Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher has stopped working is never going to be the best part of your day, especially if you have to deal with the expense of phoning a repair person and staying home to meet them just to pinpoint the problem.

Fortunately it’s possible to determine and often resolve many dishwasher faults alone without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you are able to find a multimeter.

You might find you can fix the fault quite easily alone, especially if you are quite handy, and if you can’t at least you will be better placed to describe the fault when you do have to call a repair man.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of considering a new dishwasher there are a few common issues you should be able to identify fairly easily.

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

Commonplace Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Starting

Before you start investigating your machine for problems ensure that your machine hasn’t been switched off, as well as that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

At this point you may wish to also check that the child lock isn’t on and try resetting your dishwasher.

You will most likely require the user manual to do this as models are all different however the child lock tends to be fairly easy to activate without meaning to. Similarly, if the machine has lights yet will not run, the solution could be as easy 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. Check the timer.
  3. Check the selector switch.
  4. Check the motor relay.
  5. Test the thermal fuse.
  6. Check the drive motor.

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

Examining the Door Latch as well as the Door Latch Switch

The first thing to check is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your dishwasher is not designed to operate if these are faulty for understandable reasons. You wouldn’t want to be able to inadvertently begin the machine with the door not closed.

A defective switch will stop your machine from turning on and operating. You can check the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally situated behind the front door panel or control panel.

Double check you have disconnected power to the machine prior to removing the door panel as well as checking for continuity to make sure you do not get an electric shock.

If you discover the latches or switches are faulty you will need a replacement door latch assembly.

Checking the Timer

If you have tested your door latch as well as door latch switch and discovered they are working correctly the next thing to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that distributes power to all the other parts the machine needs to run such as the motor, plus the valves.

If your machine has an electronic control as opposed to a mechanical timer then it could need to be tested while connected, in which case you will need to call an engineer.

Checking the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the program and will vary contingent on the make and model of your dishwasher. A broken selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged might cause the machine not to turn on.

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

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that may result in your dishwasher not running, thus this could be the issue if you have tested the control panel and have ascertained that there should be power going to the main pump.

To investigate if this is the case you need to find the motor as well as find the relay that will usually be located next to it. This could then be removed and checked with the help of a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

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

If you locate the fuse and discover it is blown 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 investigate that might prevent your dishwasher from running is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

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

You should be able to access the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Check it using a multimeter then replace if not working.

When to Get in Touch With 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 are happy to undertake the above troubleshooting then you could well be able to resolve the fault without needing a professional. Yet if you are con confident it might be easier to contact an engineer.

Don’t forget to have a look at your warranty plus your home cover as dishwasher repairs could be covered meaning the expense might not be as high as you think.

More Dishwasher Problems: