Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher is broken is never going to be the best part of your day, particularly if you are also faced with the cost of calling out an engineer and staying home to meet them just to diagnose the issue.

Luckily it’s possible to diagnose and even fix many machine issues yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to are able to find a multimeter.

You may discover you can sort out the problem quite easily alone, especially if you are good at DIY, and if not at least you will have a better idea of the problem when you eventually do call a repair man.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of looking for a new machine there are a few simple faults you should be able to troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Issues That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Starting

Before you begin investigating your dishwasher for faults make sure that your machine hasn’t been switched off, and that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

At this point you should also check that the child lock hasn’t been activated plus try resetting your machine.

You will most likely require the user manual to do this as machines vary but the child lock tends to be quite easy to activate inadvertently. Similarly, the dishwasher might have lights but will not start, in this case the answer might be as simple as resetting the program.

Once you have ruled out these faults it’s time for the real detective work to start.

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

To examine these parts you will have to have a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to measure the resistance as well as test the parts are operating as they should.

Checking the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your dishwasher is designed not to operate if the door latches are faulty for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want start the dishwasher without meaning to with the door ajar.

A defective switch will stop your machine from starting plus completing a cycle. You may wish to check the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be situated under the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure you have disconnected power to the machine prior to removing the door panel plus testing for continuity to make sure you do not get an electric shock.

If the latches or switches are broken 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 component to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that distributes power to all the different electrical components the machine needs to run such as the pumps, plus the water inlet valve.

If your machine has an electronic control as opposed to a mechanical timer then it might need to be tested while connected, in which case you should call an engineer.

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the part of the dishwasher that selects the cycle and will vary contingent on the make and model of your machine. A faulty selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed might result in the machine not to run.

You should be able to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you might have to unplug the machine and gain access to the control panel to test the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another component that may cause your dishwasher not to start, thus this could be the problem if you have tested the control panel and have discovered that there should be power running to the motor.

To test this you need to find the motor plus find the relay that will usually be located next to it. This may then be taken out as well as tested with a multimeter, if faulty you may have to replace it.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

Once you have investigated all the above and are still looking for the issue the next component to check would be the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers have a thermal fuse.

If you locate the fuse and discover it is blown 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 check that might stop your machine from operating is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

If you have checked the other parts but still haven’t discovered the issue this could be the cause of the problem especially if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You should be able to locate the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it with the help of a multimeter then replace if faulty.

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 an engineer.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you could well be able to sort out the fault without assistance. Yet if you are unsure it might be easier to call in the professionals.

Don’t forget to examine your warranty plus your home cover as appliance repairs may be included which means the costs could be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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