Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher has stopped working isn’t a good way to start your day, especially if you are also faced with the expense of phoning an engineer plus taking time off work to let them in just to determine the fault.

Fortunately it’s possible to diagnose and even resolve a number of machine issues alone without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to have a multimeter.

You might find you can resolve the issue quite easily yourself, particularly if you are quite handy, and if not at least you will have a better idea of the issue when you do phone a repair person.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of considering a replacement dishwasher there are a number of possible problems you should be able to identify without too much trouble.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Machine From Starting

In advance of going through the following list of possible faults make sure that your machine hasn’t been accidentally switched off, plus that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

At this point you may wish to also check that the child lock hasn’t been activated plus try resetting your dishwasher.

You will probably require the manual for this due to the fact that machines are all different however the child lock tends to be quite simple to engage inadvertently. Likewise, if the machine has lights but will not start, the solution may be as simple as resetting the program.

Once 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. Check the selector switch.
    4. Test the motor relay.
    5. Test the thermal fuse.
    6. Test the drive motor.

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

Checking the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your dishwasher is not designed to start if these are not working for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want begin the dishwasher without meaning to with the door not closed.

A defective switch will prevent your machine from turning on and operating. You should test the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be located behind the front door panel or control panel.

Double check the machine is disconnected prior to accessing the door panel plus testing for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

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 component that sends power to all the different electrical components the machine requires to operate including the motor, and the valves.

If your machine is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it could have to be tested while connected, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Checking the Selector Switch

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

You should be able to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you could have to disconnect the dishwasher and have a look at the control panel to test the contact points for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another component that may result in your dishwasher not running, thus this could be the issue if you have tested the control panel and so have discovered that there should be power going to the main pump.

To test if this is the case you need to gain access to the motor plus find the relay that will usually be located next to the motor. This could then be removed and checked with the help of a multimeter, if faulty you may have to replace it.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

If you have investigated the above issues and are still looking for the fault the next part to check is the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is designed to stop the control board overheating.

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

Examining the Drive Motor

The final component you can check that could prevent your machine from running is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

When you have tested the other components but still aren’t getting anywhere this might be the issue particularly if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You should be able to gain access to the motor by removing the lower access panel. Check it using a multimeter and replace if faulty.

When to Contact an Engineer

If you don’t have a multimeter or are not confident in taking panels off your machine and testing the components then you will be better off calling a repair person.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you might well be able to resolve the fault without needing a professional. But if you are con confident it might be easier to call in the professionals.

Plus examine your warranty and your home cover as dishwasher repairs may be included which means the costs could not be as high as you think.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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