Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher has stopped working is never going to be the best part of your day, particularly if you are also faced with the expense of calling out an engineer as well as staying home to let them in just to pinpoint the fault.

Fortunately it’s often easy to determine and even resolve many machine problems by yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you own a multimeter.

You may realize you can resolve the issue 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 fault 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 number of possible issues you can troubleshoot without too much trouble.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Problems That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Starting

Before you start investigating your machine for problems make sure that your dishwasher hasn’t been switched off, and that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

At this point you may wish to also check that the child lock hasn’t been activated and try resetting your dishwasher.

You will most likely require the user manual for this due to the fact that models vary however the child lock is usually quite simple to activate inadvertently. Similarly, the dishwasher might have lights but will not start, in this case the solution could be as easy as resetting the cycle.

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

    1. Have a look at the door latch or door latch switch.
    2. Check the timer.
    3. Test the selector switch.
    4. Test 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 test the resistance and test the components are working as they are meant to.

Examining the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches and door latch switches. Your dishwasher is designed not to start if these are not working for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want run the dishwasher without meaning to with the door open.

A faulty switch will stop your dishwasher from starting plus running. You should test the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally located under the front door panel or control panel.

Double check you have disconnected power to the machine before accessing the door panel plus testing 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 the door latch plus door latch switch, are working as they are meant to the next thing to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes electricity to all the different parts the machine requires to run such as the motor, as well as the valves.

If your dishwasher has an electronic control as opposed to a mechanical timer then it might have to be checked while connected, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the part of the dishwasher that selects the cycle and will vary depending on the make or model of your machine. A broken selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged could cause the machine not to turn on.

You should be able to visually check to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you might need to unplug the dishwasher in order to access the control panel to test the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another component that could result in your machine not running, and this may be the problem if you have tested the control panel and have ascertained that there is power going to the main pump.

To test this you will have to find the motor plus locate the relay that will usually be mounted next to it. This may then be taken out as well as tested with a multimeter, if broken it could have to be replaced.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

When you have tested the above issues and are yet to find the issue the next part of the machine to test is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all machines have a thermal fuse.

If the fuse 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 could check that may prevent your dishwasher from running is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

When you have tested the other electrical components yet still haven’t discovered the issue this could be the culprit particularly if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

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

When to Contact a Repair person

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

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you might well be able to sort out the fault without assistance. Yet if you are unsure it might be easier to contact an engineer.

Don’t forget to have a look at your warranty plus your home cover as appliance repairs might be covered and so the expense might be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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