Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher is broken isn’t a fun way to start your day, particularly if you are also faced with the cost of phoning a repair person plus staying home to let them in just to determine the fault.

The good news is it’s often easy to determine and often fix a number of machine faults yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you are able to find a multimeter.

You may realize you can fix 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 eventually do call an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you start considering a new machine there are a number of common faults you should be able to troubleshoot without too much trouble.

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

Common Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Starting

Before you start checking your dishwasher for issues make sure that it hasn’t been inadvertently unplugged, 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 and try resetting your machine.

You will probably require the manual for this due to the fact that machines vary however the child lock is usually fairly simple to put on accidentally. Likewise, the dishwasher may have power yet will not start, in this case the solution could be as easy as resetting the program.

Once you have eliminated these problems you can start the real troubleshooting.

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

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

Examining the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches and door latch switches. Your dishwasher is designed not to start if the door latches are faulty for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to accidentally run the machine with the door not closed.

A broken switch will prevent your dishwasher from turning on as well as running. You can check the switch with a multimeter. The switch is generally found under the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure you have disconnected power to the machine prior to accessing the door panel and checking for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

Testing the Timer

If the door latch and door latch switch, are working as they are meant to the next component to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that sends electricity to all the other parts the machine requires to operate such as the motor, as well as the valves.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it could need to be tested while connected, in which case you will need to call an engineer.

Checking the Selector Switch

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

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

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that can result in your machine not starting, and this could be the issue if you have tested the control panel and so have discovered that there is power going to the motor.

To test if this is the case you need to find the motor and find the relay that will usually be located next to the motor. This can then be removed plus checked with a multimeter, if broken you may have to replace it.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

When you have investigated all the above yet still haven’t found the fault the next part to investigate is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers have a thermal fuse.

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 component you could investigate that could prevent your machine from working is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

When you have tested the other components yet still haven’t discovered the issue this could be the culprit particularly if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You should be able to gain access to the motor by taking off the lower access panel. Test it with the help of a multimeter then replace if broken.

When to Get in Touch With 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.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you could well be able to sort out the fault without needing a professional. However if you are con confident it might be easier to contact an engineer.

And check your warranty as well as your home cover as appliance repairs could be included which means the costs could 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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