Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher is broken is never going to be the highlight your day, particularly if you are also faced with the cost of phoning a professional plus staying home to let them in just to diagnose the issue.

Luckily it’s possible to determine and even sort out plenty of machine faults by yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you are able to find a multimeter.

You might discover you are able to resolve the issue quite easily by yourself, especially if you are good at DIY, and if you can’t at least you will be better placed to describe the problem when you do have to call an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of looking for a new machine there are a number of possible problems you should be able to troubleshoot without too much issue.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Starting

Before you start going through the following list of possible issues ensure that your dishwasher hasn’t been switched off, as well as that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

This is also a good time to check if the child lock isn’t on plus try resetting your dishwasher.

You will probably require the manual for this as machines are all different but the child lock tends to be fairly easy to engage without meaning to. Likewise, if the machine has lights however will not start, the solution may be as simple as resetting the cycle.

Once you have eliminated these faults you can start the real troubleshooting.

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

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

Examining the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches and door latch switches. Your dishwasher is designed not to run if the door latches are not working for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want start the dishwasher without meaning to with the door ajar.

A defective switch will stop your machine from turning on as well as operating. You should test the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be found behind the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure you have disconnected power to the dishwasher prior to taking off the door panel and checking for continuity to ensure you do not get an electric shock.

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

Testing the Timer

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

This is the component that sends electricity to all the different parts the machine needs to operate such as the motor, plus the water inlet valve.

If your machine is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it may have to be checked while plugged in, 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 machine that chooses the cycle and will vary contingent on the make or model of your dishwasher. A not working selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed might cause the machine not to start.

You can usually see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you could have to disconnect the machine and access the control panel to test the contact points for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

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

To test this you need to locate the motor as well as find the relay that will usually be located next to the motor. This can then be taken out as well as tested with a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

Once you have investigated the above issues but still haven’t found the problem the next component to test is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers have a thermal fuse.

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

Testing the Drive Motor

The final component you should be able to test that may stop your dishwasher from operating is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

Once you have checked the other electrical components and still haven’t discovered the issue this might be the cause of the problem especially if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

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

When to Get in Touch With a Professional

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 may well be able to resolve the fault without assistance. However if you are unsure it might be easier to call in the professionals.

And examine your warranty and your home cover as appliance repairs might be included meaning the expense could 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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