Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher has stopped working isn’t a great way to begin your day, especially if you have to deal with the expense of phoning a repair person and taking time off work to meet them just to diagnose the problem.

Fortunately it’s very feasible to determine and often resolve plenty of machine problems alone without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to have a multimeter.

You could discover you can fix the problem quite easily by yourself, particularly if you are quite handy, and if you can’t at least you will be better placed to describe the problem when you eventually do call an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of searching for a new machine there are a few possible problems you should be able to troubleshoot without too much trouble.

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

Common Dishwasher Issues That Will Prevent Your Machine From Turning On

In advance of investigating your dishwasher for faults ensure 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 hasn’t been activated as well as try resetting your dishwasher.

You will probably require the manual to do this as machines vary however the child lock tends to be quite simple to activate without meaning to. Likewise, if the dishwasher has lights however will not start, the answer could be as easy as resetting the program.

Once you have eliminated these faults it’s time for the real troubleshooting to start.

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

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

Testing the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first thing to test is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your dishwasher is designed not to operate if the door latches are not working for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to accidentally begin the dishwasher with the door not closed.

A broken switch will prevent your machine from turning on as well as running. You may wish to test the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally found under the front door panel or control panel.

Double check you have disconnected power to the dishwasher before removing the door panel plus checking for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

If the latches or switches are faulty you will need to replace them.

Testing the Timer

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

This is the component that distributes power to all the different parts the machine needs to run such as the pumps, and the water inlet valve.

If your machine has an electronic control rather than a mechanical timer then it could have to be checked while plugged in, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Testing the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the cycle and will vary contingent on the make as well as the model of your machine. A not working selector switch or even one that has not been fully pressed down could result in the dishwasher not to run.

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

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that could result in your machine not running, so this might be the fault if you have tested the control panel and thus have ascertained that there is power going to the motor.

To check this you will have to gain access to the motor as well as find the relay that will usually be mounted next to it. This could then be taken out as well as checked using a multimeter and it may need to be replaced.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

When you have tested the above issues but still haven’t found the fault the next component to investigate is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all machines have a thermal fuse.

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.

Testing the Drive Motor

The final part of the machine you should be able to check that might stop your dishwasher from working is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

Once you have checked the other components yet still aren’t getting anywhere this may be the cause of the problem particularly if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

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

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 a repair person sooner rather than later.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you could well be able to fix the problem without needing a professional. But if you are con confident it might be easier to contact an engineer.

Don’t forget to check your warranty as well as your home cover as dishwasher repairs might be covered which means the expense could not be as high as you think.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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