Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher isn’t working isn’t a fun way to start your day, particularly if you are also faced with the cost of calling out a repair person plus taking time off work to let them in just to determine the fault.

The good news is it’s very feasible to pinpoint and often resolve plenty of machine issues by yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to have a multimeter.

You could realize you are able to fix the issue quite easily by yourself, especially if you are quite handy, and if you can’t at least you will be better placed to describe the issue when you do have to phone a repair man.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you begin considering a replacement machine there are a few possible faults you should be able to troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

In advance of checking your machine for faults make sure that it hasn’t been inadvertently switched off, and 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 machine.

You will probably require the user manual to do this as machines are all different however the child lock tends to be quite easy to engage accidentally. Likewise, if the dishwasher has lights yet will not start, the solution could be as simple as resetting the cycle.

When you have ruled out these problems you can start the real troubleshooting.

    1. Check 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. Check the drive motor.

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

Examining the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to test is the door latches and door latch switches. Your dishwasher is designed not to start if these are broken for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to accidentally run the machine with the door ajar.

A faulty switch will stop your dishwasher from turning on as well as running. You should test the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally located under the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure you have disconnected power to the dishwasher before removing the door panel plus testing for continuity to make sure you do not get an electric shock.

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

Checking the Timer

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

This is the part of the machine that distributes power to all the different electrical components the machine requires to run including the motor, plus the valves.

If your machine is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it might have to be tested while live, in which case you will need to call an engineer.

Testing the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the program , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make and model of your dishwasher. A not working selector switch or one that has got stuck might cause the machine not to turn on.

You should be able to visually check to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you might be required to unplug the machine in order to gain access to 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 could result in your machine not running, thus this may be the issue if you have checked the control panel and thus have discovered that there is power going to the motor.

To check this you need to find the motor as well as locate the relay that should be mounted next to it. This may then be removed and checked with the help of a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

When you have checked the above issues but still haven’t found the fault the next part of the machine to investigate is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers have a thermal fuse.

If you locate the fuse and discover it is blown you will need to replace it in order for the control board to get power.

Checking the Drive Motor

The final part of the dishwasher you could investigate that might stop your machine from operating is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

Once you have checked the other components but still haven’t discovered the issue this may be the culprit especially if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You can usually locate the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. 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 components then you will be better off calling a professional.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you could well be able to resolve the issue without assistance. Yet if you are unsure it’s always better to contact an engineer.

Plus examine your insurance as well as your home cover as dishwasher repairs might be included meaning the expense may be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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