Troubleshooting Why Your Dishwasher Won’t Start or Power On

By Fix4U Team
Dishwasher, Kitchen Appliances

Having trouble getting your dishwasher to start or turn on? A non-working dishwasher can be incredibly frustrating. But don’t worry – in most cases, it’s an easy fix. This guide from Fix4U Repairs will walk you through the top reasons your dishwasher isn’t starting or powering on and show you how to get it working again.

Common Causes For a Dishwasher Not Starting

When your dishwasher won’t start, there are a few key things that could be causing the issue:

Power Supply Problems

Fix4U Repairs' Technicians Fixing Dishwasher  Power Supply  Problem In Gta

The most obvious cause of a dishwasher not turning on is a problem with the power supply. Here’s how to check this:

  • Make sure the dishwasher is plugged in securely. Plug another appliance into the same outlet to confirm power is flowing properly.
  • Check your home’s electrical panel and reset the circuit breaker if it’s tripped. The dishwasher should be on its own dedicated circuit.
  • Test the outlet with a multimeter to check for proper voltage. You should have 120V. If voltage is lower, you may have an electrical issue.
  • Inspect the power cord for damage. If the cord is frayed or split, the dishwasher won’t get power. Replace a damaged power cord.

Faulty Door Switch

Many dishwashers have a door switch that prevents the dishwasher from running if the door is open. If this door switch fails, the dishwasher won’t start. To check this:

  • Make sure the dishwasher door is fully closed and latched. Double check for obstructions.
  • Use a multimeter to test the door switch for continuity. If no continuity, replace the faulty door switch.
  • Visually inspect the door switch for damage. Replace if cracked or otherwise compromised.

Stuck in Child Lock Mode

Some dishwashers have a child lock feature that controls the door latch to prevent kids from opening the door during operation. If activated, this child lock can prevent the dishwasher from starting. To fix this:

  • Check your dishwasher’s control panel for a lock symbol or indicator light. This signifies child lock mode.
  • Refer to your owner’s manual to learn how to disengage the child door lock on your model. This usually involves pressing certain buttons for 3-5 seconds.
  • Once child lock mode is deactivated, the dishwasher should function normally.

Control Board Failure

The control board is essentially the brain of your dishwasher, controlling the wash cycles and operation. If the control board malfunctions, the dishwasher won’t start. Troubleshooting steps include:

  • Press the start/reset button on the dishwasher several times to reset the control board.
  • Check for loose wire connections to the control board. Refasten any loose wires.
  • Check for burnt smell or burn marks, which indicate control board damage. Replace the control board if faulty.
  • Test voltages at the control board using a multimeter. Replace board if voltage is incorrect.

Bad Door Latch

The door latch assembly holds the door closed and transmits door status to the control board. If the door latch is faulty, the dishwasher may not start. To test this:

  • Manually lock and unlock the door latch with the door open to test its operation.
  • Spray lubricant on the latch to restore smooth movement.
  • Visually check the latch for broken/worn components. Order a replacement latch assembly if damaged.
  • Use a multimeter to check that the latch switch senses the door closing properly.

Defective Timer

Older dishwashers rely on an electromechanical timer to control cycles rather than an electronic control board. If the timer motor fails, the dishwasher won’t start. To evaluate the timer:

  • Turn the timer knob manually to test if it spins freely. Stiff or stuck timers need replacement.
  • Check timer motor electrical connections. Reconnect any loose wires.
  • Listen for buzz or hum indicating the timer motor is energized. No noise could mean a bad timer.
  • Replace timer assembly if faulty. Be sure to get the correct part number for your model.

How to Fix a Dishwasher That Won’t Start

Once you’ve diagnosed the possible cause, fixing a dishwasher that won’t start is usually an easy repair:

Power Issues

For power related issues:

  • Plug dishwasher into a working outlet
  • Reset tripped circuit breaker
  • Replace damaged power cord
  • Have an electrician address low voltage problems

Faulty Door Switch

To replace a bad door switch:

  1. Unplug the dishwasher or turn off power at the breaker.
  2. Remove the outer door panel to access switch mounting.
  3. Disconnect wires from door switch terminals.
  4. Unscrew door switch mounting bracket.
  5. Install new door switch and reconnect wires.
  6. Reinstall door panel. Restore power & test operation.

Control Board Replacement

If diagnosis confirms the control board is faulty:

  1. Unplug the dishwasher or turn off the power.
  2. Remove the outer door panel and control panel trim.
  3. Label and disconnect all wires from the control board.
  4. Unscrew control board mounting brackets.
  5. Install new control board and reconnect wires.
  6. Reinstall control panel and outer door panel.
  7. Restore power and test the dishwasher.

Timer Replacement

For older models with a mechanical timer:

  1. Turn off power to the dishwasher at the breaker.
  2. Open the dishwasher control panel to access the timer.
  3. Disconnect timer wiring harness and mounting bracket.
  4. Install new timer motor assembly. Connect wires.
  5. Restore power and test operation. Adjust timer as needed.

Pro tip: Take pictures before disconnecting any wires as a reference for proper reassembly!

Restore your dishwasher’s power with our expert repair service.

Preventing Future Dishwasher Starting Problems

To avoid recurring issues with your dishwasher failing to start, keep these maintenance tips in mind:

  • Periodically inspect the door gasket and replace it if worn. Damaged gaskets allow moisture into the door switch.
  • Clean and lubricate the door latch mechanism regularly using white lithium grease.
  • Verified dishwasher is on a dedicated circuit, not overloaded with other appliances.
  • Use a surge protector to avoid control board damage from power spikes.
  • Clean hard water deposits which can cause sticking relays or control board issues.
  • Have the dishwasher professionally serviced per manufacturer recommendations.

When to Call a Repair Service

If you’ve worked through the troubleshooting steps but your dishwasher still fails to start, it’s time to call for service. Extensive disassembly is required to access key dishwasher components, so some repairs are best left to the experts. The experienced technicians from Fix4U Repairs will accurately diagnose the cause of your dishwasher issues and can quickly get your appliance running. Our team is comprehensively trained on all home appliance brands. Call (647) 363-5205 today to schedule a dishwasher repair appointment in Toronto and GTA.

Dishwasher Repair FAQ

What if my dishwasher lights come on but it won’t start?

This usually indicates a problem with the control board not initializing the cycle. Try rebooting the control board and check for loose connections.

Why does my dishwasher beep continuously but won’t start?

Repeated beeping is commonly a fault code signaling the control board has detected a system error, such as a stuck relay. Refer to the owner’s manual for your model’s beep codes.

Why does my dishwasher fill with water but not wash?

If you hear the water fill valve open but the spray arms don’t spin, the circulation pump, motor, or wiring is likely faulty.

What causes low water pressure in a dishwasher?

Clogged water inlet filters, a kinked inlet hose, defective water valve, and defective pumps can all restrict proper water flow.

How much does it cost to repair a dishwasher not starting?

Depending on the faulty component, expect to pay $200-$350 for parts and labor to repair a non-starting dishwasher. Control board or motor issues bump repairs over $400+.

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