Dishwashers have become one of the most important appliances in the home, and I know how frustrating it is when your dishwasher is not working properly. 

Fortunately, there are ways you can address this issue. A few possible reasons why your dishwasher may not be working properly include:

  1. Something wrong with the door latch system. 
  2. The electric control not working properly. 
  3. The selector switch not behaving as it should. 
  4. A broken fuse in the thermal system. 

Are you ready to learn more about how to address these issues? If so, benefit from the research we have done, and take a look at some of the solutions to this problem below! This can go a long way toward helping you fix your dishwasher. 

Before You Get Started… Try the Common Fixes

Before we get into a lot of the causes we have discussed above, you should try a few common fixes to see if this helps your dishwasher get started. Even though these may sound a bit elementary, they are often overlooked even by the most experienced homeowners.

A few steps that might fix your dishwasher include: 

  • Check and make sure your dishwasher is plugged in. Sometimes, the simplest thing is the one we always forget. Even if your dishwasher is plugged in, consider unplugging it and plugging it in again. After this, see if it starts up.
  • Next, you should turn your attention to the circuit breaker. If you have verified that the dishwasher is plugged in but still will not work, head over to the breaker box. See if the switch is flipped to the wrong position. 
  • After this, you should make sure the child lock setting has not been turned on. There are a lot of dishwashers that come with a child lock button today. This is designed to prevent your children from changing the settings of your appliance, but it could also prevent your dishwasher from starting.
  • Finally, you may want to try resetting your dishwasher. All you have to do is unplug your appliance, allow it to reset itself for a few minutes, and then plug it back in again. 

If you have done all of these steps already, it is time to dive deeper into how your dishwasher works, a few common problems you may encounter, and how you can fix them. 

Worried woman about his dishwasher because the dishes don't come out clean
Some of the most common problems in dishwashers can be fixed almost instantly.
So don’t get stressed… you may not have a big issue!

How To Fix a Defective Door Latch Assembly

One of the most common reasons why your dishwasher won’t turn on is that there is something wrong with the door latch assembly. This includes the door lock switches. The door latch is in charge of making sure your dishwasher stays closed as it is washing your dishes. If the door’s not closed and your dishwasher turns on, you could end up flooding your kitchen. This could lead to serious damage, which is why the door latch system is in place.

If there is something wrong with the door latch system in your kitchen, your dishwasher is going to detect that a door is not closed. As a result, it will not turn on. You may have to replace your door latch assembly, but there are a few ways you can test this problem. 

These steps include: 

  • First, you need to unplug your dishwasher. 
  • Then, take a look at the top of your dishwasher door. You may have to remove the inner door panel to locate the assembly system. You may want to use the owner manual to help you.
  • After you find the door latch assembly, make sure it is properly activating the switches. To do this, insert the door catch into the assembly. If it does not activate, then you need to replace the door latch system. 
  • You may also want to use a multimeter to test the continuity of the door latch system. If you get a reading that is 0, then it is time to replace it.

If you have confirmed that there is something wrong with the door latch system, you will need to replace the entire assembly. You may want to take a look at the price of the assembly before you order it. Compare this to the cost of a new dishwasher.

After you get the new door latch assembly, go back to the owner manual and take a look at how to install the new system. Then, your new dishwasher should start working properly. If you are uncomfortable with this at any time, you should call a professional. 

How To Fix a Problem with the Electric Timer Control

If the door latch assembly is working properly, the next thing to do is to check the electric timer control. This is a part of the control panel. It controls how long the wash cycle turns on and stays active.

If there is something wrong with this system, the timer is not going to receive the power it requires to start to cycle. As a result, your dishwasher is not going to turn on. If there is an improper connection between a timer in the control panel, the same problem takes place.

In order to test this issue, there are several steps you should follow, including: 

  • Of course, you need to unplug your dishwasher first. 
  • Next, you should take a look at the control panel. Locate and remove the timer from the appliance. 
  • After this, you need to use your multimeter to test the contacts of the electric timer control system. The reading should be between 2,000 and 3500 ohms of resistance. You need to take a look at your owner’s manual to see what they should be reading. 
  • If the reading you get is outside of this range, it is time to replace the electric control timer. 

Again, you should take a look at the price of replacing the electric control, comparing this to the price of getting a new dishwasher. That way, you can figure out if replacing the electric control is worth it. 

Hand pressing timmer button in the control panel
Some electric controls are really expensive, so we must compare prices to see if it’s more convenient to buy a new dishwasher.

How To Fix an Issue with the Selector Switch

Another possible reason why your dishwasher may not be behaving properly at that something is wrong with the selector switch. This is a switch that allows you to select different options for your wash cycle. Depending on the exact type of dishwasher you have, this switch may prevent your dishwasher from starting properly.

First, you should take a look at the buttons and make sure none of them have been permanently pressed down. If this is the issue, it could be why your selector switch is not receiving the right signal. If you have confirmed that there are no buttons that are permanently stuck, there are several steps you need to follow. These include:

  • First, make sure you remove your dishwasher from its power source. 
  • Then, you need to take apart the inner door panel. This is commonly where the selector switch is located.
  • Take a look at the selector switch and make sure it is in the correct position, comparing it to the owner’s manual. If it is not, you need to remove it from your Appliance. 
  • You should use your multimeter to test the continuity of the selector switch. Make sure you are getting an appropriate reading by comparing the reading to your owner’s manual. 
  • Depending on the type of dishwasher you have, you may need to test multiple parts of the selector switch. If you are not getting the appropriate readings, you may need to replace the entire thing. 

As always, you need to think about the cost of replacing the selector switch. Make sure it is worth it when compared to the price of replacing your dishwasher. 

How To Address a Damaged or Broken Thermal Fuse

Finally, you may need to test a thermal fuse as well. The thermal fuse is an important safety component of your dishwasher. The job of the thermal fuse is to cut the power to the control panel if it senses that your dishwasher is over-heating. It will also cut the power to your dishwasher if there is a short circuit in the wire. If the thermal fuse blows, this can stop your house from catching fire; however, it can also prevent your dishwasher from turning on.

There are two possible reasons why your thermal fuse might not be working properly. The first is that your thermal fuse has blown at some point in the past. As a result, your dishwasher not getting a signal from the thermal fuse, preventing it from behaving properly.

The second reason why your thermal fuse might not be getting properly is that it is intact, but the dishwasher is not reading it properly. Regardless of the reason why your thermal fuse is not behaving properly, you need to go to the inside door panel of the dishwasher. This is usually where a thermal fuse is located. 

If the thermal fuse has been blown, you should see this because the thermal fuse will appear to be degraded. If the thermal fuse appears intact, you need to test the continuity to make sure it is reading properly. 

If you have confirmed that there is not enough current going to your thermal fuse, then you need to replace it. Depending on the type of dishwasher you have, this could be an expensive proposition. 

Get Your Dishwasher Up and Running Again

Ultimately, these are just a few of the many reasons why your dishwasher may not be turning on. Some of these reasons are relatively straightforward, such as making sure the dishwasher is plugged in, and ensuring the circuit breaker boxes behaving properly. Other reasons could be significant, requiring you to replace a part of your dishwasher. 

In the end, a lot of these fixes you might be able to handle on your own; however, you always need to make sure you put safety first by unplugging your dishwasher before you get started. Remember to reach out to a professional if you are uncomfortable at any point.