Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher is broken is never going to be the highlight your day, especially if you are also faced with the expense of calling out a repair person as well as staying home to let them in just to pinpoint the fault.

Luckily it’s often easy to pinpoint and even sort out a number of dishwasher issues yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to have a multimeter.

You could find you can fix the problem quite easily alone, especially if you are mechanically minded, and if not at worst you will have a better idea of the problem when you eventually do phone a repair person.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of looking for a replacement machine there are a number of simple issues you can identify without too much issue.

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

Routine Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Machine From Turning On

Before you start going through the following list of potential problems make sure that your dishwasher hasn’t been accidentally switched off, as well as that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

This is also a good time to check if the child lock hasn’t been activated and 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 is usually fairly easy to engage accidentally. Similarly, the machine may have lights yet will not run, in this case the answer could be as easy as resetting the cycle.

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

    1. Have a look at the door latch or door latch switch.
    2. Test the timer.
    3. Test the selector switch.
    4. Test the motor relay.
    5. Check 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 plus test the parts are operating as they are meant to.

Testing the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to check is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to run if the door latches are not working for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to accidentally start the machine with the door not closed.

A defective switch will stop your machine from turning on plus running. You can test the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally situated behind the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure the machine is disconnected prior to taking off the door panel plus testing for continuity to ensure you do not get an electric shock.

If the latches or switches are not working you will need a replacement door latch assembly.

Checking the Timer

If you have tested your door latch and door latch switch and discovered they are operating as they should the next component to test 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 operate including the motor, plus the valves.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it might have to be checked while connected, in which case you will need to call a repair man.

Testing the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the program and will vary contingent on the make and model of your dishwasher. A broken selector switch or one that has got stuck may cause the machine not to start.

You can usually see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you could need to unplug the machine in order to access the control panel to test the connections for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that may cause your machine not to run, thus this may be the fault if you have checked the control panel and so have ascertained that there is power running to the main pump.

To investigate if this is the case you will have to gain access to the motor as well as locate the relay that should be mounted next to it. This may then be taken out as well as checked with the help of a multimeter, if broken it may need to be replaced.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

Once you have checked all the above and are yet to find the fault the next component to test is the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is there to stop the control board overheating.

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

Testing the Drive Motor

The final part of the machine you can investigate that may prevent your machine from running 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 cause of the problem particularly if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You can usually gain access to the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it with the help of a multimeter and replace if broken.

When to Get in Touch With an Engineer

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

If you are happy to perform the above troubleshooting then you may well be able to sort out the problem without needing a professional. Yet if you are not sure it’s always better to call in the professionals.

Plus have a look at your insurance as well as your home cover as dishwasher repairs may be included and so the expense may not be as high as you think.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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