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 an engineer plus staying home to let them in just to diagnose the issue.

Fortunately it’s often easy to pinpoint and even fix plenty of machine problems by yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to own a multimeter.

You could discover you are able to resolve the fault quite easily yourself, particularly if you are good at DIY, and if you can’t at worst you will be better placed to describe the problem when you eventually do phone a repair man.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of looking for a replacement dishwasher there are a few possible issues you should be able to troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Faults That Will Prevent Your Machine From Turning On

In advance of going through the following list of possible issues ensure that your dishwasher hasn’t been accidentally switched off, as well as that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

This is also an opportune moment to check if the child lock hasn’t been activated as well as try resetting your dishwasher.

You will most likely require the user guide for this as models are all different however the child lock is usually quite easy to put on inadvertently. Similarly, the dishwasher may have lights yet will not run, in this case the solution may be as easy as resetting the program.

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

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

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

Examining the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to test is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your machine is not designed to run if the door latches are faulty for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want begin the machine without meaning to with the door ajar.

A faulty switch will stop your dishwasher from turning on and operating. You can test the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be found under the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure you have disconnected power to the dishwasher before taking off the door panel plus testing 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 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 electrical components the machine requires to operate including the pumps, as well as the valves.

If your machine is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it could have to be tested while plugged in, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the component that selects the cycle and will vary depending on the make or model of your dishwasher. A broken selector switch or even one that has not been fully pressed down could result in the machine not to run.

You can usually visually investigate to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you could have to unplug the dishwasher in order to gain access to the control panel to check the connections for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another component that could result in your dishwasher not running, so this might be the issue if you have checked the control panel and so have discovered that there should be power running to the main pump.

To test this 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 and checked with the help of a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

When you have investigated the above issues and are still looking for the issue the next part of the machine to test would be the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is designed to protect the control board.

If you will need to replace it in order for the control board to get power.

Testing the Drive Motor

The final part of the dishwasher you should be able to investigate that might stop your machine from running is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

Once you have tested the other parts and still aren’t getting anywhere this could be the issue especially 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 faulty.

When to Contact an Engineer

If you don’t have a multimeter and are not confident in taking panels off your machine and testing the electrical components then you will need to call an engineer.

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

And examine your insurance as well as your home cover as dishwasher repairs may be covered meaning the expense could not be as high as you think.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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