Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher is broken isn’t a good way to begin your day, especially if you have to deal with the cost of calling out an engineer as well as taking time off work to let them in just to determine the issue.

Luckily it’s very feasible to pinpoint and often resolve plenty of machine problems yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to have a multimeter.

You might find you are able to sort out the fault quite easily by yourself, especially if you are mechanically minded, and if you can’t at least you will be better placed to describe the issue when you do have to call an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of looking for a new machine there are a number of simple issues you can identify without too much trouble.

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

Routine Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Machine From Starting

Before you start going through the following list of possible issues make sure that your dishwasher hasn’t been inadvertently unplugged, and that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

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

You will often require the manual for this as machines vary however the child lock tends to be fairly simple to put on accidentally. Likewise, if the machine has lights but will not run, the answer could be as simple as resetting the cycle.

Once you have eliminated these problems it’s time for the real troubleshooting to start.

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

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

Checking the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to check is the door latches as well as door latch switches. Your dishwasher is not designed to start if the door latches are not working for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want begin the machine without meaning to with the door ajar.

A defective switch will stop your dishwasher from turning on plus operating. You can test the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be located under the front door panel or control panel.

Double check the machine is disconnected before removing the door panel and checking for continuity to ensure you do not get an electric shock.

If the latches or switches are not working you will need a replacement door latch assembly.

Checking the Timer

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

This is the part of the machine that distributes electricity to all the other components the machine requires to operate such as the pumps, plus the water inlet valve.

If your machine has an electronic control as opposed to a mechanical timer then it might need to be tested while plugged in, in which case you will need to call a repair man.

Checking the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the program , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make as well as the model of your machine. A faulty selector switch or even one that has not been fully depressed could result in the machine not to run.

You should be able to visually check to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you may be required to unplug the dishwasher in order to have a look at the control panel to check the connections for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

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

To investigate this you need to find the motor plus find the relay that should be mounted next to the motor. This may then be taken out plus checked with a multimeter, if faulty you may have to replace it.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

If you have investigated the above issues yet still haven’t found the fault the next part to test would be the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is there to protect the control board.

If it will need to be replaced in order for the control board to get power.

Checking the Drive Motor

The final component you could investigate that may prevent your machine from running is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

When you have tested the other electrical components and still haven’t discovered the issue this may be the cause of the problem especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You should be able to locate the motor by removing the lower access panel. Test it using a multimeter and replace if broken.

When to Contact an Engineer

If you don’t have a multimeter and are not confident in taking panels off your machine and checking the electrical components then you will be better off calling an engineer.

If you are happy to undertake the above checks then you may well be able to resolve the problem without needing a professional. Yet if you are not sure it’s always better to call in the professionals.

Plus have a look at your insurance as well as your home cover as appliance repairs could be covered meaning the costs could be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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