Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher has stopped working is never going to be the highlight your day, particularly if you are also faced with the cost of calling out a repair person plus staying home to meet them just to determine the fault.

Fortunately it’s very feasible to determine and often fix plenty of dishwasher faults alone without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to are able to find a multimeter.

You may find you are able to fix the issue quite easily yourself, especially if you are good at DIY, and if you can’t at worst you will have a better idea of the fault when you do call a repair man.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of looking for a replacement machine there are a few possible faults you should be able to troubleshoot without too much trouble.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Faults That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Starting

Before you begin checking your machine for faults make sure that your dishwasher hasn’t been unplugged, plus that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

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

You will probably require the user guide for this as models are all different however the child lock tends to be fairly simple to engage accidentally. Similarly, the machine could have lights but will not run, in this case the answer might be as easy as resetting the program.

When you have eliminated these faults it’s time for the real detective work to begin.

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

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

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 dishwasher is not designed to operate if these are not working for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want run the machine without meaning to with the door open.

A defective switch will stop your machine from starting and operating. You may wish to test the switch with 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 and checking for continuity to ensure 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 latch mechanism is working as it should the next component to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that sends electricity to all the different components the machine needs to run such as the motor, plus the water inlet valve.

If your dishwasher has an electronic control rather than a mechanical timer then it could need to be checked 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 part of the machine that chooses the program and will vary depending on the make and model of your dishwasher. A broken selector switch or one that has got stuck may result in the dishwasher not to start.

You should be able to visually check to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you might need to disconnect the dishwasher in order to access the control panel to test the contact points for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that may cause your dishwasher not to start, and this may be the problem if you have checked the control panel and thus know that there is power going to the main pump.

To check this you will have to find the motor as well as find the relay that should be located next to the motor. This may then be taken out plus checked with a multimeter and it may have to be replaced.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

Once you have checked all the above but still haven’t found the issue the next part to check is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all machines have a thermal fuse.

If you locate the fuse and discover it is blown it will need to be replaced in order to restore power to the control board.

Examining the Drive Motor

The final part of the machine you could check that might stop your dishwasher 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 electrical components but still aren’t getting anywhere this might be the culprit especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

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

When to Get in Touch With a Professional

If you don’t have a multimeter and are not confident in taking panels off your dishwasher and testing the parts then you will need to call an engineer.

If you are happy to undertake the above troubleshooting then you may well be able to resolve the fault without needing a professional. However if you are not sure it might be easier to contact an engineer.

And examine your insurance as well as your home cover as appliance repairs might be covered and so the expense may be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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