Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher has stopped working is never going to be the highlight your day, particularly if you have to deal with the expense of calling out a professional as well as taking time off work to let them in just to determine the problem.

Fortunately it’s very feasible to determine and often sort out many machine problems yourself without having to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you are able to find a multimeter.

You may find 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 have a better idea of the fault when you do call an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you begin looking for a replacement machine there are a few common problems you can identify without too much trouble.

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

Common Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Machine From Turning On

Before you start investigating your machine for issues make sure that your machine hasn’t been unplugged, and that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

This is also an opportune moment to see if the child lock hasn’t been activated as well as try resetting your machine.

You will often require the manual for this due to the fact that models vary however the child lock tends to be fairly simple to put on without meaning to. Likewise, if the machine has lights but will not run, the answer might be as simple as resetting the program.

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

  1. Check the door latch or door latch switch.
  2. Check the timer.
  3. Test the selector switch.
  4. Check the motor relay.
  5. Check 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 plus test the electrical components are working as they should.

Testing the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to test is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to operate if the door latches are faulty for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to accidentally begin the machine with the door not closed.

A defective switch will stop your dishwasher from turning on as well as operating. You should test the switch with a multimeter. The switch is generally located behind the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure you have disconnected power to the machine prior to taking off the door panel and testing for continuity to make sure 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 and door latch switch, are working as they are meant to the next thing to check is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes electricity to all the other components the machine requires to run including the pumps, plus the water inlet valve.

If your dishwasher has an electronic control rather than a mechanical timer then it may need to be tested while live, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Checking the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the cycle and will vary contingent on the make as well as the model of your dishwasher. A not working selector switch or one that has got stuck may cause the machine not to start.

You should be able to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you might be required to disconnect the machine in order to access the control panel to check the connections for continuity using a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that may cause your machine not to start, and this might be the problem if you have tested the control panel and thus have discovered that there should be 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 may then be taken out and tested with a multimeter and it could need to be replaced.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

If you have checked all the above and are yet to find the issue the next part of the machine to investigate is the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is there to stop the control board overheating.

If you locate the fuse and discover it is blown it will need to be replaced in order for the control board to get power.

Examining the Drive Motor

The final component you should be able to test that could stop your machine from operating is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

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

You should be able to access the motor by taking off the lower access panel. Test it by using a multimeter then replace if faulty.

When to Contact an Engineer

If you don’t have a multimeter and are not confident in taking panels off your machine and testing the electrical components then you will need to call a repair person.

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

And have a look at your warranty plus your home cover as appliance repairs could be included which means the costs might be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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