Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher isn’t working is never going to be the best part of your day, especially if you have to deal with the cost of phoning a repair person plus staying home to let them in just to diagnose the issue.

Luckily it’s often easy to diagnose and even resolve plenty of machine issues yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you have a multimeter.

You may find you can resolve the problem quite easily yourself, particularly if you are mechanically minded, and if not at least you will be better placed to describe the fault when you do phone an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of looking for a replacement machine there are a number of common problems you should be able to troubleshoot without too much issue.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Machine From Starting

In advance of going through the following list of potential issues ensure that it hasn’t been accidentally switched off, and that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

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

You will most likely require the manual to do this due to the fact that machines vary however the child lock is often quite simple to engage accidentally. Likewise, if the machine has lights but will not start, the answer may be as simple as resetting the program.

When you have eliminated these faults it’s time for the real detective work to begin.

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

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

Testing the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

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

A faulty switch will prevent your dishwasher from starting as well as completing a cycle. You should test the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be found behind the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure the dishwasher is disconnected prior to taking off the door panel as well as testing for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

Checking 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 part of the machine that sends electricity to all the other electrical components the machine requires to run such as the motor, and the water inlet valve.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it might have to be tested while live, 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 dishwasher that selects the program and will vary depending on the make or model of your dishwasher. A broken selector switch or one that has got stuck might cause the dishwasher not to turn on.

You can usually see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you might be required to disconnect the dishwasher in order to access the control panel to test the connections for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that may cause your dishwasher not to start, thus this might be the issue if you have checked the control panel and thus know 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 should be mounted next to it. This can then be removed plus checked with the help of a multimeter, if faulty you may have to replace it.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

If you have checked the above issues but still haven’t found the fault the next part to check is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all machines have a thermal fuse.

If it will need to be replaced in order to restore power to the control board.

Examining the Drive Motor

The final component you can check that could 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 yet still aren’t getting anywhere this might be the issue especially 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 panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it using a multimeter and replace if broken.

When to Contact a Repair person

If you don’t have a multimeter and are not confident in taking panels off your machine and checking the parts then you will need to call a professional sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to perform the above troubleshooting then you may well be able to fix the problem without needing a professional. Yet if you are not sure it might be easier to call in the professionals.

Plus have a look at your insurance plus your home cover as dishwasher repairs could be included and so the costs could not be as high as you think.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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