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 expense of calling out a repair person and taking time off work to meet them just to determine the problem.

Fortunately it’s often easy to determine and even sort out many dishwasher issues by yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to own a multimeter.

You could discover you can sort out the problem quite easily alone, particularly if you are good at DIY, and if you can’t at worst you will have a better idea of the issue when you do call an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you start looking for a replacement dishwasher there are a few possible faults you should be able to identify fairly easily.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Machine From Starting

In advance of checking your dishwasher for faults make sure that your machine hasn’t been inadvertently unplugged, and that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

This is also a good time to check if the child lock hasn’t been activated and try resetting your machine.

You will probably require the user guide to do this due to the fact that machines vary however the child lock is often fairly simple to engage without meaning to. Similarly, the machine could have power however will not start, in this case the answer may be as simple as resetting the cycle.

Once you have eliminated these faults it’s time for the real troubleshooting to start.

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

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

Checking the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first thing to check is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your dishwasher is designed not to operate if the door latches are broken for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to inadvertently start the dishwasher with the door ajar.

A faulty switch will prevent your machine from starting plus completing a cycle. You should check the switch with a multimeter. The switch is generally located behind the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure the machine is disconnected prior to accessing the door panel and testing for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

If you discover the latches or switches are not working you will need a replacement door latch assembly.

Testing the Timer

If the door latch plus door latch switch, are working as they should the next component to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes power to all the different parts the machine requires to run such as the pumps, and the water inlet valve.

If your machine is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it may 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

The selector switch is the component that selects the program and will vary contingent on the make as well as the model of your dishwasher. A faulty selector switch or one that has got stuck could cause the dishwasher not to start.

You should be able to visually investigate to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you might have to disconnect the machine and access the control panel to test the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that can cause your machine not to run, thus this could be the issue if you have tested the control panel and so have discovered that there is power running to the main pump.

To test if this is the case you need to find the motor and locate the relay that will usually be mounted next to it. This could then be taken out as well as tested using a multimeter, if faulty it may have to be replaced.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

Once you have tested all the above but still haven’t found the problem the next part of the dishwasher to test would be the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is there to stop the control board overheating.

If you locate the fuse and discover it is blown 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 can investigate that might prevent your machine from running is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

Once you have tested the other parts and still aren’t getting anywhere this could be the cause of the problem particularly if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

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

When to Get in Touch With a Professional

Not everyone has a multimeter, or would know how to use one even if they do, in which case you will be better off calling an engineer.

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

And have a look at your warranty and your home cover as appliance repairs may be included meaning the costs may be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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