Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher is broken isn’t a good way to start your day, particularly if you are also faced with the cost of calling out a professional and taking time off work to meet them just to pinpoint the problem.

Luckily it’s often easy to pinpoint and often fix a number of dishwasher issues alone without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you own a multimeter.

You might discover you can sort out the issue quite easily alone, especially if you are quite handy, and if not at worst you will be better placed to describe the fault when you eventually do call a repair person.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you begin searching for a new dishwasher there are a number of simple issues you can identify fairly easily.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Faults That Will Prevent Your Machine From Turning On

Before you start going through the following list of possible issues ensure that your dishwasher hasn’t been inadvertently unplugged, as well as that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

At this point you should also check that the child lock hasn’t been activated and try resetting your dishwasher.

You will most likely require the user guide to do this due to the fact that machines vary however the child lock is often quite easy to engage inadvertently. Similarly, the dishwasher may have power however will not start, in this case the answer could be as simple as resetting the program.

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

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

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

Checking the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your dishwasher is designed not to operate if the door latches are broken for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want begin the dishwasher without meaning to with the door not closed.

A defective switch will prevent your machine from turning on plus operating. You can check the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be located behind the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure the dishwasher is disconnected before removing the door panel and 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 the door latch plus door latch switch, are working as they are meant to the next component to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that sends electricity to all the different electrical components the machine needs to run including the motor, and the water inlet valve.

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

Checking the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the cycle , it’s style and location will vary contingent on the make or model of your dishwasher. A broken selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed might result in the machine not to start.

You should be able to visually check to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you might be required 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 component that can cause your machine not to run, so this might be the problem if you have tested the control panel and thus know that there should be power running to the main pump.

To investigate this you will have to gain access to the motor as well as find the relay that will usually be located next to it. This can then be removed as well as checked with a multimeter and it could have to be replaced.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

Once you have investigated the above issues and are still looking for the problem the next component to test would be the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is designed to protect the control board.

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

Testing the Drive Motor

The final part of the machine you can test that may stop your dishwasher from working is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

Once you have checked the other electrical components but still aren’t getting anywhere this might be the culprit particularly if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You can usually gain access to the motor by taking off the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it with the help of a multimeter then replace if faulty.

When to Contact 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 an engineer.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you may well be able to resolve the fault without assistance. However if you are con confident it’s always better to call in the professionals.

Don’t forget to examine your warranty as well as your home cover as dishwasher repairs might be covered meaning the costs may be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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