Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher isn’t working is never going to be the highlight your day, especially if you have to deal with the cost of phoning a professional plus staying home to meet them just to diagnose the issue.

Luckily it’s often easy to pinpoint and often sort out a number of machine issues alone without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you have a multimeter.

You could realize you can resolve the issue quite easily alone, 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 call an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you begin looking for a replacement dishwasher there are a few common issues you should be able to troubleshoot without too much trouble.

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

Routine Dishwasher Issues That Will Prevent Your Machine From Turning On

In advance of going through the following list of possible issues make sure that your dishwasher hasn’t been accidentally unplugged, as well as that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

This is also an opportune moment to check if the child lock hasn’t been activated and try resetting your dishwasher.

You will probably need the user manual for this as models vary but the child lock is usually quite simple to engage accidentally. Likewise, if the machine has lights yet will not start, the solution might be as easy as resetting the cycle.

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

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

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

Examining the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your dishwasher is designed not to run if these are not working for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to accidentally start the dishwasher with the door open.

A faulty switch will stop your dishwasher from starting and operating. You should check the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally situated under the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure you have disconnected power to the machine prior to taking off the door panel plus 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 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 sends electricity to all the different components the machine needs to operate including the pumps, as well as the water inlet valve.

If your machine is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it might need to be tested while live, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Checking the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the program and will vary depending on the make or model of your dishwasher. A broken selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed might result in the dishwasher not to start.

You should be able to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you may be required to disconnect the machine in order to gain access to the control panel to check the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that may result in your machine not running, and this may be the fault if you have tested the control panel and thus know that there should be power going to the motor.

To check if this is the case you will have to gain access to the motor plus locate the relay that should be located next to the motor. This can then be taken out and tested using a multimeter and it could have to be replaced.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

Once you have checked all the above and are yet to find the issue the next part to check 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.

Testing the Drive Motor

The final part of the dishwasher you should be able to test that might stop your dishwasher from operating is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

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

You should be able to access the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it by using a multimeter then replace if faulty.

When to Get in Touch With an Engineer

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

If you are happy to perform the above troubleshooting then you may well be able to sort out the problem without assistance. But if you are not sure it’s always better to call in the professionals.

And have a look at your warranty plus your home cover as dishwasher repairs might be covered meaning the expense might be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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