Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher has stopped working isn’t a good way to begin your day, especially if you are also faced with the expense of calling out a repair person as well as taking time off work to let them in just to determine the issue.

Fortunately it’s possible to pinpoint and often sort out plenty of dishwasher faults alone without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you have a multimeter.

You might discover you can sort out the problem quite easily yourself, particularly if you are mechanically minded, and if not at worst you will have a better idea of the issue when you eventually do call a repair man.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of looking for a replacement machine there are a few simple problems you can identify without too much trouble.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Turning On

Before you begin going through the following list of potential faults ensure that your machine hasn’t been inadvertently switched off, as well as that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

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

You will often need the user manual to do this as machines vary but the child lock is often quite easy to activate inadvertently. Likewise, if the machine has lights however will not run, the solution may be as easy 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. Examine the selector switch.
    4. Test the motor relay.
    5. Examine the thermal fuse.
    6. Test the drive motor.

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

Testing the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

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

A broken switch will prevent your machine from turning on and operating. You may wish to test the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be located under the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure you have disconnected power to the dishwasher before removing the door panel as well as testing for continuity to make sure you do not get an electric shock.

If the latches or switches are not working you will need a replacement door latch assembly.

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 part of the machine that sends power to all the other components the machine requires to operate including the pumps, and the water inlet valve.

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

Testing the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the program and will vary depending on the make as well as the model of your machine. A faulty selector switch or one that has got stuck could result in the dishwasher not to run.

You should be able to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you may need to unplug the machine and gain access to the control panel to check the connections for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

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

To investigate if this is the case you will have to locate the motor and locate the relay that should be located next to the motor. This can then be removed and tested with the help of a multimeter and it might need to be replaced.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

When you have tested all the above and are still looking for the problem the next part of the dishwasher to check is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all machines have a thermal fuse.

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

Checking the Drive Motor

The final component you could test that may 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 parts and still aren’t getting anywhere this may be the issue especially if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You should be able to gain access to the motor by removing the lower access panel. Test it with the help of a multimeter and 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 tests then you may well be able to resolve the fault without assistance. Yet if you are not sure it might be easier to contact an engineer.

Plus check your warranty and your home cover as appliance 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
Call Now ButtonCLICK-TO-CALL