Why Won't My Dishwasher Start?

Jul 19, 2023, 15:12pm

It happens that a dishwasher can no longer start: the screen lights up but it does not want to start the washing program. First check that the door is properly closed, that nothing is preventing it from closing.

To discover the origin of this problem, it will be necessary to test and check a few parts:

  • Check the water supply
  • Check the aquastop filter
  • Test the door lock
  • Test the aquastop solenoid valve
  • Test the flowmeter
  • Examine the water box
  • Test the pressure switch
  • Check the OWI sensor
  • Check the wiring
  • Electrically control the aquastop

A dishwasher that won’t start can be frustrating, especially when you have a pile of dirty dishes waiting to be cleaned. Several factors can contribute to this issue, ranging from simple to more complex problems. In this article, we will explore some common reasons why your dishwasher may not start and provide troubleshooting steps to help you identify and resolve the issue.

Why Won't My Dishwasher Start?

1. Power Supply Issues

The first thing to check when your dishwasher won’t start is the power supply. Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Check the Power Connection: Ensure that the dishwasher is properly plugged into a working electrical outlet. Sometimes the plug can become loose or accidentally unplugged.
  2. Verify Power Supply: Check if there is power coming from the outlet by plugging in another device or using a voltage tester. If there is no power, you may need to check the circuit breaker or fuse box and reset any tripped breakers or replace blown fuses.
  3. Test the Outlet: If the power supply is fine, but the dishwasher still won’t start, try plugging it into a different outlet to see if the original outlet is faulty.

2. Door Switch

The door switch is a safety mechanism that prevents the dishwasher from starting if the door is not securely closed. If the door switch is faulty or misaligned, it can prevent the dishwasher from starting. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Inspect the Door Latch: Check if the door latch is properly engaging with the door switch. If it is loose or damaged, it may need to be repaired or replaced.
  2. Clean the Door and Switch: Sometimes dirt or debris can obstruct the door switch. Clean the area around the door and the switch using a soft cloth or brush.
  3. Check the Door Seal: Ensure that the door seal is intact and not obstructing the door closure. If the seal is damaged or worn out, it may need to be replaced.

3. Control Panel and Settings

Issues with the control panel or selected settings can also prevent the dishwasher from starting. Consider the following steps:

  1. Check the Control Lock Feature: Some dishwashers have a control lock feature that prevents accidental button presses. Check if the control panel is locked and try disabling the control lock by pressing and holding the designated button for a few seconds.
  2. Reset the Dishwasher: Try resetting the dishwasher by unplugging it from the power source or turning off the circuit breaker for a few minutes. Then, restore power and attempt to start the dishwasher again.
  3. Verify the Selected Cycle and Options: Ensure that you have selected the desired cycle and options correctly. Some dishwashers require specific settings to be chosen before they can start.
  4. Check for Error Codes: If your dishwasher has a digital display, it may show error codes that can help diagnose the problem. Refer to the dishwasher’s manual for a list of error codes and their corresponding solutions.

4. Water Supply Issues

If the dishwasher does not receive an adequate water supply, it may not start. Consider the following steps:

  1. Check the Water Inlet Valve: Inspect the water inlet valve, which is typically located at the bottom of the dishwasher. Ensure that it is not clogged or obstructed and that the water supply line is securely connected.
  2. Verify the Water Supply: Check if there is sufficient water pressure and that the water supply to the dishwasher is turned on. Additionally, check if the water supply line is not kinked or twisted.
  3. Clean the Filters: A clogged or dirty filter can restrict water flow to the dishwasher. Remove and clean the filters according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

5. Faulty Components

If all the above steps have been checked and the dishwasher still won’t start, there may be an issue with specific components. In such cases, it is advisable to seek the assistance of a professional appliance technician. They have the expertise and tools necessary to diagnose and repair more complex issues, such as a faulty motor, control board, or wiring.


The pressure switch allows you to control the filling of water using air pressure, but they are not present on all dishwashers. It is connected to a compression chamber by a hose, usually transparent.

  • Check that the hose and the compression chamber are not clogged with detergent residue. Make sure your hose is clean: nothing should prevent the air from circulating. To check that your hose is not punctured, remove it and blow into it by pinching the end. If air is escaping, your hose is punctured.
  • To check your pressure switch, remove the hose through which the air comes in and blow inside the pressure switch: you should be able to hear a “click”. If you have to blow really hard, that’s a sign of a bad pressure switch.
  • You can also perform the continuity test with a multimeter by putting the probes of the multimeter on the connection terminals of the pressure switch. When you blow, your multimeter should beep.


Some devices are equipped with an OWI: a water presence sensor. If it does not correctly detect the presence of water, the dishwasher will not heat up and will not start.

  • Remove the tank bottom filter and check if it is fitted with one.
  • If so, clean it on the front with a sponge, if not, replace it.

Why Won't My Dishwasher Start?


The water circuit should be done normally, but since the water does not enter the dishwasher, it is possible that your aquastop is mechanically blocked.

  • Plug your dishwasher back in, then run a normal program and wait for the drain to complete.
  • Position your multimeter on the AC Volt position, on a caliber greater than 230 volts.
  • Once the emptying is complete, position the tips of the multimeter on the connectors that connect to the aquastop.
  • The multimeter should display 230V from the first minute. If not, replace the aquastop.

In conclusion, a dishwasher that won’t start can be due to various reasons, including power supply issues, door switch problems, control panel settings, water supply issues, or faulty components. By following the troubleshooting steps outlined in this article, you can identify and resolve many of these issues on your own. However, if the problem persists or you are unsure about performing any repairs yourself, it is best to consult a professional technician for further assistance.