Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher has stopped working isn’t a great way to start your day, especially if you are also faced with the cost of calling out a repair person as well as taking time off work to meet them just to diagnose the issue.

Luckily it’s very feasible to pinpoint and even sort out plenty of dishwasher faults yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you own a multimeter.

You may discover you are able to fix the fault quite easily yourself, 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 eventually do phone a repair man.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of looking for a replacement machine there are a few possible issues you can troubleshoot without too much issue.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Faults That Will Prevent Your Machine From Starting

Before you start checking your machine for faults ensure that your dishwasher hasn’t been unplugged, plus that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

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

You will often require the user manual for this as models are all different however the child lock tends to be quite simple to activate without meaning to. Similarly, if the machine has lights but will not start, the answer could be as simple as resetting the program.

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

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

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

Testing the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your machine is not designed to operate if the door latches are broken for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want begin the machine without meaning to with the door open.

A defective switch will prevent your machine from turning on plus running. You may wish to check the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be found under the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure the dishwasher is disconnected before removing the door panel plus checking for continuity to make sure you do not get an electric shock.

If the latches or switches are not working you will need a replacement door latch assembly.

Testing the Timer

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

This is the part of the machine that distributes power to all the different electrical components the machine needs to operate such as the motor, and the valves.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it could need to be tested while live, in which case you will need to call a repair person.

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the component that chooses the program and will vary contingent on the make or model of your machine. A not working selector switch or one that has got stuck might cause the machine not to run.

You should be able to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you may be required to disconnect the machine in order to access the control panel to test the contact points for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that can cause your machine not to start, thus this may be the issue if you have tested the control panel and know that there is power running to the main pump.

To investigate if this is the case you will have to locate the motor plus locate the relay that will usually be mounted next to the motor. This may then be removed and tested with a multimeter and it could need to be replaced.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

When you have checked all the above yet still haven’t found the issue the next part to test would be 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 to restore power to the control board.

Checking the Drive Motor

The final component you can investigate that could prevent your machine from running is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

Once you have checked the other components and still aren’t getting anywhere this might be the cause of the problem particularly if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You should be able to access the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it by using a multimeter and replace if not working.

When to Contact a Professional

Not everyone has a multimeter, or would know how to use one even if they do, in which case you will need to call an engineer.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you may well be able to fix the fault without needing a professional. Yet if you are unsure it’s always better to call in the professionals.

And examine your warranty as well as your home cover as dishwasher repairs could be included which means the costs could be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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