Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher is broken is never going to be the best part of your day, especially if you are also faced with the cost of calling out a repair person and staying home to let them in just to determine the issue.

The good news is it’s possible to diagnose and even resolve many machine issues alone without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to are able to find a multimeter.

You could discover you are able to fix the problem quite easily yourself, especially if you are good at DIY, and if you can’t at least you will have a better idea of the problem when you eventually do call an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you start considering a replacement dishwasher there are a few simple faults you can troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Routine Dishwasher Issues That Will Prevent Your Machine From Turning On

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

This is also an opportune moment to check if the child lock isn’t on plus try resetting your machine.

You will probably need the user guide to do this due to the fact that machines are all different however the child lock tends to be quite easy to put on inadvertently. Similarly, the dishwasher might have lights yet will not start, in this case the answer could be as simple as resetting the program.

When you have ruled out these problems it’s time for the real troubleshooting to start.

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

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

Testing the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first place to start is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your dishwasher is designed not to start if these are broken for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to accidentally run the machine with the door not closed.

A faulty switch will stop your dishwasher from starting and completing a cycle. You may wish to test the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be located under the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure the dishwasher is disconnected prior to taking off the door panel and checking for continuity to ensure you do not get an electric shock.

If the latches or switches are broken 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 component that sends electricity to all the different electrical components the machine requires to operate such as the motor, as well as the valves.

If your dishwasher has an electric control as opposed to a mechanical timer then it could have to be checked while connected, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

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 or model of your dishwasher. A not working selector switch or one that has got stuck may result in the machine not to run.

You can usually see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you might be required to disconnect the machine and access the control panel to check the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another component that could result in your dishwasher not running, and this could be the fault if you have tested the control panel and so have ascertained that there should be power running to the main pump.

To check if this is the case you will have to gain access to the motor plus locate the relay that will usually be mounted next to it. This can then be removed plus checked with the help of a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

If you have tested all the above and are still looking for the issue the next component 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 dishwasher you could check that may prevent your machine from working is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

Once you have tested the other electrical components and still aren’t getting anywhere this might be the cause of the problem particularly if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You can usually locate the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Check it using a multimeter then replace if faulty.

When to Contact 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 sooner rather than later.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above checks then you could well be able to resolve the issue without assistance. Yet if you are not sure it’s always better to contact an engineer.

Don’t forget to examine your insurance as well as your home cover as appliance repairs may be covered 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
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