Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher has stopped working isn’t a good way to begin your day, especially if you have to deal with the expense of phoning a repair person and staying home to let them in just to diagnose the issue.

Fortunately it’s very feasible to diagnose and even resolve many dishwasher problems alone without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you are able to find a multimeter.

You might discover you can fix the fault quite easily alone, especially if you are quite handy, and if not at worst you will have a better idea of the problem when you do call a repair man.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you start searching for a replacement machine there are a number of possible faults you should be able to identify fairly easily.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Problems That Will Stop Your Machine From Starting

In advance of going through the following list of possible problems make sure that your dishwasher hasn’t been inadvertently switched off, plus that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

This is also a good time to see if the child lock hasn’t been activated and try resetting your machine.

You will probably need the user manual for this due to the fact that machines vary however the child lock is usually quite simple to engage without meaning to. Similarly, the machine could have power however will not start, in this case the answer could be as simple as resetting the cycle.

Once you have ruled out these problems you can start the real troubleshooting.

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

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

Examining the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to test is the door latches and door latch switches. Your dishwasher is not designed to run if the door latches are not working for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want run the machine without meaning to with the door open.

A defective switch will prevent your dishwasher from turning on and completing a cycle. You may wish to check the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be situated behind the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure you have disconnected power to the machine prior to taking off the door panel plus checking for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

Checking the Timer

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

This is the part of the machine that sends electricity to all the other components the machine requires to operate such as the motor, plus the water inlet valve.

If your machine is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it could have to be tested while plugged in, in which case you will need to call a repair man.

Checking the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the component that chooses the program , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make and model of your dishwasher. A broken selector switch or even one that has not been fully pressed down might result in the dishwasher not to turn on.

You can usually visually investigate to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you may need to disconnect the dishwasher in order to have a look at the control panel to check 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 starting, and this could be the problem if you have tested the control panel and thus know that there should be power going to the motor.

To check this you need to find the motor and locate the relay that should be mounted next to the motor. This can then be removed plus checked with a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

Once you have tested the above issues and are yet to find the issue the next part of the machine to test would be the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is there to protect the control board.

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

Checking the Drive Motor

The final part of the dishwasher you could investigate that might stop your dishwasher from running is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

When you have tested the other components and still aren’t getting anywhere this may be the issue especially 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. Test it using a multimeter and replace if broken.

When to Get in Touch With a Repair person

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

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you could well be able to resolve the problem without assistance. Yet if you are con confident it might be easier to contact an engineer.

Don’t forget to check your warranty plus your home cover as dishwasher repairs could be covered which means 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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