Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher isn’t working is never going to be the best part of your day, particularly if you have to deal with the cost of phoning an engineer as well as staying home to let them in just to pinpoint the problem.

Luckily it’s often easy to diagnose and often sort out many dishwasher issues alone without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you own a multimeter.

You might realize you are able to sort out the problem quite easily yourself, particularly if you are quite handy, and if not at worst you will have a better idea of the fault when you do have to phone a repair person.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of looking for a replacement dishwasher there are a number of common issues you can identify fairly easily.

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

Common Dishwasher Problems That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Starting

Before you start going through the following list of potential problems make sure that your dishwasher hasn’t been switched off, plus that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

This is also an opportune moment to see if the child lock isn’t on plus try resetting your machine.

You will probably require the user guide to do this as machines vary but the child lock is usually quite simple to put on without meaning to. Similarly, the machine could have lights however will not run, in this case the solution might be as easy as resetting the program.

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

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

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

Examining the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to check is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your machine is not designed to run if these are broken for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want run the dishwasher without meaning to with the door open.

A defective switch will prevent your machine from turning on and operating. You can check the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be situated behind the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure the dishwasher is unplugged prior to removing the door panel as well as checking for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

Testing the Timer

If you have tested your door latch and door latch switch and discovered they are operating correctly the next thing to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes electricity to all the different electrical components the machine requires to run such as the motor, and the water inlet valve.

If your dishwasher has an electric control rather than a mechanical timer then it could need to be tested while plugged in, in which case you should call an engineer.

Checking the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the part of the dishwasher that selects the cycle and will vary depending on the make and model of your machine. A broken selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed may cause the dishwasher not to run.

You should be able to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you may need to unplug the dishwasher and have a look at 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 could result in your machine not running, thus this could be the problem if you have tested the control panel and thus have ascertained that there should be power going to the main pump.

To investigate this you will have to gain access to the motor and find the relay that should be located next to the motor. This could then be taken out as well as checked with the help of a multimeter, if broken it may have to be replaced.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

Once you have checked the above issues yet still haven’t found the issue the next component to check 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 part of the machine you could investigate that might stop your dishwasher from running is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

If you have checked the other electrical components yet still aren’t getting anywhere this might be the culprit especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You can usually gain access to the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it using a multimeter and replace if broken.

When to Get in Touch With a Repair person

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 perform the above checks then you may well be able to resolve the fault without assistance. But if you are not sure it’s always better to call in the professionals.

Don’t forget to check your warranty plus your home cover as dishwasher repairs could be included and so the expense may be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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