Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher isn’t working isn’t a great way to begin your day, particularly if you are also faced with the cost of calling out a professional as well as staying home to let them in just to diagnose the fault.

The good news is it’s very feasible to pinpoint and even resolve plenty of dishwasher problems by yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to are able to find a multimeter.

You could find you can resolve the issue quite easily by yourself, particularly if you are quite handy, and if not at worst you will be better placed to describe the issue when you eventually do phone an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you begin considering a replacement dishwasher there are a few simple issues you can identify fairly easily.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Turning On

In advance of checking your dishwasher for issues make sure that your dishwasher hasn’t been unplugged, plus that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

This is also an opportune moment to check if the child lock hasn’t been activated as well as try resetting your machine.

You will probably need the user manual to do this due to the fact that machines vary however the child lock tends to be quite simple to put on inadvertently. Likewise, the dishwasher could have lights but will not start, in this case the answer might be as easy as resetting the cycle.

Once you have ruled out these issues it’s time for the real troubleshooting to begin.

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

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

Checking the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your machine is not designed to run if these are not working for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to inadvertently begin the machine with the door open.

A faulty switch will prevent your machine from starting and running. You should test the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be located under the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure you have disconnected power to the dishwasher prior to removing the door panel as well as testing for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

If the latches or switches are faulty you will need a replacement door latch assembly.

Testing the Timer

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

This is the component that sends power to all the different parts the machine needs to operate such as the pumps, as well as the water inlet valve.

If your machine is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it could have to be tested 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 machine that selects the program and will vary depending on the make and model of your dishwasher. A faulty selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed may result in the machine not to turn on.

You can usually visually check to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you could be required to disconnect the dishwasher in order to gain access to the control panel to check the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another component that could cause your machine not to run, so this could be the problem if you have checked the control panel and so have discovered that there should be power going to the main pump.

To test if this is the case you will have to gain access to the motor plus find the relay that will usually be mounted next to the motor. This can then be taken out and tested using a multimeter and it might have to be replaced.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

Once you have investigated all the above and are still looking for the problem the next part of the dishwasher to check would be the thermal fuse. Note: Not all machines have a thermal fuse.

If it will need to be replaced in order to restore power to the control board.

Testing the Drive Motor

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

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

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

When to Contact 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 a professional sooner rather than later.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you could well be able to resolve the issue without assistance. Yet if you are unsure it’s always better to contact an engineer.

And examine your warranty and your home cover as appliance repairs could be covered 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