Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher isn’t working is never going to be the highlight your day, especially if you have to deal with the cost of calling out a professional and taking time off work to meet them just to determine the fault.

The good news is it’s often easy to diagnose and even resolve many machine problems by yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you own a multimeter.

You could realize you can sort out the issue quite easily alone, particularly if you are quite handy, and if you can’t at least you will have a better idea of the problem when you do call a repair person.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of searching for a new machine there are a few common faults you can identify without too much issue.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Issues That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Starting

Before you begin checking your machine for problems make sure that your machine hasn’t been accidentally switched off, as well as that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

At this point you can also check that the child lock hasn’t been activated plus try resetting your dishwasher.

You will most likely require the manual to do this due to the fact that models are all different but the child lock is usually fairly easy to engage without meaning to. Similarly, the machine could have lights yet will not run, in this case the answer could be as simple as resetting the cycle.

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

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

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

Checking the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

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

A faulty switch will prevent your dishwasher from turning on as well as running. You can test the switch with a multimeter. The switch is generally found behind the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure you have disconnected power to the dishwasher prior to taking off the door panel as well as testing for continuity to make sure 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 the door latch plus door latch switch, are working as they should the next thing to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes electricity to all the other electrical components the machine needs to run including the motor, plus the valves.

If your dishwasher has an electronic control rather than a mechanical timer then it may need to be checked 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 part of the machine that chooses the cycle , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make as well as the model of your dishwasher. A faulty selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed could result in the machine not to run.

You should be able to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you might need to unplug the dishwasher in order to access the control panel to check the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another component that may cause your dishwasher not to start, and this could be the issue if you have tested the control panel and have discovered that there should be power going to the motor.

To check if this is the case you will have to locate the motor plus locate the relay that should be located next to the motor. This can then be removed plus checked with a multimeter, if broken it may need to be replaced.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

If you have investigated all the above but still haven’t found the issue the next part to investigate would be the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers have a thermal fuse.

If the fuse is blown 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 test that could prevent your machine from operating is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

If you have tested the other parts yet still aren’t getting anywhere this could be the issue especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

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

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 need to call a professional sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to undertake the above troubleshooting then you may well be able to resolve the problem without needing a professional. However if you are con confident it’s always better to call in the professionals.

Don’t forget to examine your warranty and your home cover as dishwasher repairs may be covered and so the costs could be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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