Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher has stopped working is never going to be the best part of your day, particularly if you are also faced with the cost of phoning a repair person as well as taking time off work to let them in just to diagnose the issue.

Luckily it’s very feasible to pinpoint and often resolve plenty of machine faults alone without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you have a multimeter.

You may realize you can sort out the issue quite easily by yourself, 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 call a repair man.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you start looking for a new dishwasher there are a number of possible problems you can identify fairly easily.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Problems That Will Stop Your Machine From Turning On

In advance of going through the following list of potential issues ensure that your dishwasher hasn’t been inadvertently switched off, and that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

This is also an opportune moment to check if the child lock hasn’t been activated as well as try resetting your dishwasher.

You will often need the manual to do this due to the fact that machines vary however the child lock is often quite easy to engage without meaning to. Similarly, the machine could have lights but will not run, in this case the solution might be as simple as resetting the cycle.

When you have eliminated these issues it’s time for the real troubleshooting to start.

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

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

Checking the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first thing to check is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to run if these are not working for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to accidentally start the dishwasher with the door open.

A broken switch will stop your machine from starting as well as completing a cycle. You can test the switch with a multimeter. The switch is generally found under the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure the machine is disconnected prior to accessing the door panel and testing for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

Testing the Timer

If the door latch as well as door latch switch, are working as they should the next component to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes electricity to all the different electrical components the machine needs to operate including the motor, as well as the valves.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it might have to be tested while live, in which case you will need to call an engineer.

Checking the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the cycle and will vary contingent on the make or model of your machine. A not working selector switch or one that has got stuck might result in the machine not to turn on.

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 check the contact points for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that may cause your machine not to start, so this may be the problem if you have checked the control panel and thus have discovered that there is power going to the motor.

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

Examining the Thermal Fuse

Once you have investigated all the above but still haven’t found the fault the next component to investigate would be the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is designed to stop the control board overheating.

If the fuse is blown it will need to be replaced in order for the control board to get power.

Checking the Drive Motor

The final part of the dishwasher you should be able to investigate that might prevent your dishwasher from working is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

If you have checked the other electrical components and 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 taking off the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it with the help of a multimeter and replace if faulty.

When to Get in Touch With a Repair person

If you don’t have a multimeter or are not confident in taking panels off your dishwasher and testing the electrical components then you will be better off calling an engineer.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you might well be able to fix the issue without needing a professional. But if you are unsure it might be easier to call in the professionals.

And check your insurance and your home cover as appliance repairs may be covered meaning the expense might not be as high as you think.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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