Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher is broken is never going to be the highlight your day, particularly if you have to deal with the expense of phoning a professional plus taking time off work to let them in just to determine the problem.

The good news is it’s very feasible to determine and even sort out plenty of dishwasher problems alone without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you own a multimeter.

You might realize you can sort out the fault quite easily yourself, especially if you are quite handy, and if not at least you will be better placed to describe the fault when you do phone a repair man.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of looking for a new dishwasher there are a few simple problems you can troubleshoot without too much trouble.

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

Common Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Starting

In advance of investigating your dishwasher for problems make sure that it hasn’t been inadvertently 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 hasn’t been activated and try resetting your machine.

You will probably need the user manual for this as machines vary but the child lock is often quite simple to put on without meaning to. Likewise, if the dishwasher has lights yet will not run, the answer could be as easy as resetting the cycle.

When you have eliminated these issues it’s time for the real investigations to begin.

    1. Check the door latch or door latch switch.
    2. Check the timer.
    3. Check the selector switch.
    4. Examine the motor relay.
    5. Examine the thermal fuse.
    6. Check 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 electrical components are working as they should.

Checking the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to test is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your dishwasher is not designed to operate if the door latches are faulty for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want start the dishwasher without meaning to with the door not closed.

A faulty switch will prevent your dishwasher from turning on plus completing a cycle. You can check the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be situated behind the front door panel or control panel.

Double check the machine is disconnected prior to accessing the door panel as well as testing for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

If the latches or switches are faulty you will need a replacement door latch assembly.

Checking the Timer

If the latch mechanism is working as it should the next component to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes electricity to all the other components the machine needs to operate such as the pumps, and the valves.

If your dishwasher has an electric control as opposed to a mechanical timer then it might have to be tested while plugged in, in which case you should call a repair person.

Checking the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the part of the dishwasher that chooses the cycle , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make as well as the model of your machine. A not working selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged could result in the dishwasher not to turn on.

You should be able to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you might need to disconnect the dishwasher in order to gain access to the control panel to test the connections for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that can cause your machine not to start, so this may be the issue if you have checked the control panel and have discovered that there should be power going to the motor.

To test this you will have to find the motor and locate the relay that should be mounted next to the motor. This can then be taken out and tested with a multimeter and it might have to be replaced.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

When you have tested the above issues yet still haven’t found the issue the next part of the dishwasher to investigate 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 you will need to replace it in order for the control board to get power.

Testing the Drive Motor

The final component you could check that might stop your machine from working is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

Once you have tested the other components yet still aren’t getting anywhere this might be the issue especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

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

When to Contact a Professional

Not everyone has a multimeter, or would know how to use one even if they do, in which case you will be better off calling a repair person sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to perform the above checks then you could well be able to fix the issue without assistance. But if you are unsure it’s always better to contact an engineer.

Plus check your warranty as well as your home cover as dishwasher repairs may be included which means the costs might be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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