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What to Do if the Dishwasher Won't Turn On?

Oleg Chudnovski, CEO

Technically Reviewed by Oleg Chudnovski, CEO on Feb 26, 2024 | Written by Olga Larina

Authorized repair service for most home appliance manufactures

A dishwasher that won’t start can be a frustrating experience after a holiday dinner with a large family. However, if you consider yourself somewhat handy, instead of washing all those dishes by hand, you may want to try fixing the issue yourself. Here’s everything you need to know to troubleshoot and fix a dishwasher that won’t start.

Please read our article to learn more about what to do if the dishwasher won’t turn on and what you can do about it.

Common Reasons Why Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn On

Before you can make any attempt to repair a dishwasher that would not start, you have to figure out the reason for the problem. Several different issues can arise, preventing your dishwasher from operating. Here are some of the more common possibilities.

The Door Latch May Be The Reason Your Dishwasher is Not Turning On

When you close your dishwasher’s door, the latch engages, sending a signal through a circuit board that lets the appliance know that it’s safe to start the motor and begin the washing cycle. If the machine doesn’t start, you’ve tried resetting the power, and you’re still having no luck, your door latch may not be engaging.

To test this theory, you should first examine the latch visibly for obvious signs of wear. If it looks okay, that doesn’t mean it’s working as it should. Next, try pushing the latch mechanism with your fingers. If it seems to resist your efforts or sticks a little, you may still have a problem with the latch that’s preventing your machine from starting to run.

If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start But Has Power, it Could Be The Selector Switch.

Most modern dishwashers have multiple settings. These usually allow us to change our options for heavy-duty cleaning versus lighter cleaning duties, heated cleaning, etc. To change the options available to the operator, your dishwasher uses a selector switch.

If this selector switch stops working correctly, your appliance doesn’t get the signal to begin. Suppose your machine has buttons that allow you to select the setting. Check to see if one of them is sticking and try to return it to the off position. Then, test a setting again. If the machine starts, your issue is the button that’s not disengaging properly.

You May Have a Faulty Timer When the Dishwasher Light’s On But Won’t Start

You may see your dishwasher light up as it should, but it won’t start. One other common problem that may prevent it from operating is the timer. Your dishwasher goes through different functions as it cycles. That starts with the appliance draining any standing water left over from the last time you used it. So, if you don’t hear the machine begin to drain when you start it up, the timer may not signal the dishwasher to start the process and begin cleaning.


What to Do When Your Dishwasher Doesn’t Run

A dishwasher is a major appliance like any other. That means many moving parts and circuit boards play a role in how it operates. If you’re not confident in your ability to work with these types of components, it’s always best to leave the repair attempts to professionals. However, for those with the basic knowledge needed to try, here are the methods you might use to fix the problems mentioned above yourself.

Repairing Your Dishwasher’s Door Latch

To repair or replace a door latch on a dishwasher, you’re going to need a screwdriver. You’ll need it to remove the inner door panel to access the latch and latch assembly. The latch uses a switch that communicates with a circuit board through connecting wires. If you’re uncomfortable working with electrical components, it’s best to reach a qualified repair company.

The first step is to test-check the switch to ensure it engages with the wires. If it isn’t, it’s the source of your problem. Assuming the switches are working as they should and the latch seems to be engaging, you may have a problem with power from the switch to the wires. You can use a multimeter to test this. Once you’ve identified which part of the process is causing the problem, you can replace that component.

Fixing a Selector Switch in a Dishwasher

Fixing a selector switch will also require removing the inner panel to access the switch. Once you remove the panel, you can use the multimeter we mentioned above to test for power between the switch and its connectors. If there’s no power, it probably needs to be replaced. Again, always opt for safety first if you’re uncomfortable working with electrical components. Contact the professionals at FIX Appliances CA for help.

How to Replace a Faulty Timer in a Dishwasher

The timer in your dishwasher is one of the more complicated components to replace. In most modern dishwashers, the circuit board and microprocessor control the timing function of your machine. Unfortunately, this isn’t an easy fix, so unless you’re a qualified technician, we don’t recommend attempting this repair on your own.

I Tried Troubleshooting But the Dishwasher Still Won’t Start

If you’ve exhausted your DIY skills and you can’t quite figure out the root cause of why your dishwasher would not start, it’s time to call FIX Appliances CA. We have much experience understanding why your appliance has stopped and how to fix it. It doesn’t matter whether it won’t turn on at all or the lights are on, and the machine won’t cycle.

Our factory-trained technicians have more than 18+ years of hands-on experience troubleshooting potential causes for why your dishwasher repair witch isn’t starting and fixing it so you can get back to washing dishes. Please call us at 1-888-242-0777 for a same-day appliance repair service in Toronto and the GTA surrounding areas.

Date of page creation: October 01, 2020

Page update date: February 26, 2024


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rating Aleksandr Romanenko, Keswick
Aleksandr Romanenko, Keswick
Kenmore Dryer Repair
March 22, 2024

Have an old dishwasher in my rental unit that needed new springs. Shani was very helpful in arranging the service call and answering all my questions. Alex was the technician sent to do the work. Found replacement parts the following week and fixed the dishwasher; my tenants were satisfied. He arranged both appts with my tenants, to accommodate their schedule. Very professional. Great customer service. Worth the money. Will definitely call them again.

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Admiral dishwasher repair
January 17, 2024

FAQ: Top Frequently Asked Questions

If your dishwasher has power but won't start, it could be due to issues with the door latch, selector switch, or a faulty timer. Check the article for detailed troubleshooting steps.
The door latch may be the culprit if it doesn't engage properly. Check for visible signs of wear, and if it seems resistant or sticks, it might be preventing the dishwasher from starting. The article provides a step-by-step guide to test and repair the door latch.
If the selector switch is malfunctioning, your dishwasher may not receive the signal to start. The article suggests checking for sticking buttons and provides guidance on how to troubleshoot and fix the selector switch issue.
The timer might be causing the issue if the dishwasher lights up but doesn't start. The article explains that the timer plays a crucial role in signaling the dishwasher to begin the cleaning process and provides insights into troubleshooting and addressing timer-related problems.
The article advises that if you're not confident working with electrical components, it's best to leave repairs to professionals. It provides DIY steps for fixing the door latch and selector switch but recommends contacting professionals for timer-related issues. The article concludes by suggesting to call FIX Appliances CA if troubleshooting doesn't resolve the problem.

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