Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher has stopped working isn’t a good way to start your day, particularly if you are also faced with the expense of phoning a repair person plus staying home to meet them just to determine the issue.

Fortunately it’s often easy to diagnose and even fix a number of dishwasher issues by yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you are able to find a multimeter.

You may find you are able to fix the issue quite easily by yourself, particularly if you are good at DIY, and if not at least you will have a better idea of the fault when you eventually do call a repair person.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of searching for a new dishwasher there are a few common faults you should be able to troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Turning On

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

This is also a good time to see if the child lock hasn’t been activated as well as try resetting your dishwasher.

You will often require the user guide for this as machines are all different but the child lock is usually quite simple to activate accidentally. Likewise, the machine might have lights however will not run, in this case the solution could be as easy as resetting the cycle.

When you have eliminated these faults it’s time for the real investigations to start.

    1. Have a look at the door latch or door latch switch.
    2. Check 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 have to have a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to measure the resistance plus check the parts are working as they should.

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 machine is not designed to run if the door latches are not working for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want run the dishwasher without meaning to with the door not closed.

A broken switch will prevent your machine from starting and running. You can check the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be located behind the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure the machine is unplugged prior to removing the door panel plus checking for continuity to ensure you do not get an electric shock.

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

Checking the Timer

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

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

If your machine is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it could have to be checked while connected, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Checking the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the program and will vary contingent on the make as well as the model of your machine. 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 going down all the way, or you might have to unplug the machine and gain access to the control panel to check the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that can cause your dishwasher not to run, and this may be the issue if you have checked the control panel and so have discovered that there should be power going to the main pump.

To test if this is the case you will have to locate the motor plus find the relay that should be located next to it. This could then be taken out as well as tested using a multimeter, if faulty you may have to replace it.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

If you have investigated all the above and are yet to find the problem the next part of the machine to investigate would be the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is designed to protect the control board.

If the fuse is blown you will need to replace it in order to restore power to the control board.

Checking the Drive Motor

The final part of the dishwasher you should be able to check that might prevent your machine from working is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

If you have checked the other components but still aren’t getting anywhere this might be the cause of the problem especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You should be able to locate the motor by removing the lower access panel. Test it by using a multimeter and replace if broken.

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 sooner rather than later.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you may well be able to fix the issue without needing a professional. Yet if you are con confident it might be easier to call in the professionals.

And have a look at your insurance plus your home cover as dishwasher repairs may be included meaning the expense may not be as high as you think.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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