Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher has stopped working is never going to be the best part of your day, particularly if you are also faced with the expense of calling out a repair person and staying home to let them in just to determine the problem.

Fortunately it’s possible to diagnose and often fix plenty of dishwasher issues by yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you own a multimeter.

You might discover you can resolve the fault quite easily alone, particularly if you are quite handy, and if you can’t at worst you will have a better idea of the problem when you do have to call a repair man.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of looking for a replacement dishwasher there are a few possible issues you should be able to identify without too much trouble.

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

Common Dishwasher Problems That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Turning On

Before you start checking your dishwasher for faults make sure that it hasn’t been switched off, plus that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

This is also a good time to see if the child lock isn’t on plus try resetting your machine.

You will often need the user guide to do this as models are all different but the child lock tends to be quite simple to activate accidentally. Similarly, if the dishwasher has lights but will not start, the solution could be as easy as resetting the cycle.

When you have eliminated these issues you can start the real troubleshooting.

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

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

Checking the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first thing to check is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to start if the door latches are faulty for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to inadvertently begin the machine with the door open.

A faulty switch will prevent your machine from starting plus operating. You can test the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally located behind the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure you have disconnected power to the dishwasher prior to accessing the door panel as well as testing for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

If the latches or switches are not working you will need a replacement door latch assembly.

Checking the Timer

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

This is the component that sends power to all the different parts the machine needs to run including the pumps, as well as the valves.

If your dishwasher has an electronic control rather than a mechanical timer then it might have to be tested while live, in which case you should call a repair person.

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 as well as the model of your machine. A broken selector switch or even one that has not been fully pressed down may result in the dishwasher not to start.

You can usually visually investigate to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you could have to unplug the machine in order to gain access to the control panel to check the contact points for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that may cause your dishwasher not to run, so this could be the problem if you have checked the control panel and so have discovered that there is power going to the motor.

To check if this is the case you need to gain access to the motor plus find the relay that will usually be mounted next to the motor. This could then be taken out and tested using a multimeter, if broken it might have to be replaced.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

When you have investigated all the above but still haven’t found the issue the next part of the machine to test is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers have a thermal fuse.

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

Examining the Drive Motor

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

Once you have tested the other components but still aren’t getting anywhere this might be the cause of the problem especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You can usually locate the motor by taking off the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it by using a multimeter then replace if broken.

When to Contact a Professional

If you don’t have a multimeter and are not confident in taking panels off your machine and checking the electrical components then you will be better off calling an engineer sooner rather than later.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you may well be able to fix the issue without assistance. However if you are con confident it’s always better to call in the professionals.

Plus examine your warranty as well as your home cover as appliance repairs could be covered and so the expense might be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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