Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher isn’t working is never going to be the best part of your day, especially if you have to deal with the cost of phoning a repair person plus taking time off work to let them in just to determine the fault.

Luckily it’s often easy to pinpoint and even fix many dishwasher issues by yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to own a multimeter.

You could realize you are able to fix the fault quite easily alone, especially if you are quite handy, and if you can’t at least you will have a better idea of the issue when you do have to call an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you start looking for a replacement machine there are a number of common problems you should be able to identify without too much issue.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Problems That Will Stop Your Machine From Turning On

Before you start investigating your dishwasher for issues make sure that your machine hasn’t been inadvertently switched off, plus that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

At this point you may wish to also check that the child lock isn’t on plus try resetting your dishwasher.

You will often require the user manual to do this as machines are all different but the child lock is usually fairly easy to activate without meaning to. Likewise, if the machine has lights however will not start, the answer might be as easy as resetting the program.

Once you have ruled out these problems it’s time for the real detective work to begin.

    1. Have a look at the door latch or door latch switch.
    2. Examine the timer.
    3. Check the selector switch.
    4. Check the motor relay.
    5. Test the thermal fuse.
    6. Test 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 check the parts are working as they should.

Checking the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your machine is not designed to operate if the door latches are broken for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want run the dishwasher without meaning to with the door open.

A defective switch will stop your dishwasher from starting as well as operating. You should test the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be found behind the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure the dishwasher is unplugged before accessing the door panel plus testing for continuity to make sure you do not get an electric shock.

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

Testing the Timer

If the door latch as well as 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 sends electricity to all the different electrical components the machine requires to operate such as the pumps, as well as the valves.

If your machine is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it might have to be tested while plugged in, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Checking the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the component that chooses the program , it’s style and location will vary contingent on the make or model of your dishwasher. A not working selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged could result in the dishwasher not to run.

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

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that can result in your dishwasher not starting, so this could be the issue if you have checked the control panel and so know that there is power going to the motor.

To test if this is the case you will have to locate the motor and find the relay that will usually be mounted next to it. This can then be taken out as well as checked with the help of a multimeter and it could need to be replaced.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

Once you have investigated the above issues yet still haven’t found the problem the next part to investigate would be the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is there to protect the control board.

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

Examining the Drive Motor

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

Once you have tested the other electrical components yet still aren’t getting anywhere this may be the issue particularly if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You can usually gain access to the motor by removing the lower access panel. Test it with the help of a multimeter and replace if broken.

When to Contact an Engineer

If you don’t have a multimeter and are not confident in taking panels off your dishwasher and checking the parts then you will be better off calling a repair person.

If you are happy to perform the above checks then you might well be able to resolve the fault without needing a professional. But if you are not sure it’s always better to call in the professionals.

Don’t forget to check your insurance and your home cover as appliance repairs may be covered and so the expense might be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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