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Dishwasher won't start or not working properly can add an extra and unwanted task of washing the dishes to your day, which, let's be honest, no one wants. Before you start overthinking about how much extra money you will fix to replace your broken dishwasher, put your mind at ease and understand that sometimes dishwasher does not start simply because a few things require a certain amount of attention.

5 Most Likely Reasons Why Your Dishwasher Won't Start

Sometimes something as easy as reclogging and unclogging may help you get your dishwasher started, and sometimes you may need the help of an expert. That being said, if you can narrow down what may be causing the problem and if it is a bit more technical, call an expert before you try to fix it.

The 5 most common reasons why a dishwasher won't start are discussed below.

1. Power Supply

As mentioned before, sometimes it is one of the most simple reasons why your dishwasher won't start due to the shortage of power supply. As most dishwashers are kept in places that make it hard to see the power supply outlets, one may easily overlook it.

In usual cases, power plugs are usually connected behind the kitchen shelves or cabinets or even under sinks. This makes it hard to reach or move the power plug.

That being said, if it is accessible, you should check the plug is connected properly or not, or if there are any signs of damages on the wall or with the wires. If the plug point is not accessible, chances are the power plug is not the problem.

In that case, go ahead and check the breaker box of your house for any switch that is flipped in the other direction and switch it back. If your dishwasher did not start due to the lack of power supply, this should help it start again.

2. Door Latch

Another common and often overlooked reason for the dishwasher won't start if the door isn't closed properly. So you can simply try and shut the door; the moment you hear the latch click, it should start working properly.

That being said, there are some cases where the door latch will not click. This usually happens for a few reasons. They are-

  • If there is any form of obstacles such as chunks of food or soap that is preventing the door to close properly
  • If you accidentally turn on the child-latch which prevents the dishwasher from closing the door so that a child does not get trapped inside
  • If the door latch or the switch for the latch is broken. In such cases, you will have to replace the broken parts.

Usually, the problems with door latches don't go beyond these issues, and all these problems are nothing that is not fixable.

3. Timer Issues

This issue mostly occurs with dishwashers that have a manual timer. In some cases, the timer might fail to work and mess up your dishwasher's usual cycle.

To fix that, you need to unplug the dishwasher and open the inner panel to fix the timer. Usually, the ways of fixing the timer are different based on its brand and are given in the instruction manual of the dishwasher.

In cases of dishwashers with electric timers, you need to check - whether the timer itself or its connection with the control panel is broken or not and work accordingly.

4. Control Panel

Your dishwasher won't start if it has a problem with the control panel. If your dishwasher comes with a bunch of buttons on its control panel, you need to understand it to run on a technical process that can malfunction at any time.

There are four common buttons in almost every dishwasher that can disrupt the process of the dishwasher's task. You need to either repair or replace these buttons for the dishwasher to function properly. They are,

Start Switch

As you can guess based on the name, if there is a problem with the start button, your dishwasher will not start even if it is properly plugged in or the doo is properly closed.

Selector Switches

If any of the selector switches that you need to decide the wash cycle, and load, it creates an obstacle in the way of how the dishwasher functions.

Stuck Cycle Setting

If you see the dishwasher's light stopping or flashing, it is probably because the previous wash cycle was abrupt, and the dishwasher requires a proper restart. In such cases, unplug the dishwasher and restart the whole process of the dishwasher.

5. Internal Mechanisms

If the internal mechanisms have a serious problem, your dishwasher won't start. Like every other home appliance, dishwashers also have a few internal components that keep them running. If there is any form of error within any of these components, the dishwasher will not start or work even if everything else is perfectly fine. A usual dishwasher contains,

  • A drive motor
  • A thermal fuse
  • A motor start relay

These components are responsible for providing power to twirl the water inside the dishwasher, prevent overheating, and get the dishwasher motor started. If any of these components are not functioning properly, you need to get them fixed or replaced.


As mentioned at the very beginning, sometimes dishwashers simply require a certain amount of attention. So if you keep the most common reasons why your dishwasher won't start, it will help you understand where the problem lies, and you take steps according to it.

We suggest you call an expert after you identify the problem to fix the problem in the right way. Also, if you take the matter into your own hands, it may hamper the warranty and servicing clause of the manufacturer's service.

Hopefully, this article has answered all your queries about what are the reasons when your dishwasher won't start properly. It has helped you decide on what necessary actions need to be taken.

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