11 Reasons Why Your Dishwasher Won’t Start


Your dishwasher uses detergent and hot water to clean your dishes – this gets rid of any food particles and grease that’s stuck on your plate. It’s important that you rinse down your dishes before you put them in to make sure that the drainpipe doesn’t get clogged with food. Dishwashers save you a lot of time which is why it’s important to make sure that they’re always maintained. All you have to do is put your dishes in, add some detergent, and your dishwasher will take care of the rest. If you’ve had your dishwasher for a while and you’re starting to notice some problems with it, this is common for old dishwashers.

Having a dishwasher that doesn’t work properly can be an inconvenience since they save so much time. If you’ve tried pressing the start button to start a new cycle and it won’t start, this can be worrying. It could mean that you have to go back to washing dishes in the old school way. If you’ve checked the powers on, you’ve pressed the start button, but it still won’t start, there are a few things you can do to fix it.

Check the Dishwasher has Power

The first thing you need to do is to check if power is getting to your dishwasher. If there’s no power connected to it, when you try and start a cycle, it won’t start. To check this, you’ll need to go to the mains that the dishwashers connected to, and make sure it’s plugged in properly with the switch turned on. You also need to check that the power breaker and fuses are working fine.

Important: If you use Amazon a lot, you can enjoy FREE same-day delivery as well as FREE Two-Day Shipping on millions of items for 30 days with an Amazon Prime free trial. Sign up in 2 seconds with the click of a button if you're already logged into Amazon.

If you're still struggling to find good shows to watch on Netflix, you can also enjoy instant streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows. Other Prime perks include unlimited, ad-free access to over a million songs, borrowing books for FREE from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library, and skipping the lines with 2-hour delivery on a wide selection of fresh ingredients.

Once you’ve checked this, you can try and start a new cycle. Since the dishwasher is connected to electric wiring, it may be hard to check if the power breaking fuses are working. If you’re not sure what you’re doing here, you can go down below to check how to get your dishwasher serviced for free.

Computer Glitch

Just like Androids and iPhones, dishwashers can have glitches too. A glitch is when there’s an error in the system or code of the dishwasher that causes it to fail or malfunction. Like electronic devices, the best way to get rid of a glitch on your dishwasher is to turn off the power and turn it back on. This is going to refresh the system and get rid of the glitch within the dishwasher.

Another way to get rid of a glitch in electronic devices is to reset it. Depending on the dishwasher you have, you may be able to reset it. To reset it, you’ll need to press the reset button on the dishwasher. Some dishwashers have other codes that could reset the dishwasher. You can check this by looking in the manual or doing a search on the web.

Check Door Latch

You’ll need to check that the door is closed properly unless the cycle won’t start. Your dishwasher door has a latch that makes sure the door is tightly secured – this stops water from leaking out of the dishwasher and it keeps the dishwasher’s internal temperature hot. If the door isn’t tightly secured, water could leak onto the floor and you might slip because of it. Although there’s a thermostat in there that makes sure the dishwasher is always hot, it may struggle if the door didn’t close.

On the latch of the door, there are switches that can control the dishwasher when the door is opened. If you open the door during the cycle, it’ll stop. To stop the switch from triggering and stopping the dishwasher from working, you’ll need to make sure that the door is firmly closed. For the door firmly close, the latches need to be placed correctly into the catch.

There are electric switches on the latches, and these can corrode overtime due to water. If they’re damaged for whatever reason, the electric connection between the door switch and the dishwasher can stop working and this can stop your dishwasher from turning on. To check this, you’ll need to inspect the switch for corrosion. If you’ve had your dishwasher for years, it’s likely this could be the case.

Even if you think your door is shut tightly, you need to make sure that the latch is inside the catch. If it hasn’t been caught and locked in here, the dishwasher won’t start because the switches on the latch won’t know when the door has been closed. To help you confirm that the switches are still working on the latch, you can test them for continuity. If the switches are broken, then no current will be able to pass through them so the dishwasher will think that its open. To test this, you’ll need to use a multimeter (View on Amazon).

  1. Disconnect the dishwasher from the power source.
  2. Remove the door panel to have access to the latch. This is at the top and from here you need to check if the latch hooks onto the door.
  3. Put the multimeter on rx1 and touch the probes on the switches’ terminals.
  4. The reading should be close to zero. If the reading isn’t close to zero, then you need to get it replaced.

Cycle Selector is Stuck

The cycle selector is what you use to choose the cycle that you want to start on. The dishwasher uses what the cycle selector is on to start the cycle. If the dishwasher hasn’t processed the cycle selector option you’ve chosen, you can try choosing a different cycle and hope that the dishwasher starts. If it does, stop the cycle and put it on the one you wanted to use. Sometimes dishwashers don’t process the options chosen and it can remain stuck until you choose a different cycle to trigger it.

Broken Timer

There’s a timer in your dishwasher that controls the cycle by controlling the amount of time power that’s sent to each of the dishwasher components. If the timer is broken, then the cycle won’t start. Its uncommon to find that your dishwashers’ timer Is no longer working and it’s also hard to diagnose that they’re malfunctioning. If the timer doesn’t work properly, then some of your dishwasher’s components won’t get enough power to them, therefore it may not start. To test this, you need to use a multimeter to test the resistance.

  1. Disconnect the dishwasher from the power source.
  2. Locate the time and remove it. It’s likely that you’ll find it in the control panel behind the lower kick plate.
  3. Sometimes the timers can have multiple contacts/wires and if this is the case for your Bosch, you need to refer to the wiring diagram in the manual to check which contacts to test.
  4. Set the multimeter to Rx1000 and touch the probe with the contacts. A good functioning contact should bring back a resistance that between 2000-3500 ohms. This can defer between Bosch models.

Check Delay Start

The delay/start button allows you to delay the time the cycle starts. This means that you can set it to delay the cycle for when you’re at work, college, or running errands. There’s a timer on the dishwasher and you can set it to prearrange the cycle. To test if this is on, you should press the start and if it doesn’t work right away, it could be because the delay start button. In this case, you need to look for the delay start button and turn it off.

Broken TouchPad

If the touchpad that you use to get your dishwasher started isn’t working, then the cycle won’t start. To test this, you’ll need to press several buttons on the touchpad and check if the dishwasher responds in anyway. If it doesn’t, chances are it needs to be replaced. The dishwasher may not have registered that you pressed the start button, therefore, it wouldn’t have started. If your dishwasher sells touchpads separately, then you’re in luck. If not, you’ll need to get it replaced

Child Lock

There’s a feature called child lock and when enabled, no other buttons on the dishwasher will work. This is to stop children from randomly touching the buttons and disrupting a cycle. When child lock is on, no buttons will work until it turned off. This could be why your dishwasher isn’t starting. To fix this, you need to press the child lock button again to disable it.

Faulty Motor

Sometimes your dishwasher can start, fill up with water, then once the cycle is meant to start, it doesn’t. If this is what you’ve experience, chances are that the motor is broken. If you’re familiar with dishwashers, you can try and access the motor. You’ll need to look underneath the pump cover and filter assembly to check if it’s clogged. If it is, this could prevent the dishwasher from starting.

Delayed Motor Relay

On some dishwasher models, there’s a motor relay on the main pump motor. The relay provides power to the motor start windings until the motor is running and has a moving plunger inside that operates some contacts. If the motor relay is damaged and you try and start your dishwasher, it won’t turn on.

When to Contact a Dishwasher Service Technician

If the steps above didn’t fix the issue with your dishwasher, then it’s best to get a certified professional to fix the problem for you. If you have home warranty, chances are your dishwasher will be covered and you won’t have to pay for it, however, this all depends on your warranty’s terms. To check, you’ll need to call your warranty provider and let them know that your dishwasher needs repairing. If your claim gets approved, an appointment will be scheduled, and a technician should come over to analyze your dishwasher.

During the analysis, they recheck everything mentioned in the article and they determine whether the dishwasher needs repairing or a complete replacement. If it needs to be repaired, the contractor will likely repair it whilst they’re there. If you need a replacement, there will be a follow up appointment. All of this will be free if you have home warranty and dishwashers are part of the contracts.

How to Stop Your Dishwasher from ever Breaking

After going through all this trouble, it’s likely that you don’t even want to be faced with a broken dishwasher again. If this is the position, you’re in, there are a few things that you can do to avoid it. If you use it several times a week, you’ll need to make sure that you properly maintain your dishwasher.

1. The first thing you need to do is to look for the dishwasher’s manual. This will provide you with maintenance tasks for your specific dishwasher and it will allow you to take care of your specific dishwasher model.

2. Make sure not to overload your dishwasher. Overloading your dishwasher can cause it to overwork and this won’t be good for the longevity of your dishwasher.

3. Clean your dishwasher on a monthly basis. This can be done by cleaning each component separately then running an empty cycle with a cup of vinegar left in the dishwasher. After this cycle is done, you can sprinkle baking soda in your dishwasher whilst its covered in the vinegar. Run another cycle. This will ensure that your dishwasher is clean.

When you’ve noticed that one part of your dishwasher Is broken, you should get it check immediately. If you can resolve the issue yourself, then do so. If not, you can contact your warranty provider and they’ll bring in a technician to check over the dishwasher.