Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher is broken isn’t a good way to begin your day, particularly if you have to deal with the cost of calling out a repair person as well as staying home to let them in just to diagnose the issue.

The good news is it’s often easy to diagnose and often resolve a number of machine faults by yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to are able to find a multimeter.

You could realize you are able to fix the fault quite easily alone, particularly if you are good at DIY, and if you can’t at worst you will be better placed to describe the problem when you do phone an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you start looking for a new dishwasher there are a few possible problems you should be able to troubleshoot without too much trouble.

Safety Warning: Always make sure your dishwasher is unplugged before testing or replacing any electrical components.

Common Dishwasher Problems That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Starting

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

This is also a good time to see if the child lock hasn’t been activated as well as try resetting your dishwasher.

You will often require the user guide to do this due to the fact that models are all different but the child lock is usually fairly simple to activate without meaning to. Likewise, if the dishwasher has lights however will not run, the solution may be as simple as resetting the program.

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. 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 measure the resistance and test the components are working as they are meant to.

Examining the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

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

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

Ensure you have disconnected power to the dishwasher before taking off the door panel plus testing for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

Testing the Timer

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

This is the component that sends power to all the other parts the machine needs to run including the motor, as well as the valves.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it could have to be checked 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 program and will vary contingent on the make or model of your dishwasher. A faulty selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed might cause the dishwasher not to turn on.

You can usually visually check to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you may need to unplug the machine and have a look at the control panel to check the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another component that can cause your machine not to run, and this could be the fault if you have checked the control panel and so have discovered that there is power running to the main pump.

To test if this is the case you will have to gain access to the motor as well as find the relay that should be located next to it. This could then be removed and checked with a multimeter, if faulty you may have to replace it.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

When you have tested all the above but still haven’t found the fault the next part of the dishwasher to investigate is the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is designed to protect the control board.

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

Testing the Drive Motor

The final component you should be able to check that could stop your machine from running is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

Once you have checked the other components and still aren’t getting anywhere this could be the cause of the problem particularly if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You can usually gain access to the motor by removing the lower access panel. Test it by using a multimeter then replace if broken.

When to Get in Touch With an Engineer

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 might well be able to fix the fault without needing a professional. Yet if you are con confident it might be easier to contact an engineer.

Don’t forget to have a look at your warranty and your home cover as dishwasher repairs could be covered which means the expense could not be as high as you think.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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