Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher has stopped working is never going to be the highlight your day, especially if you are also faced with the expense of phoning a professional plus staying home to meet them just to pinpoint the issue.

Luckily it’s often easy to determine and even resolve plenty of dishwasher faults alone without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you have a multimeter.

You could discover you can fix the fault quite easily alone, especially if you are mechanically minded, and if you can’t at worst you will have a better idea of the issue when you do have to call an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you start searching for a replacement machine there are a few simple issues you should be able to identify fairly easily.

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

Routine Dishwasher Faults That Will Prevent Your Machine From Turning On

In advance of going through the following list of potential issues ensure that it hasn’t been accidentally switched off, plus that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

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

You will probably require the user manual for this due to the fact that machines vary however the child lock is often fairly easy to engage without meaning to. Similarly, if the machine has lights yet will not run, the solution may be as simple as resetting the cycle.

When you have eliminated these problems it’s time for the real detective work to begin.

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

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

Examining 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 obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to accidentally run the machine with the door ajar.

A broken switch will prevent your machine from turning on and running. You can check the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally located under the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure you have disconnected power to the machine before accessing the door panel and checking for continuity to ensure you do not get an electric shock.

If you discover the latches or switches are not working you will need to replace them.

Checking the Timer

If the door latch as well as door latch switch, are working as they should the next thing to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes power to all the other components the machine needs to run such as the pumps, as well as the valves.

If your machine has an electric control rather than a mechanical timer 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

This is the part of your machine that selects the program and will vary depending on the make and model of your machine. A broken selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed might result in the machine not to turn on.

You should be able to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you may have to disconnect the machine and access the control panel to test the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that may result in your dishwasher not running, and this might be the issue if you have tested the control panel and thus have discovered that there is power going to the main pump.

To investigate if this is the case you will have to gain access to the motor and locate the relay that should be located next to it. This may then be taken out plus checked with the help of a multimeter, if faulty it could need to be replaced.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

When you have investigated all the above yet still haven’t found the issue the next part of the dishwasher to test is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers have a thermal fuse.

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

Testing the Drive Motor

The final part of the machine you could check that may prevent your dishwasher from operating is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

When you have tested the other parts yet still aren’t getting anywhere this might be the culprit particularly if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You can usually access the motor by removing the lower access panel. Test it by using a multimeter then replace if broken.

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 sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to perform the above troubleshooting then you might well be able to fix the problem without assistance. However if you are unsure it’s always better to call in the professionals.

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

More Dishwasher Problems:

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