Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher is broken is never going to be the highlight your day, particularly if you have to deal with the cost of calling out a professional and taking time off work to meet them just to diagnose the fault.

The good news is it’s very feasible to determine and even sort out plenty of machine faults by yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you own a multimeter.

You might discover you can fix the problem quite easily alone, especially if you are quite handy, and if you can’t at least you will have a better idea of the problem when you do have to phone an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you begin considering a replacement dishwasher there are a few common problems you can troubleshoot without too much trouble.

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

Routine Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Machine From Starting

Before you begin going through the following list of potential problems ensure that it hasn’t been accidentally unplugged, and that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

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

You will probably require the manual to do this as machines vary but the child lock tends to be quite easy to activate without meaning to. Similarly, the machine might have power yet will not start, in this case the solution could be as simple as resetting the cycle.

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

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

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

Testing the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches and door latch switches. Your dishwasher is designed not to start if the door latches are not working for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want start the machine without meaning to with the door ajar.

A faulty switch will prevent your dishwasher from turning on as well as completing a cycle. You should check the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be found under the front door panel or control panel.

Double check you have disconnected power to the dishwasher prior to taking off the door panel plus checking for continuity to ensure you do not get an electric shock.

If you discover the latches or switches are not working you will need to replace them.

Checking the Timer

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

This is the component that sends electricity to all the other components the machine requires to run including the motor, and the valves.

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

Testing 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 broken selector switch or one that has got stuck might result in the machine not to turn on.

You can usually see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you may be required to unplug the dishwasher and access the control panel to test the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that may result in your dishwasher not starting, thus this might be the fault if you have checked the control panel and thus know that there is power going to the main pump.

To test if this is the case you need to find the motor as well as find the relay that should be located next to the motor. This can then be removed plus checked with a multimeter, if faulty you may have to replace it.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

Once you have checked all the above and are still looking for the fault the next part to investigate would be the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers 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 machine you should be able to test that could stop your machine from operating is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

If you have tested the other parts yet still aren’t getting anywhere this may 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 taking off the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it with the help of a multimeter then replace if not working.

When to Get in Touch With a Professional

If you don’t have a multimeter or are not confident in taking panels off your machine and testing the electrical components then you will be better off calling a repair person.

If you are happy to undertake the above checks then you could well be able to sort out the issue without needing a professional. But if you are con confident it might be easier to call in the professionals.

Don’t forget to check your warranty as well as your home cover as appliance repairs might be included meaning the expense could not be as high as you think.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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