Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher is broken isn’t a good way to begin your day, particularly if you are also faced with the cost of calling out a repair person as well as taking time off work to meet them just to pinpoint the issue.

Fortunately it’s possible to pinpoint and even resolve a number of dishwasher faults yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to own a multimeter.

You may discover you are able to sort out the problem quite easily yourself, particularly if you are quite handy, and if you can’t at least you will be better placed to describe the problem when you do call an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you begin considering a replacement dishwasher there are a number of possible problems you can troubleshoot without too much issue.

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

Routine Dishwasher Faults That Will Prevent Your Machine From Starting

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

This is also a good time to check if the child lock isn’t on and try resetting your machine.

You will often require the user guide to do this due to the fact that models vary however the child lock tends to be quite simple to put on inadvertently. Likewise, if the machine has lights however will not start, the answer could be as simple as resetting the cycle.

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

    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 test these components you will need a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to test the resistance as well as check the parts are operating as they should.

Examining the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to test is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to run if the door latches are faulty for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to accidentally begin the machine with the door open.

A faulty switch will prevent your dishwasher from starting and operating. You may wish to test the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally situated behind the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure you have disconnected power to the machine prior to removing the door panel as well as 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 ascertained they are operating as they should the next thing to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that sends electricity to all the other components the machine requires to operate including the pumps, plus the water inlet valve.

If your machine has an electric control as opposed to a mechanical timer then it might have to be checked while plugged in, 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 dishwasher. A not working selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged may result in the dishwasher not to run.

You can usually see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you could need to disconnect the machine in order to gain access to the control panel to check the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

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

To investigate if this is the case you will have to gain access to the motor as well as locate the relay that will usually be located next to it. This may then be taken out as well as checked with a multimeter and it could need to be replaced.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

If you have tested all the above but still haven’t found the issue the next component to test is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all machines have a thermal fuse.

If you locate the fuse and discover it is blown it will need to be replaced in order to restore power to the control board.

Checking the Drive Motor

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

If you have tested the other parts and still aren’t getting anywhere this could be the cause of the problem 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. Check it with the help of a multimeter then 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 machine and testing the parts then you will need to call a repair person sooner rather than later.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you could well be able to fix the problem without needing a professional. Yet if you are con confident it’s always better to contact an engineer.

Don’t forget to check your insurance as well as your home cover as dishwasher repairs may be covered and so the costs might be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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