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 cost of calling out a professional and taking time off work to meet them just to diagnose the fault.

The good news is it’s possible to diagnose and often resolve many dishwasher faults by yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to own a multimeter.

You may realize you are able to fix the problem quite easily yourself, especially if you are quite handy, and if not at worst you will be better placed to describe the issue when you eventually do phone an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you start searching for a new machine there are a number of possible issues you can identify without too much issue.

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

Common Dishwasher Issues That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Turning On

In advance of going through the following list of possible problems make sure that your machine hasn’t been switched off, plus that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

At this point you can also check that the child lock isn’t on and try resetting your dishwasher.

You will most likely need the manual for this as models are all different however the child lock is usually quite simple to activate accidentally. Likewise, the dishwasher may have lights however will not start, in this case the solution might be as simple as resetting the cycle.

When you have ruled out these issues you can start the real troubleshooting.

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

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

Examining the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to start if these are faulty for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want start the machine without meaning to with the door ajar.

A broken switch will prevent your machine from starting plus completing a cycle. You should test the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be situated under the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure the machine is disconnected prior to accessing the door panel and testing for continuity to ensure you do not get an electric shock.

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

Checking the Timer

If you have tested your door latch and door latch switch and discovered they are working as they should the next thing to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes electricity to all the other parts the machine requires to operate such as the motor, as well as the valves.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it might need to be tested while connected, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Testing the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the cycle , it’s style and location will vary contingent on the make or model of your machine. A broken selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed may cause the dishwasher not to start.

You can usually visually investigate to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you could have to unplug the dishwasher in order to have a look at the control panel to test the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that can cause your machine not to run, thus this might be the fault if you have tested the control panel and thus know that there should be power going to the motor.

To investigate if this is the case you need to find the motor and locate the relay that should be located next to it. This may then be removed plus checked with the help of a multimeter and it might have to be replaced.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

Once you have investigated all the above and are yet to find the issue the next part of the machine to test is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all machines have a thermal fuse.

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

Checking the Drive Motor

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

If you have tested the other components and still haven’t discovered the issue this could be the issue particularly if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

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

When to Contact a Repair person

If you don’t have a multimeter or are not confident in taking panels off your dishwasher and checking the electrical components then you will need to call a professional sooner rather than later.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you may well be able to sort out the problem without assistance. But if you are not sure it’s always better to contact an engineer.

Don’t forget to have a look at your insurance as well as your home cover as dishwasher repairs might be included meaning the costs might be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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