Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher isn’t working isn’t a fun way to begin your day, especially if you are also faced with the cost of phoning a repair person as well as taking time off work to meet them just to determine the problem.

The good news is it’s often easy to diagnose and even resolve plenty of machine problems alone without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you own a multimeter.

You may realize you can fix the fault quite easily by yourself, particularly if you are quite handy, and if you can’t at worst you will be better placed to describe the issue when you eventually do phone a repair man.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you begin considering a replacement dishwasher there are a few possible problems you should be able to identify fairly easily.

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

Common Dishwasher Problems That Will Stop Your Machine From Turning On

In advance of going through the following list of possible faults ensure that your machine hasn’t been inadvertently unplugged, plus that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

At this point you should also check that the child lock hasn’t been activated as well as try resetting your dishwasher.

You will probably require the user guide for this as models are all different but the child lock tends to be fairly simple to activate accidentally. Likewise, the dishwasher may have lights however will not start, in this case the answer may be as simple as resetting the cycle.

When you have eliminated these problems you can start the real troubleshooting.

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

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

Testing the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

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

A faulty switch will stop your dishwasher from turning on and operating. You may wish to test the switch with a multimeter. The switch is generally found under the front door panel or control panel.

Double check the dishwasher is unplugged prior to removing the door panel and testing for continuity to ensure you do not get 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 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 part of the machine that sends electricity to all the other parts the machine needs to run such as the pumps, as well as the valves.

If your dishwasher has an electronic control rather than a mechanical timer then it might 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 cycle , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make or model of your dishwasher. A faulty selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed might cause the machine not to start.

You should be able to visually check to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you could need to disconnect the dishwasher and 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 part that could result in your dishwasher not starting, so this may be the problem if you have checked the control panel and have discovered that there should be power going to the main pump.

To check this you will have to find the motor and locate the relay that will usually be mounted next to it. This may then be removed plus tested using a multimeter, if faulty it might have to be replaced.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

When you have checked the above issues and are yet to find the problem the next part of the dishwasher to test is the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is there to protect the control board.

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 part of the dishwasher you can investigate that may prevent your machine from operating is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

If you have tested the other parts and still aren’t getting anywhere this could be the issue 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. Test it by using a multimeter and replace if faulty.

When to Contact a Professional

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

If you are happy to perform the above checks then you may well be able to sort out the problem without assistance. However if you are not sure it might be easier to call in the professionals.

Plus examine your insurance and your home cover as dishwasher repairs could be covered which means the expense could be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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