Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher isn’t working isn’t a great way to start your day, particularly if you have to deal with the cost of phoning an engineer as well as staying home to let them in just to pinpoint the fault.

The good news is it’s often easy to diagnose and often resolve many dishwasher faults yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to own a multimeter.

You could realize you are able to resolve the problem quite easily by yourself, especially if you are good at DIY, and if you can’t at worst you will be better placed to describe the fault when you do call an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of looking for a replacement machine there are a number of simple issues you should be able to troubleshoot fairly easily.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Problems That Will Stop Your Machine From Turning On

Before you start checking your dishwasher for problems make sure that your machine hasn’t been accidentally switched off, and that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

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

You will often need the user guide to do this as models vary but the child lock tends to be fairly easy to put on inadvertently. Similarly, the machine could have lights however will not run, in this case the answer may be as simple as resetting the cycle.

When you have eliminated these problems you can start the real troubleshooting.

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

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

Testing the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first thing to test is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your machine is not designed to operate if these are broken for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want begin the dishwasher without meaning to with the door ajar.

A broken switch will stop your machine from turning on plus running. You may wish to test the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be situated behind the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure the dishwasher is unplugged prior to removing the door panel and checking 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 latch mechanism is working as it should the next component to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that sends power to all the other components the machine needs to operate such as the pumps, plus the valves.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it might need to be tested while live, in which case you should call a repair person.

Testing the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the program and will vary depending on the make or model of your dishwasher. A not working selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed may result in the machine not to start.

You can usually visually investigate to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you may be required to disconnect the dishwasher in order to have a look at the control panel to check the contact points for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that may result in your machine not running, thus this may be the fault if you have checked the control panel and so have ascertained that there is power going to the motor.

To investigate this you will have to locate the motor and find the relay that should be mounted next to it. This could then be taken out and checked with the help of a multimeter, if faulty you may have to replace it.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

Once you have checked the above issues and are still looking for the fault the next component to check is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers have a thermal fuse.

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

Examining the Drive Motor

The final component you could test that might prevent your dishwasher from running is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

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

You can usually locate the motor by removing the lower access panel. Check it with the help of a multimeter then replace if broken.

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.

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

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

More Dishwasher Problems:

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