Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher has stopped working is never going to be the best part of your day, particularly if you have to deal with the expense of calling out an engineer plus staying home to meet them just to pinpoint the problem.

Luckily it’s very feasible to pinpoint and often sort out plenty of dishwasher issues alone without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to own a multimeter.

You could discover you can sort out the issue quite easily by yourself, especially if you are mechanically minded, and if not at worst you will have a better idea of the problem when you eventually do call an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start

In advance of looking for a new machine there are a number of simple issues you should be able to troubleshoot without too much issue.

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

Routine Dishwasher Problems That Will Prevent Your Dishwasher From Starting

In advance of checking your machine for faults ensure that it hasn’t been inadvertently unplugged, 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 and try resetting your dishwasher.

You will most likely require the user guide for this as models vary but the child lock tends to be fairly simple to activate accidentally. Similarly, if the machine has lights however will not start, the solution might be as easy as resetting the cycle.

Once you have ruled out these issues 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. Check the selector switch.
    4. Examine the motor relay.
    5. Test the thermal fuse.
    6. Check the drive motor.

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

Examining the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first thing to test is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your dishwasher is not designed to run if the door latches are broken for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want begin the machine without meaning to with the door not closed.

A broken switch will stop your dishwasher from turning on and running. You should test the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally situated under the front door panel or control panel.

Double check you have disconnected power to the dishwasher before taking off the door panel as well as checking for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

Checking the Timer

If the door latch as well as door latch switch, are working as they are meant to the next component to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes electricity to all the other parts the machine needs to operate including the motor, and the water inlet valve.

If your dishwasher has an electronic control as opposed to a mechanical timer then it could need to be checked while connected, in which case you should call a repair person.

Testing the Selector Switch

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

You should be able to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you may have to unplug the machine in order to gain access to the control panel to test the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another component that can cause your dishwasher not to run, and this could be the fault if you have checked the control panel and so have discovered that there is power running to the motor.

To test if this is the case you need to gain access to the motor and locate the relay that will usually be mounted next to it. This could then be removed as well as tested using a multimeter, if broken you may have to replace it.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

When you have tested the above issues yet still haven’t found the problem the next part of the dishwasher to check would be the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is there to protect the control board.

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

Examining the Drive Motor

The final part of the machine you should be able to test that might prevent your dishwasher from running is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

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

You can usually locate the motor by taking off the panel at the bottom of the machine. Check it using a multimeter and replace if faulty.

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 be better off calling an engineer sooner rather than later.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you could well be able to resolve the problem without needing a professional. However if you are not sure it’s always better to contact an engineer.

Plus check your warranty and your home cover as dishwasher repairs could be covered meaning the expense may not be as high as you think.

More Dishwasher Problems: