Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher has stopped working isn’t a great way to begin your day, especially if you have to deal with the expense of phoning a repair person plus taking time off work to meet them just to diagnose the problem.

The good news is it’s possible to diagnose and often sort out plenty of dishwasher issues alone without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you own a multimeter.

You could realize you are able to resolve the problem quite easily alone, particularly if you are good at DIY, and if you can’t at least you will be better placed to describe the problem when you do call a repair person.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you begin looking for a replacement machine there are a number of possible problems you can troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Common Dishwasher Faults That Will Prevent Your Machine From Starting

In advance of checking your dishwasher for issues 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 isn’t on as well as try resetting your machine.

You will most likely require the manual for this as models are all different but the child lock is often quite easy to put on accidentally. Likewise, the machine may have lights yet will not run, in this case the solution may be as simple as resetting the cycle.

When you have eliminated these issues you can start the real troubleshooting.

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

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

Checking the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to check is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your machine is not designed to run if these are broken for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want start the machine without meaning to with the door not closed.

A broken switch will stop your machine from turning on and operating. You should check the switch with a multimeter. The switch is generally situated under the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure the dishwasher is unplugged before taking off 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 to replace them.

Checking the Timer

If you have tested your door latch and door latch switch and ascertained they are operating correctly the next thing to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes electricity to all the different electrical components the machine requires to run such as the motor, and the water inlet valve.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it could have to be checked while connected, in which case you should call a repair man.

Testing the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the cycle , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make and model of your dishwasher. A not working selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed might cause the machine not to run.

You should be able to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you might have to unplug the dishwasher in order to have a look at 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 part that may result in your machine not starting, and this may 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 this you need to find the motor plus locate the relay that should be located next to the motor. This could then be removed and checked with a multimeter and it may have to be replaced.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

When you have investigated all the above and are yet to find the issue the next component to check would be the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present 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 to restore power to the control board.

Examining the Drive Motor

The final component you could test that might prevent your dishwasher from running is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

If you have tested the other parts yet still haven’t discovered the issue this could be the cause of the problem particularly if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You can usually access the motor by taking off the panel at the bottom of the machine. Check it using a multimeter then replace if broken.

When to Contact a Repair person

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 a repair person.

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

Don’t forget to have a look at your warranty as well as your home cover as appliance repairs could be covered and so the costs might not be as high as you think.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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