting the program.

When you have ruled out these issues you can start the real troubleshooting.

    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 components you will have to have a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to measure the resistance and test the components are working as they are meant to.

Examining 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 not designed to run if the door latches are broken for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to accidentally begin the machine with the door not closed.

A broken switch will prevent your machine from starting plus operating. You can check the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally situated under the front door panel or control panel.

Double check the dishwasher is disconnected prior to removing the door panel as well as checking for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

If the latches or switches are not working you will need to replace them.

Testing the Timer

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

This is the part of the machine that distributes electricity to all the different parts the machine requires to operate including the pumps, and the valves.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it may need to be tested while live, in which case you should call a repair person.

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the part of the machine that chooses the cycle and will vary contingent on the make or model of your dishwasher. A not working selector switch or even one that has not been fully pressed down might result in the dishwasher not to turn on.

You can usually see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you could need to unplug the dishwasher and gain access to the control panel to test the connections for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another component that may result in your dishwasher not starting, thus this may be the fault if you have tested the control panel and thus have ascertained that there should be power running to the main pump.

To investigate if this is the case you will have to gain access to the motor plus locate the relay that will usually be mounted next to it. This can then be taken out as well as checked using a multimeter and it could have to be replaced.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

If you have checked the above issues but still haven’t found the problem the next part to investigate is the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is designed to protect the control board.

If you will need to replace it in order to restore power to the control board.

Checking the Drive Motor

The final part of the dishwasher you can investigate that may prevent your dishwasher from working 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 electrical components and still haven’t discovered the issue this might be the culprit especially if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You should be able to gain access to the motor by taking off the lower access panel. Test it with the help of a multimeter and replace if faulty.

When to Contact a Professional

If you don’t have a multimeter and are not confident in taking panels off your dishwasher and checking the components then you will be better off calling a professional.

If you are happy to perform the above troubleshooting then you might well be able to fix the issue without needing a professional. However if you are not sure it’s always better to contact an engineer.

Plus check your warranty plus your home cover as appliance repairs could be included meaning the costs could be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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