Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher is broken isn’t a good way to begin your day, especially if you have to deal with the expense of phoning a repair person as well as taking time off work to meet them just to diagnose the fault.

Fortunately it’s possible to determine and often fix a number of dishwasher faults by yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you own a multimeter.

You may discover you can fix the issue quite easily by yourself, especially if you are mechanically minded, and if not at least you will have a better idea of the problem when you do have to phone a repair person.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of looking for a new dishwasher there are a few simple faults you can troubleshoot without too much issue.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Problems That Will Prevent Your Machine From Starting

In advance of going through the following list of potential problems make sure that your machine hasn’t been switched off, as well as 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 often require the user manual to do this as models are all different however the child lock is usually fairly simple to engage without meaning to. Similarly, the machine might have lights however will not start, in this case the answer might be as simple as resetting the program.

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

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

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

Examining the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first thing to test is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your dishwasher is designed not to start if these are not working for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want run the machine without meaning to with the door not closed.

A broken switch will prevent your dishwasher from turning on as well as completing a cycle. You may wish to check the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be located behind the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure the dishwasher is unplugged prior to accessing the door panel as well as testing for continuity to ensure you do not get an electric shock.

If the latches or switches are broken you will need to replace them.

Checking the Timer

If your latch mechanism is operating as it should the next thing to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that distributes electricity to all the different components the machine requires to run including the pumps, as well as the valves.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it may need to be tested while plugged in, 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 selects the program and will vary contingent on the make and model of your machine. A not working selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged may result in the machine not to start.

You can usually see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you might be required to unplug the machine and have a look at the control panel to check the connections for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

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

To check if this is the case you will have to find the motor and find the relay that should be mounted next to it. This may then be taken out as well as tested using a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

Once you have tested the above issues and are still looking for the problem the next part of the machine to check would be the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is designed to protect the control board.

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.

Testing the Drive Motor

The final component you can test that may prevent your machine from running is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

When you have checked the other parts and still aren’t getting anywhere this may be the culprit 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 using a multimeter then replace if faulty.

When to Contact a Professional

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

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you could well be able to resolve the issue without needing a professional. Yet if you are not sure it might be easier to call in the professionals.

Plus have a look at your insurance plus your home cover as dishwasher repairs might be included which means the costs might not be as high as you think.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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