Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher is broken isn’t a good way to start your day, particularly if you are also faced with the cost of phoning an engineer as well as taking time off work to let them in just to pinpoint the fault.

The good news is it’s often easy to pinpoint and even resolve plenty of dishwasher faults alone without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to are able to find a multimeter.

You could discover you are able to fix the problem quite easily alone, especially if you are good at DIY, and if you can’t at worst you will have a better idea of the problem when you eventually do phone a repair person.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

Before you start considering a new machine there are a few common problems you can identify without too much issue.

Safety Warning: Always make sure your dishwasher is unplugged before attempting repairs.

Routine Dishwasher Issues That Will Prevent Your Machine From Turning On

Before you start checking your machine for issues make sure that it hasn’t been accidentally switched off, plus that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

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

You will often require the manual for this as machines are all different but the child lock is often fairly easy to engage accidentally. Likewise, if the machine has lights but will not run, the solution may be as simple as resetting the cycle.

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

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

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

Testing 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 run if these are faulty for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to inadvertently start the machine with the door open.

A defective switch will prevent your machine from starting as well as completing a cycle. You may wish to check the switch with a multimeter. The switch is generally found behind the front door panel or control panel.

Double check the dishwasher is disconnected 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 broken you will need to replace them.

Checking the Timer

If the latch mechanism is working as it should the next thing to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes electricity to all the different components the machine needs to operate including the pumps, as well as the water inlet valve.

If your machine has an electronic control rather than a mechanical timer then it might need to be checked while live, in which case you will need to call an engineer.

Testing the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the cycle , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make and model of your dishwasher. A faulty selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged may result in the dishwasher not to turn on.

You should be able to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you may need to disconnect the machine in order to access the control panel to check the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that could result in your dishwasher not starting, thus this might be the problem if you have checked the control panel and so have ascertained that there should be power running to the motor.

To test this you need to locate the motor and locate the relay that will usually be mounted next to it. This can then be taken out as well as checked using a multimeter, if faulty it could need to be replaced.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

Once you have investigated all the above and are yet to find the issue the next part to investigate would be the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers have a thermal fuse.

If you will need to replace it in order for the control board to get power.

Examining the Drive Motor

The final part of the machine you can 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.

If you have tested the other electrical components yet still haven’t discovered the issue this might be the cause of the problem especially if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You should be able to locate the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it using a multimeter then 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 need to call a professional sooner rather than later.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you might well be able to resolve the issue without needing a professional. But if you are not sure it might be easier to call in the professionals.

Don’t forget to check your insurance as well as your home cover as appliance repairs might be included which means the costs could not be as high as you think.

More Dishwasher Problems: