Dishwasher Won’t Turn On

dishwasher repair man repairing a dishwasher
We take our dishwashers for granted until these helpful appliances break down, and we have to start washing dishes the traditional way. Your dishwasher may have given you excellent service for years without problems, and then one day, it won’t turn on.
It remains silent when you click the power button, and you don’t hear the usual grinding or humming sounds as the appliance goes through washing and rinsing cycles. Dishwashers usually last up to ten years, but there are several reasons why these household features need repairs.
Our Ideal Fix experts explore these inconveniences below, with tips on what to do when your dishwasher won’t turn on, and the dirty dishes are mounting.

Drive Motor

When your Kenmore dishwasher won’t turn on, it is a huge inconvenience. The drive motor is a component that circulates the water within the machine. The electrical power to this motor comes through the timer or the electronic control via a start relay.

For example, if your LG dishwasher won’t turn on when the start relay powers the motor, the problem could be a faulty drive motor. Use a multi-meter to test the motor windings for continuity. If there’s a hum originating from the motor, it could be a sign of a seized motor, which needs replacement.
Remember to unplug the dishwasher from the power before you attempt any fixes.

Thermal Fuse

A defective thermal fuse will prevent power from entering the control board, which is why your dishwasher won’t turn on even though there is power. When you run a dishwasher too much, it heats up and may blow a thermal fuse. The shutdown action protects the electronic control board in your appliance, and a multi-meter will help you determine whether or not the thermal fuse is defective.
It is a simple enough repair when a Samsung dishwasher won’t turn on due to a fuse problem. You will find the thermal fuse on the top of the circuit board assembly, usually with two wires attached to it. Remove the inner door to access the fuse and disconnect these two wires.

Selector Switch

The selector switch allows you to choose individual wash cycles, like heated dry or Eco wash. The switch can be used in the motor or fill circuit, and when it is faulty, your GE dishwasher won’t turn on.
Ensure the switch is properly depressed before you try to disassemble the dishwasher, though. Then, check the contacts of the selector switch for continuity.
You can access the selector switch from the control panel, but you will have to remove the indoor panel to see inside. For safety, drain the water and disconnect the power before tinkering inside the machine.

Motor Start Relay

Some dishwashers have start relays that trigger the main pump motor. It is a component with a rotating plunger with a set of contacts that supplies power to the motor windings until the mechanism takes over.
If your dishwasher won’t start, but there’s power from the control circuit to the motor, the problem could be a defective motor start relay. It is near the motor, and you can connect it to the multi-meter to check for continuity.
The coil portion should always show continuity, but the switch contact will only pass current when activated manually by turning the dishwasher upside down. The action allows the plunger to drop.
Turn off the power and disconnect the plug before you attempt any repairs.

Door Latch Or Switch

If your Kitchenaid dishwasher won’t turn on, check for a faulty door latch or latch switch. The door latch assembly ensures it remains closed during the cycle, preventing leakages. It also features a latch switch that takes power to the controls.
The door latch switch won’t start if the door isn’t shut, and the dishwasher control also won’t receive power.
Check the latch assembly and the switches on top of the door and right behind the door panel to the inside. Remove the screws that hold the door panel in place to access this area. Two switches are wired in a series for safety reasons.
Test the door catch manually by inserting the latch into the assembly to determine if it activates the switches. If the switch doesn’t respond, use a multi-meter to check it for continuity.

Timer and Electronic Control Panel

If your Whirlpool dishwasher won’t turn on and the door latches are intact, the next check is the timer. Your dishwasher will first drain any water in the tub—if not, check both the timer and electronic controls.
Most manual models supply the pump motor, inlet valve, drain pump motor, and heater circuit with power in a timed sequence. The timer uses multiple electrical contacts powered by a small motor. Test the timer contacts for continuity using the schematic diagram for your dishwasher to determine which contacts control the motor and valve circuits.
Disconnect the appliance from the power source before you perform any repairs.
The main circuit board in an electronic control panel does the same job as the manual timer. It incorporates a microprocessor and electric relays to control the motor and the circuits of the inlet valve. Be sure to check the relay’s output with a multi-meter or call one of our Ideal Fix technicians for assistance. Electronic control models display fault codes whenever there is a problem, which makes it easier.
For reference, both the electronic control board and the mechanical timer are behind the control panel on top of the door. Detach the inner door panel to access both components.

Call Ideal Fix When Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn On

When a dishwasher won’t turn on, it isn’t beyond salvaging, and Ideal Fix understands the urgent need for repairs of these convenient household appliances. Our trusted professionals inspect, clean, repair, and maintain your dishwasher and other electrical appliances.
Our kitchen appliance experts at Ideal Fix troubleshoot and restore the dishwasher to full operation.
Call 647-370-5557 today or fill out the contact form on our website for a dishwasher repair quote.

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