Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher has stopped working isn’t a great way to begin your day, particularly if you are also faced with the expense of phoning an engineer as well as staying home to meet them just to pinpoint the issue.

The good news is it’s possible to pinpoint and even sort out a number of machine problems yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you are able to find a multimeter.

You may discover you are able to resolve the fault quite easily by yourself, particularly if you are quite handy, and if not at least you will have a better idea of the issue when you do phone an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of looking for a replacement dishwasher there are a number of common issues you can troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Common Dishwasher Problems That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Turning On

In advance of going through the following list of possible faults ensure that your dishwasher hasn’t been inadvertently unplugged, plus that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

This is also an opportune moment to check if the child lock isn’t on plus try resetting your machine.

You will most likely require the user manual for this due to the fact that machines are all different but the child lock is usually quite simple to activate accidentally. Likewise, if the dishwasher has lights however will not run, the solution might be as easy as resetting the cycle.

Once you have ruled out these problems you can start the real troubleshooting.

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

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

Testing the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to test is the door latches and door latch switches. Your dishwasher is not designed to run if these are faulty for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to accidentally start the dishwasher with the door not closed.

A broken switch will stop your dishwasher from turning on and operating. You should test the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be situated under the front door panel or control panel.

Double check you have disconnected power to the dishwasher before taking off the door panel as well as testing for continuity to make sure you do not get an electric shock.

If you discover the latches or switches are broken you will need to replace them.

Testing the Timer

If your latch mechanism is operating as it should the next component to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes electricity to all the different parts the machine needs to run such as the motor, as well as the water inlet valve.

If your dishwasher has an electric control rather than a mechanical timer then it could need to be checked while plugged in, 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 cycle and will vary contingent on the make or model of your dishwasher. A faulty selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged could cause the dishwasher not to run.

You can usually see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you might be required to disconnect the dishwasher in order to have a look at the control panel to check the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another component that may cause your machine not to start, so this may be the problem if you have checked the control panel and have ascertained that there should be power running to the main pump.

To test if this is the case you will have to gain access to the motor as well as locate the relay that should be located next to it. This could then be removed and tested with a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

Once you have tested all the above yet still haven’t found the issue the next part to check would be the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers have a thermal fuse.

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

Testing the Drive Motor

The final part of the machine you should be able to test that may stop your dishwasher from running is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

If you have checked the other components and still haven’t discovered the issue this could be the culprit particularly if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

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

When to Get in Touch With a Repair person

If you don’t have a multimeter and are not confident in taking panels off your machine and checking the components then you will be better off calling an engineer sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to undertake the above checks then you might well be able to resolve the fault without needing a professional. However if you are unsure it’s always better to call in the professionals.

Plus examine your insurance as well as your home cover as appliance repairs might be included meaning the expense may not be as high as you think.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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