Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher isn’t working isn’t a great way to start your day, especially if you are also faced with the expense of phoning a professional plus taking time off work to let them in just to diagnose the fault.

Luckily it’s possible to pinpoint and even fix many machine problems alone without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you own a multimeter.

You might realize you can fix the problem quite easily yourself, especially if you are good at DIY, and if not at least you will be better placed to describe the issue when you eventually do call a repair person.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you begin looking for a new dishwasher there are a number of common issues you can troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Common Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Starting

Before you begin checking your machine for faults make sure that it hasn’t been inadvertently switched off, plus that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

This is also an opportune moment to check if the child lock hasn’t been activated and try resetting your dishwasher.

You will most likely need the user guide to do this due to the fact that models vary however the child lock is often fairly easy to activate inadvertently. Similarly, if the dishwasher has lights but will not start, the solution may be as simple as resetting the program.

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

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

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

Testing the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches and door latch switches. Your dishwasher is not designed to operate if these are broken for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want run the dishwasher without meaning to with the door open.

A faulty switch will prevent your machine from starting and running. You should test the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be located under the front door panel or control panel.

Double check the machine is unplugged prior to taking off the door panel as well as checking for continuity to ensure you do not get an electric shock.

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

Testing the Timer

If you have tested your door latch as well as door latch switch and ascertained they are working as they should the next component to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that sends power to all the different parts the machine needs to operate such as the motor, as well as the water inlet valve.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it may have 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

This is the part of your machine that selects the cycle and will vary contingent on the make as well as the model of your machine. A faulty selector switch or one that has got stuck might result in the dishwasher not to start.

You can usually visually check to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you could be required to unplug the machine and have a look at the control panel to check the contact points for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that could cause your machine not to start, and this could be the fault if you have tested the control panel and so have ascertained that there is power running to the main pump.

To test if this is the case you will have to gain access to the motor as well as locate the relay that will usually be located next to the motor. This can then be taken out as well as tested with the help of a multimeter, if broken it may have to be replaced.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

Once you have investigated the above issues and are yet to find the issue the next part of the machine to investigate would be the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is there to stop the control board overheating.

If you will need to replace it in order for the control board to get power.

Testing the Drive Motor

The final part of the machine you should be able to check that could prevent your dishwasher from working is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

Once you have checked the other parts and still haven’t discovered the issue this could be the culprit particularly if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You should be able to access the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Check it with the help of a multimeter then replace if broken.

When to Contact an Engineer

Not everyone has a multimeter, or would know how to use one even if they do, in which case you will be better off calling a repair person sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to perform the above checks then you could well be able to fix the fault without assistance. However if you are not sure it might be easier to call in the professionals.

Plus have a look at your warranty plus your home cover as appliance repairs could be included and so the costs may be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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