Why Won’t My Dishwasher Start? Troubleshooting Tips

Why Won’t My Dishwasher Start?

If your dishwasher won’t start, there could be a few reasons behind it.

First, check if there is a power supply issue by inspecting the GFCI outlet for a tripped reset button or calling an electrician.

Also, ensure that the breaker box is checked for any tripped circuits and reset if necessary.

Another possible reason could be a broken door latch, which can be caused by soap residue or food debris blocking the latch from closing.

To test if the latch is broken, use a multimeter and replace it if the reading is not near zero.

If you have a dishwasher with a child safety lock feature, make sure it is not activated, as this can prevent the dishwasher from starting.

Some dishwashers have a switch on the side of the door to deactivate the child lock, while others require holding down buttons for several seconds.

Lastly, a defective timer switch could also prevent the dishwasher from starting.

Signs of a bad timer include getting stuck on certain cycle settings, not displaying remaining time, or emitting buzzing or clicking noises.

Test the timer switch using a multimeter and replace it if the readings are outside the target range.

Keep in mind that on certain dishwasher models, a blown thermal fuse can cause the dishwasher to shut down and not restart until the fuse is replaced.

Test the thermal fuse using a multimeter and replace it if the reading is not near zero.

Key Points:

  • There could be a power supply issue, so check the GFCI outlet for a tripped reset button or call an electrician.
  • Check the breaker box for tripped circuits and reset if necessary.
  • A broken door latch could be the cause, so check for soap residue or food debris blocking the latch.
  • Test the latch using a multimeter and replace if the reading is not near zero.
  • Make sure the child safety lock feature is not activated, either by using a switch or holding down buttons.
  • A defective timer switch could also be the problem, check for signs such as getting stuck, not displaying remaining time, or emitting buzzing or clicking noises. Test with a multimeter and replace if necessary.

Did You Know?

1. The first dishwasher was invented by a woman named Josephine Cochrane in 1886. She was motivated to create it after her servants broke some of her delicate china.
2. The oldest known dishwasher in the world can be found in a museum in Stuttgart, Germany. It was built in 1889 by a German engineer named Adolf Ferdinand Sommerfeldt.
3. In the United States, the first automatic dishwasher for home use was introduced in 1937 by the popular appliance manufacturer, KitchenAid. However, it wasn’t until the 1950s that dishwashers became more common in American households.
4. Contrary to popular belief, washing dishes by hand is not always more water-efficient than using a dishwasher. According to research, modern dishwashers can actually use less water, especially if you have a full load.
5. Dishwashers have been used for alternative purposes in scientific research. In some laboratories, dishwashers have been utilized to clean and sanitize delicate equipment like pipettes and test tubes more effectively than manual washing.

No Power Supply

To troubleshoot a dishwasher that won’t start, here are some steps you can take:

  1. Check the power supply: Ensure that your dishwasher is properly connected to a power source. If your dishwasher is plugged into a GFCI outlet, look for a tripped reset button on the outlet. Press the reset button if needed. If the GFCI outlet is not the problem, consider calling an electrician to investigate any electrical circuit issues or wiring problems.

  2. Inspect the breaker box: Sometimes, a tripped circuit can prevent the dishwasher from starting. Open your breaker box and look for any switches that are not in their usual position. If you find a switch that has tripped, simply switch it back on to restore power to the dishwasher.

  3. Check the power cord: Examine the power cord for any visible signs of damage or wear. Over time, cords can become frayed or damaged, leading to a loss of power. If you notice any issues with the power cord, it is best to replace it to ensure a consistent power supply to your dishwasher.

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Additionally, keep in mind that if these troubleshooting steps do not resolve the issue, it may be necessary to consult a professional for further assistance.

Broken Door Latch

Another common reason why your dishwasher might not start is a broken door latch. The door latch is a crucial component that ensures the dishwasher does not run with the door open, preventing any accidents and maintaining a tight seal during operation.

Soap residue and food debris can build up over time and prevent the latch from properly closing. Before jumping to the conclusion that your door latch is broken, it is worth cleaning the latch area thoroughly to remove any obstructions. Use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe away any residue that might be hindering the latch’s functionality.

To test if the latch is truly broken, you can use a multimeter. Remove the latch from the dishwasher and set your multimeter to measure resistance (ohms). Touch the multimeter leads to the corresponding terminals on the latch and check the reading. If the reading does not approach zero, it is likely that the latch is indeed broken and needs to be replaced.

If the latch needs to be replaced, here are the steps to follow:

  • First, purchase a new door latch assembly that is compatible with your dishwasher model.
  • Before beginning any work, ensure that the breaker is turned off or the dishwasher is unplugged from the power source.
  • Next, remove the Torx screws located around the inner edge of the door panel to gain access to the latch assembly.
  • Disconnect any wire harnesses connected to the old latch and carefully remove it.
  • Install the new latch assembly in its place, reconnect the wire harnesses, and reassemble the dishwasher door panel.
  • Lastly, test the machine to ensure that the new latch is functioning properly.

Defective Timer Switch

A defective timer switch can be the cause of your dishwasher not starting. The timer switch is responsible for controlling the duration of each phase of the dishwasher cycle and ensuring the proper timing and sequencing of operations.

Signs that indicate a faulty timer switch include the dishwasher getting stuck on certain cycle settings, not displaying the remaining time, or making buzzing or clicking noises during operation. If you experience any of these issues, it is likely that the timer switch is defective and needs to be replaced.

To test for defects in the timer switch, it must be removed from the dishwasher. Once removed, set your multimeter to the resistance (ohms) setting and check the readings on the switch terminals. If the readings fall outside of the target range, it is a clear indication that the timer switch is faulty and needs to be replaced.

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Replacing the timer switch involves several steps. Begin by purchasing a new timer switch that matches the specifications of your dishwasher. Make sure to turn off the breaker or unplug the dishwasher before starting any repairs. Remove the timer knob and unscrew the inner edge of the dishwasher door to access the control panel. Disconnect the wiring harness from the old switch and unplug it from the control board. Remove both the old switch and the timer cam, and install the new switch in their place. Reconnect the wiring harness, reassemble the dishwasher door panel, and finally, test the machine to ensure the new timer switch is functioning correctly.

Blown Thermal Fuse

In certain dishwasher models, a blown thermal fuse can cause the dishwasher to not start. The thermal fuse acts as a safety device, shutting down the dishwasher in case of a power surge or overheating. If the thermal fuse is blown, it needs to be replaced before the dishwasher can be restarted.

To determine if the thermal fuse is the cause of the starting issue:

  • Use a multimeter to measure the fuse’s resistance (ohms).
  • If the reading is significantly above zero, it indicates a blown fuse that needs replacement.

To replace the blown thermal fuse:
1. Turn off the power to the dishwasher by switching off the breaker or unplugging it.
2. Locate the screws around the inner edge of the door panel and remove them to access the internal components.
3. Remove the front panel to reach the cover over the control board.
4. Underneath the cover, you will find the thermal fuse.
5. Disconnect the two wires connected to the thermal fuse.
6. Carefully remove the old fuse using needle-nose pliers.
7. Install the new thermal fuse in its place.
8. Reconnect the wires.
9. Reassemble the dishwasher door panel.
10. Test the machine to ensure it starts properly.

  • Blown thermal fuse can prevent dishwasher from starting.
  • Multimeter can be used to check if the fuse is blown.
  • Power must be turned off before attempting to replace the thermal fuse.
  • The front panel, control board cover, and old fuse should be removed.
  • Carefully install the new thermal fuse and reconnect the wires.
  • Reassemble the dishwasher door panel.
  • Test the machine to verify proper functioning.

Troubleshooting and Repairing Dishwasher Starting Issues

When faced with a dishwasher that won’t start, it can be a frustrating experience. However, understanding the common causes behind this issue can help you troubleshoot and potentially repair the problem without resorting to purchasing a new dishwasher.

Power supply: Start by checking the power supply. Ensure that your dishwasher is receiving the electricity it needs to operate by checking the GFCI outlet and the breaker box. Additionally, inspect the power cord for any signs of damage or wear to maintain a consistent power supply.

Broken door latch: A broken door latch could be the culprit. Thoroughly clean the latch area and perform a multimeter test to determine if the latch needs to be replaced.

Defective timer switch: Similarly, a defective timer switch can prevent the dishwasher from starting. Confirm its functionality by testing the switch with a multimeter.

Blown thermal fuse: Lastly, a blown thermal fuse can cause the dishwasher to shut down. Test the fuse with a multimeter to confirm if it is the source of the problem and replace it if necessary.

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Troubleshooting and repairing dishwasher starting issues can save you the time and expense of purchasing a new dishwasher. By following the steps outlined above, you can identify and address the most common reasons why your dishwasher won’t start, restoring its functionality and ensuring that your kitchen remains efficient and stress-free.



Frequently Asked Questions

Why my dishwasher is not turning on?

If your dishwasher is not turning on, there might be an issue with the power supply. First, check the circuit breaker to see if it has tripped. If it has, simply flip the switch to the “off” position and then back on. However, if the circuit has not tripped, make sure that your dishwasher is correctly plugged into its wall outlet.

What to do if my GE dishwasher won’t start?

If your GE dishwasher is not starting, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can take. First, ensure that the dishwasher is properly plugged into a functional electrical outlet. Next, check that the power switch is turned on. If these basic checks do not solve the issue, it is recommended to inspect your home’s circuit breaker or fuse box for any tripped breakers or blown fuses. Resetting the breakers or replacing the blown fuse may resolve the problem. If the dishwasher still fails to start, it is advisable to consult the user manual or reach out to a certified technician for further assistance.

How do I know if my dishwasher is not working?

One way to determine if your dishwasher is not working is if your dishes don’t feel hot when the cycle ends. The dishwasher’s main function is to clean and sanitize your dishes, and if they come out cold, it may indicate a problem with the heating element or the thermostat. Additionally, if water doesn’t drain out of the bottom, it could suggest a clogged drain or a malfunctioning pump, both of which would require attention and repair. It’s important to promptly address these issues to avoid further damage and ensure the efficient operation of your dishwasher.

Why won’t my dishwasher start even after checking the power source and ensuring it is properly connected?

If the dishwasher still won’t start even after checking the power source and ensuring it is properly connected, there might be a problem with the door switch or latch mechanism. The door switch is an important safety feature that prevents the dishwasher from running if the door is not securely closed. If the switch or latch is faulty, it can disrupt the power supply to the dishwasher and prevent it from starting. In this case, it might be necessary to replace the faulty door switch or latch mechanism to resolve the issue.

Another possible reason could be a malfunctioning control panel or electronic control board. If the dishwasher is receiving power and the door is properly closed, but it still won’t start, it’s possible that there is a problem with the control panel or electronic control board. These components regulate the functions of the dishwasher and if they are not functioning correctly, it can prevent the dishwasher from starting. In such cases, it might be necessary to have the control panel or electronic control board repaired or replaced to restore functionality to the dishwasher.