Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher has stopped working is never going to be the best part of your day, particularly if you have to deal with the cost of calling out an engineer as well as staying home to meet them just to pinpoint the fault.

Luckily it’s very feasible to pinpoint and often fix a number of dishwasher faults by yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to own a multimeter.

You could discover you can fix the problem quite easily alone, particularly if you are quite handy, and if you can’t at least you will have a better idea of the fault when you do call an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of considering a new machine there are a few possible issues you can troubleshoot fairly easily.

Safety Warning: Always make sure your machine is unplugged before testing or replacing any electrical components.

Everyday Dishwasher Problems That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Turning On

Before you begin going through the following list of possible faults ensure that it hasn’t been inadvertently unplugged, plus that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

At this point you can also check that the child lock hasn’t been activated plus try resetting your machine.

You will probably need the user manual for this due to the fact that machines are all different however the child lock tends to be quite simple to activate without meaning to. Similarly, the dishwasher may have lights but will not run, in this case the solution may be as simple as resetting the program.

When you have eliminated these problems it’s time for the real investigations to begin.

    1. Check the door latch or door latch switch.
    2. Check the timer.
    3. Examine the selector switch.
    4. Check the motor relay.
    5. Test the thermal fuse.
    6. Examine 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 working as they should.

Testing the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your dishwasher is designed not to run if these are faulty for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to accidentally begin the dishwasher with the door open.

A faulty switch will stop your dishwasher from turning on and operating. You may wish to test 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 machine before accessing the door panel and checking for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

Testing the Timer

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

This is the component that sends power to all the other parts the machine needs to run such as the pumps, and the valves.

If your machine is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it could have to be checked while plugged in, 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 , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make or model of your machine. A faulty selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed might result in the machine not to run.

You should be able to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you might need to disconnect the machine in order to access 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 can result in your dishwasher not starting, thus this might be the problem if you have tested the control panel and thus have discovered that there should be power going to the main pump.

To test this you will have to find the motor plus find the relay that will usually be located next to it. This may then be removed and checked using a multimeter, if broken you may have to replace it.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

When you have investigated all the above and are yet to find the problem the next component to check would be the thermal fuse. Note: Not all machines have a thermal fuse.

If it will need to be replaced in order for the control board to get power.

Examining the Drive Motor

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

When you have checked the other components but still haven’t discovered the issue this could be the cause of the problem particularly if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

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

When to Contact a Repair person

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

If you are happy to undertake the above checks then you could well be able to sort out the issue without assistance. Yet if you are unsure it might be easier to contact an engineer.

Plus have a look at your warranty as well as your home cover as dishwasher repairs could be included meaning the costs may not be as high as you think.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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