Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher has stopped working isn’t a good way to start your day, particularly if you have to deal with the cost of phoning a professional as well as staying home to let them in just to determine the problem.

Fortunately it’s often easy to pinpoint and often fix plenty of dishwasher faults by yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you own a multimeter.

You might discover you are able to sort out the problem quite easily alone, especially if you are good at DIY, and if you can’t at least you will be better placed to describe the issue when you eventually do call a repair man.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you start searching for a new dishwasher there are a number of simple issues you can troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Problems That Will Stop Your Machine From Turning On

In advance of going through the following list of possible issues make sure that your machine hasn’t been accidentally unplugged, plus that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

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

You will probably need the user manual for this as models are all different but the child lock tends to be fairly simple to put on without meaning to. Similarly, the dishwasher could have power however will not start, in this case the answer could be as easy as resetting the program.

Once 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. Check the selector switch.
    4. Examine the motor relay.
    5. Examine the thermal fuse.
    6. Test the drive motor.

To check these parts 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 and door latch switches. Your dishwasher is designed not to run if these are not working for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to inadvertently begin the dishwasher with the door ajar.

A broken switch will prevent your dishwasher from turning on as well as running. You should test the switch with a multimeter. The switch is generally found under the front door panel or control panel.

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

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

Checking the Timer

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

This is the component that distributes electricity to all the other components the machine needs to operate including the motor, plus the valves.

If your machine is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it may have to be checked while connected, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Checking the Selector Switch

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

You can usually visually check to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you might be required to unplug the machine and have a look at the control panel to test the connections for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that can cause your dishwasher not to start, so this might be the issue if you have tested the control panel and so know that there should be power running to the main pump.

To investigate this you need to locate the motor as well as locate the relay that should be mounted next to it. This could then be taken out as well as checked with the help of a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

If you have tested all the above yet 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 there to stop the control board overheating.

If it will need to be replaced in order to restore power to the control board.

Testing the Drive Motor

The final part of the dishwasher you should be able to test that may stop your dishwasher from running is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

Once you have checked the other electrical components but still haven’t discovered the issue this could be the cause of the problem particularly if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

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

When to Get in Touch With 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 professional.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you might well be able to resolve the problem without needing a professional. But if you are not sure it might be easier to contact an engineer.

And have a look at your insurance and your home cover as dishwasher repairs could be included meaning the costs could be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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