Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher is broken isn’t a good way to start your day, especially if you are also faced with the expense of phoning a repair person plus staying home to meet them just to determine the fault.

Luckily it’s often easy to pinpoint and often fix a number of dishwasher faults yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to have a multimeter.

You might find you can resolve the fault quite easily yourself, particularly if you are mechanically minded, and if not at least you will have a better idea of the fault when you do phone a repair man.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you begin searching for a replacement dishwasher there are a number of simple problems you should be able to identify fairly easily.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Problems That Will Prevent Your Machine From Starting

In advance of investigating your machine for problems ensure that it hasn’t been unplugged, as well as that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

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

You will often need the manual for this as machines are all different however the child lock is usually fairly simple to put on inadvertently. Likewise, if the dishwasher has lights however will not run, the answer could be as simple as resetting the program.

Once you have ruled out these problems you can start the real troubleshooting.

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

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

Testing the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first thing to test is the door latches and door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to run if these are faulty for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to accidentally run the dishwasher with the door not closed.

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

Make sure the machine is disconnected before accessing the door panel plus checking for continuity to ensure you do not get an electric shock.

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

Testing the Timer

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

This is the component that distributes electricity to all the different parts the machine needs to operate such as the pumps, and the water inlet valve.

If your machine is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it could need to be tested while connected, 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 , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make as well as the model of your machine. A not working selector switch or even one that has not been fully pressed down could cause the machine not to turn on.

You should be able to visually check to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you could have to unplug the dishwasher and gain access to the control panel to test the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that may cause your machine not to start, thus this may be the issue if you have checked the control panel and thus have ascertained that there should be power running to the main pump.

To investigate this you will have to locate the motor and locate the relay that will usually be located next to the motor. This could then be removed and checked with the help of a multimeter, if broken you may have to replace it.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

When you have investigated all the above but still haven’t found the fault the next component to check would be the thermal fuse. Note: Not all machines have a thermal fuse.

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

Examining the Drive Motor

The final component you should be able to check that could stop your machine from running is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

Once you have checked the other parts yet still aren’t getting anywhere this could be the culprit particularly if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You should be able to locate the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Check it with the help of a multimeter and replace if faulty.

When to Get in Touch With a Professional

If you don’t have a multimeter or are not confident in taking panels off your dishwasher and testing the parts then you will need to call an engineer.

If you are happy to undertake the above troubleshooting then you could well be able to fix the problem without assistance. But if you are unsure it might be easier to call in the professionals.

Don’t forget to examine your insurance plus your home cover as dishwasher repairs might be covered and so the expense may be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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