Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher is broken is never going to be the highlight your day, especially if you have to deal with the expense of phoning a professional plus staying home to meet them just to diagnose the fault.

Fortunately it’s possible to pinpoint and even resolve a number of dishwasher problems by yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you own a multimeter.

You might realize you are able to resolve the fault quite easily alone, especially if you are quite handy, and if you can’t at worst you will be better placed to describe the issue when you eventually do call an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you start searching for a new dishwasher there are a number of possible problems you should be able to identify without too much issue.

Safety Warning: Always make sure your dishwasher is unplugged before testing or replacing any electrical components.

Everyday Dishwasher Problems That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Turning On

In advance of investigating your machine for issues make sure that it hasn’t been inadvertently unplugged, plus that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

At this point you should also check that the child lock isn’t on plus try resetting your dishwasher.

You will probably need the user guide to do this as machines vary but the child lock tends to be quite simple to engage accidentally. Similarly, if the dishwasher has lights but will not run, the answer may be as easy as resetting the cycle.

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

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

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

Examining the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first thing to test is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your dishwasher is not designed to run if these are broken for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to accidentally begin the dishwasher with the door open.

A defective switch will stop your machine from starting and running. You should test the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally situated behind the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure you have disconnected power to the dishwasher prior to accessing the door panel as well as testing for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

Checking the Timer

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

This is the component that distributes power to all the other electrical components the machine needs to operate including the pumps, and the water inlet valve.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it could need to be tested while plugged in, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Checking the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the part of the machine that chooses the cycle and will vary depending on the make as well as the model of your machine. A faulty selector switch or one that has got stuck could result in the dishwasher not to turn on.

You should be able to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you could have to unplug the dishwasher in order to gain access to the control panel to check the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that can cause your machine not to start, thus this could be the fault if you have tested the control panel and have ascertained that there should be power running to the motor.

To investigate this you will have to gain access to the motor and find the relay that will usually be located next to the motor. This may then be taken out and checked with the help of a multimeter, if faulty you may have to replace it.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

When you have checked all the above and are yet to find the fault the next component to investigate is the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is there to protect the control board.

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.

Testing the Drive Motor

The final part of the machine you could check that may prevent your machine from working is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

When you have checked the other parts and still aren’t getting anywhere this may be the culprit particularly if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You should be able to locate the motor by removing the lower access panel. Check it by using a multimeter then replace if not working.

When to Contact a Professional

If you don’t have a multimeter and are not confident in taking panels off your machine and checking the components then you will be better off calling a repair person sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to perform the above troubleshooting then you may well be able to resolve the fault without needing a professional. But if you are con confident it might be easier to call in the professionals.

And examine your insurance as well as your home cover as dishwasher repairs may be covered which means the expense could be less than you were expecting.

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