Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher has stopped working isn’t a fun way to start your day, especially if you have to deal with the cost of calling out an engineer and taking time off work to meet them just to pinpoint the issue.

The good news is it’s possible to pinpoint and even resolve plenty of dishwasher issues yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you have a multimeter.

You might realize you can sort out the issue quite easily yourself, especially if you are mechanically minded, and if you can’t at worst you will have a better idea of the problem when you eventually do call a repair man.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of looking for a replacement machine there are a few common issues you can identify without too much trouble.

Safety Warning: Always make sure your dishwasher is unplugged before testing or replacing any electrical components.

Commonplace Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Machine From Turning On

In advance of going through the following list of potential faults make sure that your machine hasn’t been switched off, and that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

This is also a good time to check if the child lock hasn’t been activated plus try resetting your machine.

You will most likely need the manual for this due to the fact that models vary but the child lock tends to be quite easy to put on inadvertently. Similarly, if the dishwasher has lights yet will not start, the solution might be as simple as resetting the cycle.

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

  1. Have a look at the door latch or door latch switch.
  2. Test the timer.
  3. Examine the selector switch.
  4. Test the motor relay.
  5. Test 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 components are working 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 and door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to start if these 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 and operating. You can check the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be located under the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure the machine is unplugged prior to accessing the door panel as well as checking for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

If you discover the latches or switches are not working you will need to replace them.

Testing the Timer

If you have tested your door latch and door latch switch and ascertained they are working correctly the next component to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that sends electricity to all the different electrical components the machine requires to operate including the pumps, and the water inlet valve.

If your machine is controlled electronically rather than mechanically then it could need to be tested while plugged in, 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 and will vary depending on the make as well as the model of your dishwasher. A broken selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged could result in the dishwasher not to turn on.

You can usually see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you could need to unplug the dishwasher in order to access the control panel to test the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that can cause your machine not to start, thus this may be the issue if you have checked the control panel and thus know that there should be power going to the motor.

To test if this is the case you need to locate the motor and locate the relay that will usually be located next to it. This can then be taken out plus tested with a multimeter and it could have to be replaced.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

Once you have checked the above issues yet still haven’t found the problem the next component to test would be the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is there to protect the control board.

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

Testing the Drive Motor

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

If you have checked the other parts but still haven’t discovered the issue this could be the issue especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You should be able to access the motor by removing the lower access panel. Check it by using a multimeter then 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 checking the electrical components then you will need to call a professional sooner rather than later.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you might well be able to resolve the fault without needing a professional. However if you are unsure it might be easier to contact an engineer.

Plus have a look at your warranty and your home cover as dishwasher repairs may be covered which means the expense may not be as high as you think.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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