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 have to deal with the cost of phoning a repair person and taking time off work to meet them just to determine the issue.

Fortunately it’s often easy to pinpoint and often sort out a number of dishwasher faults yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to own a multimeter.

You may discover you can sort out the issue quite easily yourself, particularly if you are mechanically minded, and if you can’t at worst you will have a better idea of the problem when you eventually do phone an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of searching for a new machine there are a few possible faults you can troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Routine Dishwasher Problems That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Turning On

Before you start investigating your dishwasher for issues ensure that your machine hasn’t been inadvertently switched off, as well as that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

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

You will probably require the user manual to do this as models vary however the child lock is often quite simple to activate inadvertently. Likewise, the dishwasher could have lights however will not start, in this case the answer could be as easy as resetting the program.

Once you have eliminated these issues it’s time for the real investigations to start.

    1. Check 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. Test 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 parts are operating as they should.

Checking the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to check is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your dishwasher is not designed to operate if the door latches are broken for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want start the machine without meaning to with the door not closed.

A faulty switch will prevent your machine from starting plus running. You should test the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be found behind the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure the machine is disconnected prior to removing the door panel and testing for continuity to make sure 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 your latch mechanism is operating as it should the next component to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes electricity to all the other components the machine requires to operate such as the pumps, plus the valves.

If your dishwasher has an electronic control as opposed to a mechanical timer then it could 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

The selector switch is the part of the dishwasher that selects the program and will vary depending on the make and model of your dishwasher. A broken selector switch or one that has got stuck may cause the machine not to turn on.

You should be able to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you may be required to unplug the machine and access the control panel to check the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

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

To check this you will have to gain access to the motor and find the relay that should be located next to it. This may then be taken out and tested with a multimeter, if faulty it might have to be replaced.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

When you have checked all the above and are yet to find the issue the next part to investigate would be the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is designed to stop the control board overheating.

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

Checking the Drive Motor

The final component you can check that might stop your machine 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 components and still aren’t getting anywhere this may be the culprit particularly if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You can usually gain access to the motor by taking off the lower access panel. Check it by using a multimeter then replace if not working.

When to Get in Touch With a Professional

If you don’t have a multimeter or are not confident in taking panels off your machine and checking the parts then you will be better off calling a repair person sooner rather than later.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you might well be able to sort out the problem without assistance. Yet if you are unsure it might be easier to call in the professionals.

And examine your insurance and your home cover as appliance repairs may be covered and so the expense could not be as high as you think.

More Dishwasher Problems:

  • Dishwasher Being Loud
  • Dishwasher Leaking
  • Dishwasher Not Draining
  • Dishwasher Not Drying
CLICK-TO-CALL