Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher is broken is never going to be the highlight your day, particularly if you are also faced with the expense of calling out a professional as well as staying home to meet them just to determine the problem.

Fortunately it’s possible to determine and often resolve many dishwasher problems by yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to are able to find a multimeter.

You could discover you are able to fix the issue quite easily yourself, especially if you are quite handy, and if you can’t at worst you will have a better idea of the fault when you eventually do phone a repair person.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you begin searching for a new dishwasher there are a few simple faults you should be able to identify without too much issue.

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

Common Dishwasher Faults That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Turning On

Before you start going through the following list of potential issues ensure that your machine hasn’t been accidentally switched off, as well as that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

At this point you should also check that the child lock isn’t on and try resetting your machine.

You will most likely require the user manual for this as machines are all different but the child lock is usually quite simple to activate accidentally. Similarly, if the dishwasher has lights but will not start, the answer may be as simple as resetting the program.

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

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

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

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 operate if the door latches are faulty for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to inadvertently begin the dishwasher with the door ajar.

A broken switch will prevent your dishwasher from turning on as well as operating. You may wish to check the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be located under the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure you have disconnected power to the machine before removing the door panel plus checking 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 latch mechanism is working as it should the next thing to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that sends electricity to all the other parts the machine requires to run such as the pumps, as well as the water inlet valve.

If your dishwasher has an electronic control rather than a mechanical timer then it could have to be tested while live, 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 program , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make and model of your machine. A not working selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged could result in the machine not to run.

You should be able to visually investigate to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you could be required to unplug the dishwasher in order to access the control panel to test the connections for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that may cause your machine not to start, and this could be the problem if you have tested the control panel and know that there is power running to the motor.

To investigate this you will have to find the motor and locate the relay that will usually be mounted next to it. This could then be removed plus checked with the help of a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

When you have checked all the above but still haven’t found the problem the next part to check is the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is designed to stop the control board overheating.

If you locate the fuse and discover it is blown it will need to be replaced in order for the control board to get power.

Testing the Drive Motor

The final component you should be able to test that might prevent your dishwasher from working is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

If you have tested the other components but still haven’t discovered the issue this could be the cause of the problem especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You can usually 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 Get in Touch With an Engineer

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 an engineer.

If you are happy to perform the above troubleshooting then you could well be able to sort out the fault without needing a professional. Yet if you are unsure it’s always better to contact an engineer.

Don’t forget to examine your warranty plus your home cover as appliance repairs could be covered which means the costs could not be as high as you think.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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