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Why Is My Dishwasher Not Starting?

A dishwasher, or any appliance, that won't turn on is a pretty big, and literally, nonstarter. It can also be among the most frustrating issues as you have only an instruction manual to turn to when an appliance won't start and give you clues. It's easier to troubleshoot problems in an appliance that is on and working in some fashion than one that is simply quiet and unresponsive. But there are some common reasons a dishwasher might not want to turn on at all.

Often, a dishwasher that won't start is the result of some sort of user error. Either the appliance was installed incorrectly, some turn on sequence is not being followed, or the power supply is faulty. But there are some other, more involved issues to be on the lookout for.

Check the power supply

It may sound like a no brainer, but make sure the dishwasher is plugged in. This can be easier said than done with the outlets many dishwashers are plugged into. Check for a cord that's been knocked out or if the wire has been frayed in any way. If all seems in order there, check the breakers to make sure nothing is flipped and cutting the power to that outlet. It's also possible that outlet itself does not work and needs to be repaired.

Problems with the door latch

Many times, a dishwasher won't start because the door is not properly closed. On most models, the door latch needs to be locked before the dishwasher will turn on or start. Check to make sure the latch is not jammed or if it is broken in some way. Also check to make sure no child safety settings are set on the door that are preventing it from closing. These often ensure a door can't close, accidentally locking a child inside.

Check the control panel

If the above fixes don't do the trick, you may be dealing with a control panel problem. If you're able to, cycle through the settings and make sure nothing is selected that is keeping the dishwasher from running. Next make sure all the buttons on the panel actually work and are not damaged in any way. It's possible your start button is not responsive and you don't realize it. If this still does not solve the issue, it's time to call a professional to take a look at some of the inner parts.

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