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 are also faced with the cost of phoning a professional as well as staying home to let them in just to pinpoint the problem.

Fortunately it’s possible to determine and even resolve many dishwasher issues alone without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you happen to have a multimeter.

You could find you are able to fix the fault quite easily 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 eventually do phone a repair person.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

Before you start looking for a new dishwasher there are a few common issues you should be able to identify without too much issue.

Safety Warning: Always make sure your machine is unplugged before attempting repairs.

Commonplace Dishwasher Problems That Will Stop Your Machine From Turning On

Before you begin going through the following list of possible problems ensure that it hasn’t been accidentally switched off, and that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

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

You will often need the user guide to do this due to the fact that machines are all different however the child lock is often fairly easy to put on without meaning to. Likewise, the machine may have lights but will not start, in this case the solution could be as easy as resetting the cycle.

Once you have ruled out these faults 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. Test the motor relay.
    5. Examine the thermal fuse.
    6. Test the drive motor.

To test these electrical components you will have to have a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to test the resistance as well as check the electrical components are operating as they are meant to.

Testing the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to check is the door latches and door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to operate if these are faulty for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want start the machine without meaning to with the door ajar.

A defective switch will stop your dishwasher from starting plus operating. You can test the switch using a multimeter. The switch is generally located behind the front door panel or control panel.

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

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

Testing the Timer

If the door latch and 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 sends power to all the other components the machine needs to operate including the pumps, and the water inlet valve.

If your machine is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it may need to be checked while connected, 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 selects the cycle , it’s style and location will vary contingent on the make or model of your dishwasher. A not working selector switch or one that has got stuck could cause the machine not to run.

You should be able to visually check to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you might have to unplug the dishwasher and access the control panel to test the connections for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative component that could cause your dishwasher not to start, and this might be the fault if you have checked the control panel and know that there should be power running to the main pump.

To investigate this you need to find the motor and locate the relay that should be located next to it. This could then be removed plus tested with the help of a multimeter and it may have to be replaced.

Checking the Thermal Fuse

Once you have checked all the above but still haven’t found the issue the next part to investigate would be the thermal fuse. Note: Not all dishwashers have a thermal fuse.

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 part of the dishwasher you could investigate that might stop your machine from working is the drive motor. This is the component that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

Once you have checked the other parts and still haven’t discovered the issue this may be the issue particularly if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You can usually access the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Check it with the help of a multimeter and replace if broken.

When to Get in Touch With 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 a repair person.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you might well be able to resolve the fault without assistance. But if you are not sure it’s always better to contact an engineer.

Don’t forget to have a look at your warranty and your home cover as dishwasher repairs could be included and so the costs might not be as high as you think.

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