Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher is broken isn’t a great way to begin your day, especially if you have to deal with the cost of phoning a repair person and taking time off work to let them in just to determine the problem.

Luckily it’s possible to diagnose and even resolve a number of machine issues by yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you own a multimeter.

You might realize you can sort out the issue quite easily yourself, particularly if you are mechanically minded, and if you can’t at least you will have a better idea of the fault when you do have to call an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you begin searching for a replacement machine there are a number of common problems you can identify without too much issue.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Machine From Starting

Before you begin going through the following list of possible faults make sure that your dishwasher hasn’t been accidentally switched off, plus that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

This is also an opportune moment to see if the child lock isn’t on and try resetting your machine.

You will probably need the user manual to do this as models vary but the child lock tends to be quite simple to engage without meaning to. Similarly, the dishwasher could have power however will not start, in this case the solution might be as easy as resetting the program.

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

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

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

Checking the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to check is the door latches and door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to start if these are not working for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to accidentally begin the machine with the door open.

A faulty switch will prevent your machine from starting as well as running. You may wish to test the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be located under the front door panel or control panel.

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

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

Checking the Timer

If the 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 components the machine needs to operate such as the motor, as well as the valves.

If your dishwasher has an electronic control rather than a mechanical timer then it might have to be checked 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 program and will vary contingent on the make as well as the model of your machine. A not working selector switch or one that has got stuck could cause the dishwasher not to run.

You can usually visually investigate to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you might be required to disconnect the machine and gain access to the control panel to test the contact points for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that may cause your dishwasher not to start, thus this might be the problem if you have checked the control panel and know that there is power going to the motor.

To investigate if this is the case you need to gain access to the motor as well as locate the relay that will usually be located next to the motor. This may then be taken out as well as checked with a multimeter and it might have to be replaced.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

Once you have checked all the above but still haven’t found the fault the next part to test would be the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is designed to protect the control board.

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.

Examining the Drive Motor

The final part of the dishwasher you should be able to investigate that may prevent your dishwasher from operating is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

Once you have checked the other electrical components and still aren’t getting anywhere this could be the culprit especially if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You should be able to access the motor by taking off the panel at the bottom of the machine. Check it using a multimeter then replace if faulty.

When to Get in Touch With an Engineer

If you don’t have a multimeter and are not confident in taking panels off your dishwasher and testing the electrical components then you will be better off calling a professional.

If you are happy to undertake the above troubleshooting then you may well be able to sort out the issue without needing a professional. Yet if you are unsure it’s always better to contact an engineer.

And have a look at your warranty and your home cover as dishwasher repairs might be covered meaning the expense could not be as high as you think.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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