Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher has stopped working isn’t a great way to begin your day, particularly if you are also faced with the expense of phoning an engineer as well as staying home to meet them just to determine the issue.

Fortunately it’s often easy to determine and often resolve many machine problems alone without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to have a multimeter.

You may discover you can sort out the problem quite easily yourself, particularly if you are good at DIY, and if not at worst you will have a better idea of the issue when you do call a repair person.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you start considering a replacement dishwasher there are a number of common problems you should be able to identify fairly easily.

Safety Warning: Always make sure your machine is unplugged before attempting repairs.

Common Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Machine From Starting

Before you begin going through the following list of potential faults ensure that it hasn’t been inadvertently switched off, and that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

This is also a good time to see if the child lock hasn’t been activated as well as try resetting your machine.

You will most likely require the user manual to do this due to the fact that machines vary however the child lock is usually fairly simple to engage without meaning to. Likewise, the dishwasher could have lights yet will not start, in this case the solution could be as simple as resetting the cycle.

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

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

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

Examining the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to test is the door latches and door latch switches. Your dishwasher is not designed to operate if these are faulty for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to inadvertently run the dishwasher with the door ajar.

A broken switch will stop your dishwasher from starting plus operating. You may wish to test the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be found behind the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure the dishwasher is unplugged prior to taking off the door panel and checking for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

Testing the Timer

If the door latch plus door latch switch, are working as they 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 other electrical components the machine requires to operate including the pumps, plus the valves.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it may need to be tested while live, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Testing the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the cycle , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make and model of your machine. A broken selector switch or one that has got stuck might result in the machine not to start.

You should be able to visually investigate to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you might be required to disconnect the machine and gain access to the control panel to check the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that can result in your dishwasher not running, so this could be the fault if you have checked the control panel and so know that there is power going to the motor.

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

Testing the Thermal Fuse

Once you have investigated the above issues and are yet to find the fault the next part to check would be the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is designed to stop the control board overheating.

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

Testing the Drive Motor

The final component you can test that might stop your dishwasher from working is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

If you have tested the other components but still haven’t discovered the issue this could be the cause of the problem particularly if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You can usually access the motor by removing the lower access panel. Test it using a multimeter and replace if faulty.

When to Contact a Professional

Not everyone has a multimeter, or would know how to use one even if they do, in which case you will need to call an engineer.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you may well be able to fix the fault without needing a professional. But if you are not sure it’s always better to call in the professionals.

Plus check your warranty and your home cover as dishwasher repairs may be covered and so the expense could be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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