Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher has stopped working is never going to be the best part of your day, particularly if you have to deal with the cost of calling out a repair person plus staying home to let them in just to pinpoint the fault.

Fortunately it’s possible to pinpoint and often fix many machine issues alone without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to are able to find a multimeter.

You might discover you can resolve the problem quite easily by yourself, particularly if you are mechanically minded, and if not at least you will have a better idea of the problem when you eventually do phone an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

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

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Turning On

In advance of going through the following list of possible problems make sure that your dishwasher hasn’t been switched off, plus that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

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

You will most likely need the manual to do this as models are all different but the child lock tends to be quite easy to put on without meaning to. Likewise, if the dishwasher has lights however will not run, the solution might be as easy as resetting the program.

Once you have ruled out these issues you can start the real troubleshooting.

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

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

Checking the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your dishwasher is designed not to run if the door latches are broken for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to accidentally begin the dishwasher with the door ajar.

A faulty switch will stop your machine from turning on plus completing a cycle. You should test the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally found under the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure you have disconnected power to the machine before accessing the door panel as well as testing for continuity to ensure you do not get an electric shock.

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

Testing the Timer

If your latch mechanism is operating as it should the next thing to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes electricity to all the other electrical components the machine requires to run such as the motor, as well as the valves.

If your machine is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it might need to be tested while connected, 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 depending on the make or model of your dishwasher. A faulty selector switch or one that has got stuck could result in the machine not to turn on.

You can usually see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you could have to unplug the dishwasher and gain access to the control panel to test the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that could cause your machine not to run, so this could be the fault if you have tested the control panel and thus have ascertained that there should be power running to the main pump.

To test this you need to find the motor plus locate the relay that will usually be located next to it. This can then be taken out plus checked with a multimeter, if faulty it might need to be replaced.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

When you have tested the above issues and are still looking for the fault the next part of the machine to test is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers have a thermal fuse.

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

Examining the Drive Motor

The final component you could test that might prevent your dishwasher from running is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

If you have tested the other components but still aren’t getting anywhere this could be the culprit particularly if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You should be able to locate the motor by taking off the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it using a multimeter then replace if broken.

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 an engineer sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to undertake the above troubleshooting then you might well be able to fix the problem without needing a professional. But if you are unsure it might be easier to contact an engineer.

Don’t forget to have a look at your warranty as well as your home cover as appliance repairs might be included which means the costs could not be as high as you think.

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