Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher is broken isn’t a good way to start your day, especially if you have to deal with the expense of phoning a professional plus staying home to let them in just to diagnose the fault.

Luckily it’s often easy to diagnose and often fix plenty of dishwasher issues alone without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you are able to find a multimeter.

You might find you can sort out the issue quite easily alone, particularly if you are mechanically minded, and if not at least you will be better placed to describe the problem when you do have to phone an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of looking for a replacement machine there are a few simple problems you should be able to identify without too much trouble.

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

Routine Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Turning On

Before you start going through the following list of potential problems make sure that your dishwasher hasn’t been accidentally unplugged, as well as that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

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

You will often require the user guide to do this due to the fact that machines vary but the child lock is usually quite easy to engage inadvertently. Likewise, if the machine has lights but will not run, the answer might be as easy as resetting the program.

When you have eliminated these issues it’s time for the real troubleshooting to start.

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

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

Checking the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to operate if these are faulty for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want run the machine without meaning to with the door ajar.

A defective switch will prevent your dishwasher from turning on plus completing a cycle. You can test the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be located under the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure you have disconnected power to the dishwasher prior to taking off the door panel plus checking for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

If the latches or switches are faulty 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 sends power to all the different electrical components the machine requires to operate such as the pumps, and the water inlet valve.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it might need to be tested while plugged in, in which case you will need to call an engineer.

Testing the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the program and will vary depending on the make and model of your machine. A faulty selector switch or one that has got stuck may cause the dishwasher not to turn on.

You should be able to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you could need to disconnect the dishwasher and gain access to the control panel to test the contact points for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another component that could cause your dishwasher not to start, and this might be the fault if you have tested the control panel and so have ascertained that there should be power going to the motor.

To check this you will have to locate the motor as well as find the relay that should be located next to it. This could then be taken out plus tested with the help of a multimeter, if faulty it might need to be replaced.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

If you have investigated the above issues yet still haven’t found the issue the next part of the machine to test is the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is designed to stop the control board overheating.

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

Testing the Drive Motor

The final component you could check that might stop your dishwasher 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 yet still aren’t getting anywhere this might be the cause of the problem particularly if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You should be able to gain access to the motor by removing the lower access panel. Check it by using a multimeter then replace if broken.

When to Get in Touch With a Professional

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

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you could well be able to fix the issue without needing a professional. However if you are con confident it’s always better to contact an engineer.

Don’t forget to check your warranty plus your home cover as appliance repairs may be included which means the costs might be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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