Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher isn’t working is never going to be the highlight your day, especially if you have to deal with the expense of calling out a repair person plus taking time off work to meet them just to diagnose the problem.

The good news is it’s often easy to determine and often resolve plenty of dishwasher problems by yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you are able to find a multimeter.

You might realize you can fix the fault quite easily by yourself, particularly if you are good at DIY, and if you can’t at least you will have a better idea of the problem when you do have to phone a repair man.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of looking for a replacement dishwasher there are a few common problems you can identify without too much issue.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Machine From Turning On

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

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

You will most likely need the user guide to do this due to the fact that machines vary however the child lock tends to be fairly simple to put on without meaning to. Similarly, if the machine has lights yet will not start, the solution could be as easy as resetting the cycle.

When you have eliminated these problems 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. Check the thermal fuse.
    6. Examine 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 operating as they should.

Testing the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first thing to test is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your machine is not designed to operate if the door latches are not working for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want start the machine without meaning to with the door open.

A defective switch will prevent your machine from starting and running. You can check the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally located behind the front door panel or control panel.

Double check you have disconnected power to the dishwasher before taking off the door panel plus testing for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

If you discover the latches or switches are not working you will need to replace them.

Testing the Timer

If the door latch as well as door latch switch, are working as they are meant to the next thing to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that sends power to all the other parts the machine requires to run such as the pumps, and the water inlet valve.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it may have to be checked while connected, in which case you should call an engineer.

Checking the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the program and will vary depending on the make as well as the model of your dishwasher. A not working selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed might cause the machine not to run.

You should be able to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you may be required to unplug the machine in order to have a look at the control panel to test the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

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

To check if this is the case you will have to find the motor as well as find the relay that should be located next to the motor. This could then be removed and tested with a multimeter, if faulty it could need to be replaced.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

Once you have tested the above issues yet still haven’t found the fault the next part of the dishwasher to test would be the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is there to protect the control board.

If you locate the fuse and discover it is blown you will need to replace it in order to restore power to the control board.

Testing the Drive Motor

The final component you can investigate that could stop your machine from working is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

If you have checked the other electrical components yet still aren’t getting anywhere this might be the issue particularly if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You can usually access the motor by taking off the lower access panel. Check it with the help of a multimeter and replace if broken.

When to Get in Touch With an Engineer

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 are happy to perform the above checks then you could well be able to resolve the problem without assistance. However if you are unsure it might be easier to contact an engineer.

Plus have a look at your insurance and your home cover as appliance repairs might be covered meaning the expense might 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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