Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Discovering your dishwasher has stopped working isn’t a fun way to start your day, particularly if you are also faced with the expense of calling out an engineer plus staying home to meet them just to diagnose the fault.

The good news is it’s often easy to diagnose and even fix plenty of machine issues alone without having to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you are able to find a multimeter.

You could find you can sort out the issue quite easily yourself, especially if you are mechanically minded, and if you can’t at worst you will have a better idea of the problem when you do call a repair person.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of considering a new dishwasher there are a number of common issues you should be able to troubleshoot without too much issue.

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

Common Dishwasher Faults That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Turning On

Before you begin going through the following list of potential faults make sure that your machine hasn’t been accidentally switched off, plus 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 and try resetting your dishwasher.

You will probably require the user manual to do this as models vary but the child lock tends to be fairly simple to activate accidentally. Similarly, if the dishwasher has lights yet will not start, the solution might be as simple as resetting the program.

Once you have ruled out these issues it’s time for the real detective work to start.

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

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

Checking 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 operate if these are broken for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want to be able to accidentally run the machine with the door ajar.

A faulty switch will stop your machine from turning on and operating. You may wish to check the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be found behind the front door panel or control panel.

Ensure you have disconnected power to the machine before taking off the door panel as well as checking for continuity to make sure you do not get an electric shock.

If the latches or switches are not working you will need to replace them.

Checking the Timer

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

This is the component that distributes power to all the other parts the machine needs to run such as the pumps, plus the water inlet valve.

If your machine has an electric control rather than a mechanical timer then it could have to be checked while live, this can be dangerous and should only be done by someone who is professionally trained.

Checking the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the component that chooses the cycle and will vary contingent on the make or model of your machine. A faulty selector switch or one that has got stuck may result in the machine not to run.

You should be able to visually investigate to see if the buttons are going down all the way, or you could need to unplug the dishwasher in order to access the control panel to check the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that can cause your dishwasher not to start, so this could be the problem if you have checked the control panel and thus have ascertained that there is power running to the main pump.

To check if this is the case you will have to find the motor as well as locate the relay that will usually be mounted next to it. This can then be taken out plus tested with a multimeter and it might need to be replaced.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

If you have tested the above issues but still haven’t found the problem the next component to check would be the thermal fuse. This may or may not be present and is designed to stop the control board overheating.

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

Examining the Drive Motor

The final component you could test that could stop your machine from running is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

Once you have tested the other electrical components and still aren’t getting anywhere this might be the issue particularly if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You should be able to gain access to the motor by removing the lower access panel. Test it with the help of a multimeter and replace if broken.

When to Contact 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 an engineer sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to undertake the above checks then you may well be able to resolve the fault without assistance. Yet if you are unsure it’s always better to contact an engineer.

Don’t forget to check your warranty plus your home cover as dishwasher repairs could be covered which means the costs might not be as high as you think.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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