Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher isn’t working isn’t a good way to begin your day, particularly if you are also faced with the expense of calling out an engineer and taking time off work to meet them just to pinpoint the problem.

The good news is it’s often easy to determine and often resolve a number of dishwasher faults by yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you have a multimeter.

You might discover you are able to resolve the problem quite easily by yourself, especially if you are good at DIY, and if not at worst you will have a better idea of the issue when you do call a repair person.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of considering a replacement dishwasher there are a few simple issues you should be able to troubleshoot without too much trouble.

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

Routine Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Turning On

Before you start checking your machine for problems make sure that your machine hasn’t been switched off, as well as that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

At this point you may wish to also check that the child lock isn’t on as well as try resetting your dishwasher.

You will often require the user guide for this due to the fact that models are all different but the child lock is often fairly easy to activate inadvertently. Similarly, the machine may have power but will not run, in this case the solution might be as simple as resetting the program.

Once you have eliminated these issues it’s time for the real detective work to start.

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

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

Checking the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to check is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your dishwasher is designed not to start if these are not working for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to inadvertently run the dishwasher with the door not closed.

A faulty switch will stop your dishwasher from turning on and running. You may wish to check the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be located behind the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure the dishwasher is disconnected prior to removing the door panel and checking for continuity to ensure you do not get an electric shock.

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

Checking the Timer

If you have tested your door latch plus door latch switch and ascertained they are working correctly the next component to check 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 run such as the pumps, and the water inlet valve.

If your machine has an electric control rather than a mechanical timer then it might have to be tested while live, in which case you should call an engineer.

Testing the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the part of the dishwasher that selects the program and will vary depending on the make and model of your dishwasher. A not working selector switch or one that has got stuck could cause the dishwasher not to turn on.

You can usually see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you might need to disconnect the machine and access the control panel to check the connections for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that could result in your dishwasher not running, thus this might be the fault if you have checked the control panel and thus have discovered that there should be power going to the motor.

To test this you need to find the motor plus locate the relay that will usually be mounted next to it. This may then be taken out as well as checked with the help of a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

If you have tested all the above and are still looking for the fault the next part to investigate would be the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is designed to protect the control board.

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.

Examining the Drive Motor

The final component you could check that could stop your dishwasher from operating is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

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

You can usually locate the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it with the help of a multimeter then replace if faulty.

When to Contact an Engineer

Not everyone has a multimeter, or would know how to use one even if they do, in which case you will need to call a professional sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to undertake the above troubleshooting then you may well be able to resolve the issue without needing a professional. However if you are con confident it might be easier to contact an engineer.

And examine your insurance as well as your home cover as appliance repairs may be covered and so the expense may not be as high as you think.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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