Why Won’t My Dishwasher Start? Troubleshooting Tips

Why Won’t My Dishwasher Start?

There are several common reasons why a dishwasher won’t start.

These include issues with water, draining, or starting.

Before calling a professional, it is recommended to troubleshoot the problem by checking if the dishwasher is plugged in and if the child-lock feature is engaged.

Ensure that the plug is securely connected and check if a fuse blew or a breaker has tripped.

Refer to the owner’s manual for disabling child-lock or delayed-start features.

Additionally, try resetting the dishwasher between cycles by unplugging it and then plugging it back in.

If the dishwasher door cannot close properly, the switches that activate the wash cycle won’t be triggered.

Inspect the latch for damage and check the switches with a multimeter to identify the problem.

The selector switch on the dishwasher may be stuck between settings, preventing the machine from turning on.

Ensure that the switch is properly depressed and check the control panel.

If the door latch assembly and selector switch are functioning correctly, other parts like the timer, electronic control, motor start relay, and thermal fuse should be tested with a multimeter.

Replace any malfunctioning parts as necessary.

If troubleshooting steps have been tried and failed, or if you are not comfortable working with appliance inner workings, it is advisable to hire a professional appliance repair technician.

Key Points:

  • Several common reasons why a dishwasher won’t start
  • Troubleshoot the problem by checking if the dishwasher is plugged in and if the child-lock feature is engaged
  • Check if a fuse blew or a breaker has tripped
  • Reset the dishwasher between cycles by unplugging it and then plugging it back in
  • Inspect the latch for damage and check the switches with a multimeter
  • Ensure that the selector switch is properly depressed and check the control panel

Did You Know?

1. The average lifespan of a dishwasher is approximately 9-12 years, but this can vary depending on the usage and maintenance.

2. Dishwashers use an average of 6 gallons (or 22.7 liters) of water per cycle, making them more water-efficient than hand washing.

3. A common reason why a dishwasher won’t start is due to a faulty door switch. The door switch acts as a safety feature to prevent the dishwasher from running if the door is not securely closed.

4. Some dishwashers feature a sensor called a turbidity sensor, which measures the cloudiness of the water to determine whether additional rinses are needed. This helps to conserve water and energy by preventing unnecessary rinsing cycles.

5. When running a dishwasher, it is recommended to scrape off large food particles rather than pre-rinsing the dishes. This is because modern dishwashers are designed to tackle food particles, and pre-rinsing can actually lead to excessive water wastage.

Troubleshooting Tips Before Calling A Professional

When troubleshooting a dishwasher that refuses to start, there are a few easy steps you can take before calling a professional repair technician. These steps can help identify and resolve common issues preventing the dishwasher from turning on.

  • Check the plug and child-lock feature: Make sure the dishwasher is properly plugged in and that the child-lock feature is not engaged. Sometimes, a loose plug or an activated child-lock can be easily overlooked. Ensure the plug is securely connected to the outlet and that the child-lock feature is disabled.

  • Inspect the fuse and breaker: If the plug and child-lock feature are in order, check if a fuse blew or a breaker has tripped. Go to the household breaker box and inspect each breaker. If you find one flipped to the wrong side, reset it to restore power to the dishwasher.

  • Refer to the owner’s manual: For more specific troubleshooting instructions, consult the owner’s manual of your dishwasher. The manual may provide guidance on disabling the child-lock feature or delayed-start features that could be causing the issue. Following the manufacturer’s instructions can often help resolve minor problems.

  • Reset the dishwasher: If none of the previous steps resolved the issue, try resetting the dishwasher between cycles. Sometimes, the dishwasher’s control panel may become temporarily unresponsive. To reset, unplug the dishwasher from the power source, wait a few minutes, and then plug it back in. This can often clear any temporary glitches and restore normal functionality.

  • Check the door latch: Inspect the door latch for proper functioning. If the dishwasher door cannot close properly, the switches that activate the wash cycle won’t be triggered, causing the dishwasher not to start. Look for any damage or debris obstructing the latch’s operation. Use a multimeter to check the switches for continuity. Address any identified issues before attempting to start the dishwasher.

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Door Latch Issues

One common reason for a dishwasher failing to start is a problem with the door latch. If the dishwasher door cannot close properly, the wash cycle won’t be triggered, preventing the dishwasher from starting.

To determine if the door latch is the issue, inspect it for any damage or obstruction. Over time, dirt, debris, or gunk can accumulate and hinder its proper functioning. Thoroughly clean the latch, ensuring it moves smoothly and engages with the door when closed.

If cleaning the latch doesn’t solve the problem, you can use a multimeter to test the switches activated by the door latch. Set the multimeter to resistance or continuity mode and place the probes on the switch terminals. If the multimeter shows no continuity or a significantly high resistance reading, it indicates a faulty switch that needs replacement.

In some cases, the problem may be related to the child-safety latch. This feature prevents children from accidentally starting the dishwasher. Check if the child-lock feature is engaged and disable it if needed. Consult the owner’s manual or manufacturer’s instructions for guidance.

If, after inspecting, cleaning the latch, and ensuring the switches function correctly, the dishwasher still won’t start, it’s best to seek assistance from a professional appliance repair technician as there may be other underlying causes.

Stuck Selector Switch

Another common reason for a dishwasher not starting is a stuck selector switch. The selector switch on the dishwasher is responsible for selecting different wash cycles or options. If it gets stuck between settings, it can prevent the machine from turning on.

To check if the selector switch is the problem, visually inspect the control panel and ensure that the switch is properly depressed and not stuck in a midway position. Gently press the switch in both directions to see if it adjusts and springs back into place. If the switch appears loose or fails to move freely, it may need to be replaced.

In some cases, disassembling the control panel and inspecting the connections to the selector switches may be necessary. Look for any signs of damage or loose wiring and address them accordingly. Consider consulting a professional appliance repair technician if the issue persists or if you’re not comfortable working with the inner workings of your dishwasher.

Testing Other Components With A Multimeter

If the door latch assembly and selector switch are functioning correctly, but your dishwasher still won’t start, other components such as the timer, electronic control, motor start relay, and thermal fuse should be tested. These components play crucial roles in initiating and maintaining the dishwasher’s operation.

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To test these components, you will need a multimeter. A multimeter is a handy tool that measures various electrical properties, such as voltage, resistance, and continuity. Set your multimeter to the appropriate mode for each test and follow these steps:

1. Timer: Disconnect any power source and access the timer assembly. Using the multimeter, check if there is continuity between certain terminals or if resistance readings match the specifications outlined in the manufacturer’s instructions. If the readings are significantly off or there is no continuity, the timer may need to be replaced.

2. Electronic Control: Similar to the timer, use the multimeter to test for continuity or resistance on the electronic control module. Follow the manufacturer’s guidance for the specific tests to perform and compare your readings against the recommended specifications. If the readings deviate significantly, the control module may need to be replaced.

3. Motor Start Relay: Locate the motor start relay, typically situated on the control board. Disconnect any power source and test the relay for continuity or resistance using the multimeter. Again, compare your readings against the values specified by the manufacturer. If the readings are outside the acceptable range, the motor start relay may need to be replaced.

4. Thermal Fuse: The thermal fuse plays a critical role in protecting the dishwasher from overheating. If the thermal fuse blows, electricity stops reaching the control board, and the dishwasher will not start. Disconnect the wires connected to the thermal fuse, then use the multimeter to check for continuity or resistance. If there is no continuity or the resistance reading is significantly high, the thermal fuse has likely blown and needs to be replaced.

5. Drive Motor: The drive motor is responsible for propelling water through the dishwasher during the wash cycle. A defective motor can prevent the dishwasher from starting. To test the motor, disconnect the wires connected to it and use the multimeter to measure for continuity or resistance. If there is no continuity or the resistance reading is significantly high, the drive motor may be faulty and require professional repair or replacement.

Remember, always disconnect the dishwasher from its power source before attempting any troubleshooting or repairs involving electrical components.

Consult a professional appliance repair technician for further assistance and to determine the best course of action if any of the tested parts are not functioning properly.

When To Hire A Professional

While troubleshooting steps and tests can assist in identifying the issue preventing your dishwasher from starting, there are instances where it is best to hire a professional appliance repair technician.

If you have attempted the troubleshooting tips above and the dishwasher still won’t start, it may indicate a more complex problem that requires professional expertise. Additionally, if you are not comfortable working with the inner workings of your dishwasher, it’s advisable to seek professional assistance.

A professional repair technician has the necessary knowledge, tools, and experience to diagnose and fix the underlying issues effectively. They can quickly identify faulty components, order necessary parts, and complete the repair efficiently. Depending on the complexity of the problem, some repairs may be completed on the same day as the appointment, while more extensive repairs may require ordering and delivering parts.

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When scheduling a professional repair service, be sure to provide them with all the information about the troubleshooting steps you have already taken. This information can help them in diagnosing the problem more efficiently and save time during the service appointment.

In conclusion, various factors such as a faulty door latch, stuck selector switch, malfunctioning components like the timer, electronic control, motor start relay, thermal fuse, or drive motor can prevent a dishwasher from starting. By following the troubleshooting tips outlined above and knowing when to seek professional help, you can increase the chances of resolving the problem and getting your dishwasher up and running again.



Frequently Asked Questions

What would cause a dishwasher not to turn on?

One possible reason for a dishwasher not turning on could be an issue with the door latch. If the door latch is faulty, it may not properly engage, causing the dishwasher to not receive the signal to start. Another potential cause could be a power supply problem. If the dishwasher is not getting electrical power, it will not be able to turn on. This could be due to various issues, such as a tripped circuit breaker or a malfunctioning electrical outlet. Additionally, problems with the control panel or broken internal components can also prevent the dishwasher from functioning.

Why is my dishwasher clicking and not washing?

If your dishwasher is clicking and not washing, one possible reason could be a blockage or clog in the filter. When the filter is blocked, it can obstruct the water flow and prevent the dishwasher from cleaning properly. To resolve the issue, carefully inspect and clean all the components surrounding the filter, including the sprayer arms, impellers, gasket magnets, and seals. Ensuring that these components are free from debris will help restore proper water circulation and eliminate the clicking sound while improving the dishwasher’s washing performance.

What is the most common failure on a dishwasher?

The most common failure on a dishwasher is a clogged drain. Over time, food particles, grease, and other debris can build up in the drain and prevent proper drainage. This can cause water to pool at the bottom of the dishwasher and leave dishes dirty. It is important to regularly clean and maintain the dishwasher’s drain to avoid this issue. Additionally, ensuring that the drain hose is properly connected and not kinked can help prevent drainage problems.

Why is my dishwasher not starting and beeping?

If your dishwasher is not starting and beeping, it could be due to a different issue. One possibility is that there might be a problem with the control panel. Check if any buttons are stuck or unresponsive. If so, try resetting the dishwasher by turning off the power and then turning it back on after a few minutes. If the problem persists, it is advisable to contact a technician for further assistance as it could indicate a more complex electrical or mechanical issue.

Another potential reason for your dishwasher not starting and beeping could be a malfunctioning sensor or switch. These components detect the proper closure of the door and initiate the cycle. Check if the door is closing properly and securely. If not, the sensors or switches may need to be inspected or replaced. It is also important to ensure that the dishwasher is not overloaded or that any obstructions are blocking the door from closing fully. If none of these actions resolve the issue, contacting a professional repair service would be recommended.