Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher isn’t working isn’t a great way to begin your day, especially if you have to deal with the cost of calling out a professional plus taking time off work to let them in just to pinpoint the issue.

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

You may find you are able to fix the issue quite easily alone, especially if you are mechanically minded, and if you can’t at worst you will be better placed to describe the problem when you eventually do phone a repair person.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you start looking for a replacement dishwasher there are a few possible problems you should be able to identify without too much trouble.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Starting

Before you start going through the following list of possible issues make sure that your dishwasher hasn’t been switched off, plus that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

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

You will most likely need the user guide to do this due to the fact that models vary however the child lock tends to be quite simple to activate accidentally. Likewise, the dishwasher could have lights however will not start, in this case the solution might be as easy as resetting the cycle.

When you have eliminated these problems it’s time for the real investigations to start.

  1. Investigate the door latch or door latch switch.
  2. Test the timer.
  3. Check the selector switch.
  4. Check the motor relay.
  5. Test 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 check the components 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 start if these are not working for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to accidentally start the dishwasher with the door ajar.

A defective switch will stop your dishwasher from starting and running. You can check the switch with a multimeter. The switch is generally located behind the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure you have disconnected power to the machine before removing the door panel as well as checking for continuity to make sure you do not get 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 you have tested your door latch and door latch switch and discovered they are working correctly the next component to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that sends power to all the other parts the machine requires to operate such as the motor, and the valves.

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 cycle and will vary contingent on the make as well as the model of your machine. A faulty selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed could result in the dishwasher not to turn on.

You should be able to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you might need to unplug the machine and gain access to the control panel to test the contact points for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that could result in your dishwasher not starting, and this could be the issue if you have tested the control panel and know that there is power running to the main pump.

To investigate if this is the case you need to find the motor plus find the relay that will usually be mounted next to the motor. This can then be taken out as well as checked with the help of a multimeter and it could have to be replaced.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

Once you have checked all the above but still haven’t found the issue the next part to test is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all machines have a thermal fuse.

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.

Examining the Drive Motor

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

Once you have checked the other electrical components but still aren’t getting anywhere this might be the cause of the problem especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You should be able to locate the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Check it with the help of a multimeter and replace if not working.

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 need to call a professional sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to perform the above troubleshooting then you could well be able to fix the problem without needing a professional. However if you are con confident it might be easier to contact an engineer.

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

More Dishwasher Problems:

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