Dishwasher Is Not Turning On? Here’s a Comprehensive Guide to Solve the Issue

If your dishwasher is not turning on, it could be due to a variety of reasons ranging from a faulty power supply to internal electronic issues. This article offers step-by-step solutions to help you diagnose and solve this problem with ease.

Dishwasher Is Not Turning On
Zeroping, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Step 1: Checking the Power Source

Before anything else, it’s essential to confirm whether your dishwasher is not turning on due to a power issue. First, ensure that your dishwasher is properly plugged into the wall socket. If it’s plugged in and still not working, try plugging another appliance into the socket to verify whether the problem is with the outlet itself.

Step 2: Examining the Door Latch

Next, check the dishwasher’s door latch. A dishwasher will not turn on if the door latch is broken or misaligned, as this triggers a safety feature. Look for any obvious damage or misalignment, and if you find any, consider replacing or adjusting the latch accordingly.

For more articles on dishwashers problems, click here: Dishwasher Problems and Solutions: Your Ultimate Guide to Hassle-free Dishwashing

Step 3: Investigating the Selector Switch

The selector switch on your dishwasher lets you choose different wash cycles and settings. If it’s faulty, your dishwasher might not turn on. If the switch feels loose or does not “click” into position, it might be the source of the problem. In this case, you’ll need to replace this part.

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Things you will need:

  1. Unplug the Dishwasher: The first step is always safety. Unplug the dishwasher from its power source or switch off the circuit breaker to avoid electrical shock.
  2. Remove the Outer Door: Open the dishwasher door. Locate the screws that attach the outer door panel to the dishwasher. This is usually along the edges of the door. Unscrew them and lift the door panel off. Remember to keep track of all the screws and where they came from to make reassembly easier.
  3. Access the Control Panel: The selector switch is usually located on the control panel at the top of the door. You will need to remove the screws that hold the control panel in place.
  4. Remove the Selector Switch: Carefully remove the wiring connectors from the selector switch with your needle nose pliers. Remember or note down where each connector goes for easier reassembly. The selector switch itself will typically be held in place by a few more screws or it could be snapped into place. If it’s screwed in, remove the screws; if it’s snapped in, carefully depress the tabs that hold it in place and slide it out.
  5. Test the Selector Switch (optional): If you’re not sure that the selector switch is the problem, you can test it with a multimeter. Set the multimeter to check for continuity. Touch one probe to one terminal of the switch and the other probe to the other terminal. If the multimeter reads zero or near zero, the switch has continuity, which means it’s probably fine. If the multimeter reads anything else, the switch is bad and needs to be replaced.
  6. Install the New Selector Switch: Now that you have your replacement switch, install it by doing the removal process in reverse. Insert the switch into its slot in the control panel and either snap it into place or screw it in. Then, reattach the wiring connectors in the same configuration as before.
  7. Reassemble the Dishwasher: Reattach the control panel and then the outer door panel, screwing everything back into place.
  8. Test the Dishwasher: Plug the dishwasher back in or turn the circuit breaker back on. Run a short cycle to make sure that the selector switch is working properly.
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Step 4: Assessing the Timer or Electronic Control

If your dishwasher is not turning on and all the previous steps fail to solve the issue, the problem could lie in the timer or electronic control. These components are critical in initiating the dishwasher’s operations. However, diagnosing this issue is complex and might require a technician’s expertise.

  1. Unplug the Dishwasher: Always unplug your dishwasher or turn off the circuit breaker before attempting any repair.
  2. Access the Timer: The timer is typically located inside the dishwasher’s control panel. You’ll need to remove the screws securing the inner door panel (these are usually located around the edge of the door). Then lift the panel up and set it aside. This should reveal the control panel.
  3. Identify the Timer: The timer is typically a large dial-type component, often with multiple wire connectors. It should be easily identifiable on the control panel.
  4. Remove the Timer: Depending on the model of your dishwasher, you may need to disconnect the wires from the timer. Make sure to either take a photo or make a note of which wires connect to which terminals for easier reassembly. Once you’ve done that, you can remove the timer. It’s usually held in place with a few screws.
  5. Test the Timer: Use a multimeter set to the Rx1 resistance setting. Touch the probes to the timer’s terminals – one probe to one terminal and the other probe to another terminal. Your multimeter should show a reading of zero or nearly zero if the timer has continuity, which means it’s working properly. A different reading could indicate a problem.
  6. Test the Timer Motor (if applicable): Some timers have a separate timer motor which can be tested in the same way. Remove the motor from the timer, if possible, and check for continuity as you did with the timer. Again, a reading of zero or nearly zero indicates a properly working component, while any other reading could indicate a problem.
  7. Replace the Timer or Timer Motor (if necessary): If either the timer or the timer motor is faulty, you’ll need to order a replacement part and install it. This is typically just a case of reversing the steps you took to remove the part.
  8. Reassemble the Dishwasher: Once you’ve replaced the faulty component, you can reassemble your dishwasher. Plug it back in or turn the circuit breaker back on and run a short cycle to make sure everything is working correctly.
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Dishwasher Is Not Turning On: Conclusion

Figuring out why your dishwasher is not turning on can be a frustrating experience, but with this comprehensive guide, you can systematically troubleshoot the issue. Remember to prioritize safety and consider calling in a professional if the problem persists or involves complicated repairs.