Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher isn’t working isn’t a good way to start your day, especially if you have to deal with the cost of calling out an engineer plus staying home to let them in just to determine the fault.

Fortunately it’s often easy to pinpoint and even fix a number of dishwasher faults by yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to own a multimeter.

You may realize you are able to sort out the fault quite easily alone, especially if you are good at DIY, and if not at least you will have a better idea of the issue when you do have to phone a repair man.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you begin looking for a replacement machine there are a number of common problems you can troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Routine Dishwasher Problems That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Starting

Before you start going through the following list of potential issues ensure that your machine hasn’t been inadvertently unplugged, as well as 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 and try resetting your dishwasher.

You will most likely require the user guide for this due to the fact that models vary however the child lock tends to be fairly easy to engage inadvertently. Likewise, if the machine has lights however will not run, the answer could be as easy as resetting the program.

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

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

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

Testing the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches and door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to operate if the door latches are faulty for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want run the machine without meaning to with the door ajar.

A defective switch will stop your machine from turning on and running. You can test the switch with a multimeter. The switch is generally found behind the front door panel or control panel.

Double check you have disconnected power to the machine prior to accessing the door panel plus checking for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

Checking the Timer

If the latch mechanism is working as it should the next thing to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that sends power to all the different components the machine needs to run such as the pumps, plus the valves.

If your machine has an electronic control rather than a mechanical timer then it could need 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 part of the dishwasher that selects the cycle and will vary contingent on the make or model of your machine. A faulty selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged may cause the machine not to run.

You should be able to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you might need to disconnect the dishwasher and have a look at the control panel to check the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that could result in your machine not running, and this may be the issue if you have tested the control panel and thus have ascertained that there should be power going to the motor.

To check this you need to locate the motor as well as find the relay that should be mounted next to it. This could then be removed plus checked with a multimeter, if broken you may have to replace it.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

If you have investigated all the above and are yet to find the fault the next part to test 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.

Examining the Drive Motor

The final component you should be able to check that might prevent your machine from running is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

When you have checked the other electrical components yet still haven’t discovered the issue this might be the issue especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You should be able to access the motor by removing the lower access panel. Test it by using a multimeter then replace if broken.

When to Contact a Repair person

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

If you are happy to undertake the above checks then you might well be able to resolve the issue without needing a professional. Yet if you are con confident it’s always better to contact an engineer.

Plus examine your insurance as well as your home cover as appliance repairs could be covered meaning the costs may be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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