7 Solutions to Fix a Dishwasher that Won’t Start

It is always frustrating to see your dishwasher stop during a washing cycle or won’t start either. But you shouldn’t worry anymore as this guide will provide you with easy solutions to fix your dishwasher that isn’t starting.

Before fixing your dishwasher, check the power supply. Check if the circuit breaker is tripped, then turn it on. Also, check that your dishwasher is plugged correctly into the power supply. If both the power switch and circuit breaker are working fine, look at the fixing ways for a dishwasher that won’t start.

Here are the 7 ways to start your dishwasher.

Methods to Fix a Dishwasher that Won’t Start

1. Inspect and fix the Door Latch

If the door latch is not properly closed, your dishwasher will not start its cycle. A switch inside the dishwasher will prevent the washing cycle from starting. Thus, you have to check the door latch and close it tightly. You will hear a click sound that ensures that the door is now securely closed. Besides this, if something is stuck inside the door, it will also stop your dishwashing cycle.

Dishwasher door latch

Inspect the dishwasher’s door properly from inside and outside. If you see any debris or residues causing hindrance in door closure, immediately remove them. You can use a scrub brush to remove anything that stops the door from closing. Remove any other obstacles that hinder the door closure. After fixing the issue, check the dishwasher. If it still doesn’t start, then move towards the other solution.

2. Reset the Dishwasher

If the dishwasher faces any interruption during the washing cycle, it will immediately stop working. It mostly happens as a result of a sudden power outage. So, you will have to reset the dishwasher to resume its cycle. The simplest way to reset the dishwasher is to turn the power switch off for 5 seconds and turn it on afterward. The dishwasher will reset this way quickly.

If this resetting method doesn’t work for your dishwasher, then you can use another way to reset it. Press and hold the start button for 2-3 seconds at least. After releasing the button, you can start a new cycle according to your need.

3. Check and Test the Timer

Sometimes the timer of the dishwasher that controls the dishwashing cycle stops. Depending on the dishwasher brand and model, this timer is located. In some dishwashers, it is present on the control panel, while in others, it is present behind the bottom kick plate of the dishwasher.

Check the wiring diagram on the manual to locate the wire associated with the timer. Take a multimeter set on Rx1000. Check the timer wire’s resistance by touching the contacts with the probe. The resistance of the dishwasher should be between 2000 to 3500 ohms. If the multimeter is showing different reading than the optimum range, it’s better to change the timer.

Call a technician to change the dishwasher’s timer for you because it is somehow difficult to replace the timer by yourself.

wiring diagram

4. Check the Motor Start Relay

The motor start relay is a small electrical device that signals the dishwasher’s motor to start. Any defect in the motor start relay will stop the dishwasher from functioning. It is located behind the lower access panel near the pump. Access the relay and checks it with a multimeter for continuity. It should have zero reading. But if the reading differs from zero, the motor relay is stopped.

You can manually activate the motor start relay by moving it upside down. Then allow the plunger to drop. Now touch the probes of the multimeter again with the relay terminals. If it still doesn’t show zero reading, you will have to replace it. Call a technician to replace the motor and start relay of your dishwasher.

5. Fix the Selector Switches

Selector switches are present on the control panel and determine the wash cycle setting for every load. Any error in these switches causes the dishwasher to stop working. To check the selector switches, turn off the dishwasher. Unscrew the inner door panel with a screwdriver to reach the control panel of the dishwasher

Carefully access the switches one by one present on the panel. Take a multimeter and set it on Rx1. Touch the multimeter’s probes with the terminals of selector switches one after another. Each switch must show the reading of infinity. Press that button also whose terminals are touching with probes. There should be a zero reading while doing so.

If you get any other reading on any of these switches, you have to replace that switch. After replacing the switch with a new one, reassemble the dishwasher’s door.

Similar Guide:

Why is my Liebherr Refrigerator Beeping when the Door is Shut?

6. Check Thermal Fuse

The thermal switch keeps the dishwasher safe in case of overheating. If the thermal fuse blows, the dishwasher will shut down immediately. It is located behind the inner door, at the control panel. Access the control panel and disconnect the connecting wires to remove the thermal fuse from the control panel.

Take a multimeter and set it on Rx1 to check its continuity. Touch the probes of the multimeter with the contacts present on the fuse. If it isn’t producing a zero reading, you have to replace it.

thermal fuse

7. Check and Replace the Drive Motor

The drive motor supplies water to the dishwasher. If there is any fault in the drive motor, your dishwasher won’t start. Thus, remove the lower access panel with a screwdriver to check the motor. After accessing the drive motor, take a multimeter set to Rx1 and touch its probes with the motor’s terminals. It should produce a zero reading.

But if the motor isn’t showing a zero reading, you should move to the metal housing of the drive motor. Touch the probes to the metal housing of the motor also. It shouldn’t produce any reading. If the multimeter shows a reading other than zero, your drive motor is faulty. You have to replace it. You should call a professional technician to change the drive motor of your dishwasher.

Related guide: How to Fix Bosch Dishwasher not Drying Problem?

Final words…

The average lifespan of a dishwasher is around 10 years. If during these years, a dishwasher gets stopped, then you can resume its working by using the techniques mentioned above. But after your dishwasher is too old, you may need to change your dishwasher.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why would a dishwasher stop work?

The main reasons why the dishwasher would stop working immediately are given below.

  • Blown thermal fuse
  • Faulty drive motor
  • Faulty selector switches
  • Defective dishwasher timer

2. Why does the dishwasher stop working during mid-cycle?

The reason for the dishwasher to stop during mid-cycle is a damaged thermal fuse. If your thermal fuse is loosely connected to the dishwasher or broken, the dishwasher will stop during mid-cycle. You need to replace the faulty thermal switch with the new one.

3. How to reset the dishwasher that won’t start?

You can reset the dishwasher that won’t start by pressing and holding of start button for 5 seconds. If it still doesn’t reset, you have to reboot the system by turning off the power supply. You can shut down the power supply by turning off the circuit breaker. After a few minutes, restore the power by turning on the circuit breaker.


  • Stephen Powers

    Appliance repair guy from Washington. I am majorly experienced in dishwashers, water filters and refrigerators, AMA on my twitter account.

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