Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher isn’t working isn’t a fun way to start your day, especially if you are also faced with the expense of calling out a professional and staying home to let them in just to diagnose the fault.

Luckily it’s very feasible to determine and often fix plenty of dishwasher issues by yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you own a multimeter.

You could realize you can fix the problem quite easily yourself, particularly if you are mechanically minded, and if not at least you will have a better idea of the problem when you eventually do phone a repair person.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of considering a new dishwasher there are a number of possible problems you can troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Problems That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Turning On

Before you begin going through the following list of possible issues ensure that your dishwasher hasn’t been accidentally switched off, as well as that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

At this point you can also check that the child lock isn’t on plus try resetting your machine.

You will most likely need the manual for this due to the fact that machines vary however the child lock tends to be fairly easy to engage inadvertently. Similarly, if the machine has lights yet will not run, the solution could be as simple as resetting the program.

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

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

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

Examining the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to check is the door latches and door latch switches. Your dishwasher is not designed to operate if these are faulty for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to inadvertently begin the machine with the door not closed.

A broken switch will prevent your dishwasher from starting and operating. You should check the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally situated behind the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure the machine is disconnected before taking off the door panel as well as testing for continuity to ensure you do not get an electric shock.

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

Checking the Timer

If you have tested your door latch and door latch switch and ascertained they are operating as they should the next component to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that sends electricity to all the other electrical components the machine requires to operate including the pumps, plus the water inlet valve.

If your machine is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it could need to be tested while live, in which case you will need to call an engineer.

Testing the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the program and will vary contingent on the make and model of your dishwasher. A faulty selector switch or even one that has not been fully pressed down may cause the dishwasher not to run.

You should be able to visually check to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you might need to disconnect the machine in order to have a look at the control panel to check the connections for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that can cause your dishwasher not to run, so this could be the problem if you have tested the control panel and thus have discovered that there is power going to the main pump.

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

Testing the Thermal Fuse

Once you have checked all the above but still haven’t found the fault the next component 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.

Checking the Drive Motor

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

If you have tested the other parts but still aren’t getting anywhere this might be the cause of the problem especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You should be able to gain access to the motor by removing the lower access panel. Check it using a multimeter and replace if faulty.

When to Contact an Engineer

If you don’t have a multimeter or are not confident in taking panels off your dishwasher and testing the parts then you will be better off calling a professional sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to perform the above checks then you may well be able to sort out the issue without needing a professional. But if you are con confident it’s always better to contact an engineer.

Don’t forget to check your warranty plus your home cover as dishwasher repairs could be included meaning the costs might be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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