Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher isn’t working isn’t a fun way to start your day, particularly if you are also faced with the cost of phoning a repair person and taking time off work to meet them just to determine the issue.

Luckily it’s often easy to determine and even resolve many machine faults alone without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you happen to own a multimeter.

You could find you are able to sort out the issue quite easily yourself, particularly if you are good at DIY, and if you can’t at worst you will have a better idea of the fault when you eventually do call an engineer.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of searching for a replacement machine there are a number of possible issues you should be able to identify without too much issue.

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

Everyday Dishwasher Issues That Will Prevent Your Machine From Starting

Before you start going through the following list of potential issues make sure that your dishwasher hasn’t been unplugged, plus that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

This is also a good time to check if the child lock isn’t on and try resetting your dishwasher.

You will most likely need the manual to do this as models are all different but the child lock is often fairly simple to activate accidentally. Likewise, if the dishwasher has lights but will not run, the solution may be as easy as resetting the cycle.

Once you have eliminated these problems it’s time for the real detective work to begin.

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

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

Examining the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first thing to test is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your machine is not designed to run if the door latches are broken for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want run the dishwasher without meaning to with the door not closed.

A defective switch will prevent your dishwasher from turning on plus running. You can check the switch with a multimeter. The switch will usually be situated under the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure you have disconnected power to the machine before taking off the door panel and checking for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

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

Checking the Timer

If the latch mechanism is operating as it should the next thing to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that sends power to all the different electrical components the machine requires to operate such as the pumps, as well as the water inlet valve.

If your machine is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it may have to be checked while connected, in which case you should call a repair person.

Checking the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the component that chooses the program , it’s style and location will vary contingent on the make and model of your machine. A not working selector switch or even one that has not been fully engaged could cause the machine not to start.

You can usually visually check to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you may have to disconnect the dishwasher in order to access the control panel to check the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

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

To test if this is the case you need to find the motor as well as locate the relay that will usually be located next to the motor. This may then be removed as well as tested with the help of a multimeter, if broken you may have to replace it.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

When you have investigated the above issues and are yet to find the problem the next component to investigate would be the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers have a thermal fuse.

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

Checking the Drive Motor

The final part of the dishwasher you should be able to test that may stop your dishwasher from working is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

When you have tested the other electrical components yet still aren’t getting anywhere this might be the culprit especially if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

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

When to Get in Touch With a Professional

If you don’t have a multimeter or are not confident in taking panels off your machine and testing the components then you will need to call a professional sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to undertake the above checks then you may well be able to fix 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 warranty as well as your home cover as appliance repairs might be included meaning the expense may not be as high as you think.

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