Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher has stopped working isn’t a good way to start your day, especially if you are also faced with the cost of calling out a professional and taking time off work to let them in just to diagnose the fault.

Fortunately it’s very feasible to diagnose and even fix a number of dishwasher problems yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you are able to find a multimeter.

You might discover you can 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 have to phone a repair man.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you begin looking for a new machine there are a number of common faults you should be able to troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Routine Dishwasher Faults That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Turning On

Before you start going through the following list of possible problems make sure that it hasn’t been inadvertently unplugged, 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 isn’t on plus try resetting your machine.

You will probably require the user manual for this as machines vary but the child lock is often fairly easy to engage inadvertently. Likewise, the machine may have power but will not run, in this case the solution could be as easy as resetting the program.

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

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

To examine these components you will need a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to measure the resistance as well as check the components are working as they are meant to.

Checking the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your machine is not designed to operate if these are faulty for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to inadvertently start the machine with the door not closed.

A faulty switch will prevent your dishwasher from turning on plus operating. 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 the machine is disconnected prior to accessing the door panel as well as testing for continuity to make sure you do not get an electric shock.

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

Checking the Timer

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

This is the part of the machine that distributes electricity to all the different electrical components the machine needs to run including the motor, as well as the valves.

If your machine has an electric control rather than a mechanical timer then it might need to be checked while connected, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Checking the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the component that chooses the cycle , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make or model of your dishwasher. A broken selector switch or one that has got stuck might result in the machine not to run.

You should be able to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you could need to unplug the machine and have a look at the control panel to test the contact points for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that may cause your dishwasher not to start, and this may be the fault if you have tested the control panel and so know that there is power going to the motor.

To check this you will have to gain access to the motor plus locate the relay that should be located next to the motor. This could then be removed and tested with the help of a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

If you have checked all the above but still haven’t found the issue the next component to investigate would be the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is designed to stop the control board overheating.

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

Examining the Drive Motor

The final part of the dishwasher you should be able to check that may prevent your dishwasher from running 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 components and still aren’t getting anywhere this may be the culprit particularly if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You should be able to locate the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it by using a multimeter then replace if not working.

When to Get in Touch With a Professional

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 do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you could well be able to fix the fault without needing a professional. Yet if you are unsure it might be easier to call in the professionals.

And examine your insurance plus your home cover as dishwasher repairs might be included and so the expense could be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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