Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher is broken is never going to be the highlight your day, particularly if you are also faced with the expense of phoning a professional plus taking time off work to meet them just to determine the fault.

The good news is it’s often easy to pinpoint and often sort out plenty of dishwasher problems yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you are able to find a multimeter.

You could find you are able to fix the problem quite easily yourself, especially if you are mechanically minded, and if not at least you will have a better idea of the problem when you do have to phone a repair man.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you start searching for a replacement 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 Problems That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Starting

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

This is also a good time to see if the child lock hasn’t been activated and try resetting your dishwasher.

You will often require the manual to do this due to the fact that models vary but the child lock tends to be fairly simple to put on inadvertently. Likewise, if the dishwasher has lights yet will not run, the solution might be as simple as resetting the program.

When you have ruled out these issues it’s time for the real investigations to start.

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

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

Testing the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

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

A faulty switch will prevent your dishwasher from turning on as well as running. You can check the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally situated under the front door panel or control panel.

Double check you have disconnected power to the dishwasher prior to accessing the door panel plus checking for continuity to make sure you do not get an electric shock.

If you discover the latches or switches are broken you will need a replacement door latch assembly.

Checking the Timer

If you have tested your door latch and door latch switch and discovered they are working correctly the next component to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that sends electricity to all the different electrical components the machine needs to run including the motor, plus the valves.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it could have to be checked while live, in which case you should call an engineer.

Checking the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the component that selects the cycle , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make as well as the model of your machine. A not working selector switch or one that has got stuck may cause the machine not to run.

You can usually visually check to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you may need to unplug the dishwasher in order to 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 another part that could cause your dishwasher not to run, so this may be the fault if you have tested the control panel and know that there is power going to the motor.

To test if this is the case you will have to find the motor as well as find the relay that will usually be located next to the motor. This could then be taken out as well as checked using a multimeter, if faulty you may have to replace it.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

If you have checked all the above and are yet to find the issue the next part of the machine to check is the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is there to stop the control board overheating.

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

Examining the Drive Motor

The final component you should be able to test that could prevent your machine from working is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

When you have tested the other electrical components but still haven’t discovered the issue this could be the issue especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You should be able to gain access to the motor by taking off the lower access panel. Test it by using a multimeter and replace if broken.

When to Get in Touch With a Professional

If you don’t have a multimeter and are not confident in taking panels off your dishwasher and testing the electrical components then you will be better off calling an engineer.

If you are happy to perform the above troubleshooting then you could well be able to fix the fault without assistance. Yet if you are con confident it might be easier to call in the professionals.

Don’t forget to examine your warranty as well as your home cover as dishwasher repairs may be covered meaning the costs might not be as high as you think.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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