Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher has stopped working isn’t a good way to begin your day, particularly if you have to deal with the cost of phoning an engineer and taking time off work to meet them just to pinpoint the issue.

Luckily it’s very feasible to diagnose and often fix a number of machine problems alone without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you have a multimeter.

You may realize you can sort out the fault quite easily alone, particularly if you are good at DIY, and if not at least you will be better placed to describe the fault when you do call a repair person.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of looking for a new machine there are a number of simple issues you can troubleshoot fairly easily.

Safety Warning: Always make sure your dishwasher is unplugged before testing or replacing any electrical components.

Commonplace Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Turning On

In advance of going through the following list of possible issues ensure that your machine hasn’t been accidentally unplugged, and that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

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

You will often require the user guide to do this as machines are all different however the child lock tends to be quite simple to put on without meaning to. Likewise, if the dishwasher has lights yet will not start, the answer may be as easy as resetting the program.

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

  1. Investigate the door latch or door latch switch.
  2. Check the timer.
  3. Examine the selector switch.
  4. Check the motor relay.
  5. Check the thermal fuse.
  6. Test 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 check the parts are operating as they should.

Examining the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first thing to test is the door latches and door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to run if the door latches are faulty for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want start the machine without meaning to with the door open.

A broken switch will prevent your machine from turning on plus completing a cycle. You should check the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be located under the front door panel or control panel.

Double check you have disconnected power to the dishwasher prior to removing the door panel and checking for continuity to make sure you do not get an electric shock.

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

Checking 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 part of the machine that distributes electricity to all the other parts the machine requires to run including the motor, plus the water inlet valve.

If your machine has an electronic control rather than a mechanical timer then it could have to be checked while connected, 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 or model of your machine. A not working selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged may cause the dishwasher not to start.

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

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that can result in your machine not starting, so this could be the issue if you have checked the control panel and so know that there should be power running to the main pump.

To check this you need to gain access to the motor as well as locate the relay that should be mounted next to the motor. This can then be removed plus tested using a multimeter, if faulty it may need to be replaced.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

When you have investigated all the above yet still haven’t found the problem the next component to check is the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is designed to protect the control board.

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

Checking the Drive Motor

The final component you can investigate that might stop your dishwasher from running is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

If you have checked the other components but still aren’t getting anywhere this may be the culprit especially if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

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

When to Contact a Repair person

If you don’t have a multimeter or are not confident in taking panels off your dishwasher and testing the parts then you will need to call an engineer.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you might well be able to sort out the issue without assistance. However if you are con confident it might be easier to call in the professionals.

And examine your insurance and your home cover as appliance repairs could be covered meaning the expense could be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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