whirlpool dishwasher won't start

Whirlpool Dishwasher Not Starting? Check These 5 Things.

Your dishwasher is the ultimate kitchen convenience, but when it doesn’t start as expected, it can feel like an utter annoyance. Why is my Whirlpool dishwasher not starting? The wrong setting may be delaying the start or locking the control panel. Try these Whirlpool dishwasher troubleshooting tips when it doesn’t start on command.

How to Troubleshoot a Whirlpool Dishwasher Not Starting

Troubleshooting a Whirlpool dishwasher not starting can involve a simple adjustment to change the setting or a professional repair to fix part failures. Here’s how to determine the right course of action when your Whirlpool dishwasher won’t start.

1. Power Supply Issue

Always check your power supply when you find your Whirlpool dishwasher not working correctly. The dishwasher needs consistent and adequate levels of power to start and operate a variety of functions.

Here’s how to assess for power supply issues:

  • Check the power cord: Make sure it’s plugged in to a functioning outlet and is free of damage. Never use extension cords to power your dishwasher; most can’t safely transmit the voltage required, resulting in power shut downs.
  • Make sure the power switch is on: Check the dishwasher’s power switch to make sure it’s turned on. Some switches may be located in a kitchen cabinet under the sink.
  • Look for tripped breakers: Check for tripped breakers in your home’s circuit breaker box, resetting any if needed.
  • Perform a hard reset: Sometimes, resetting your dishwasher can resolve power glitches. To reset a Whirlpool dishwasher, unplug it or turn it off at the circuit breaker. After one minute, restore the dishwasher’s power to see if it starts.

2. Problem With Dishwasher Settings

When your dishwasher doesn’t dry sufficiently or doesn’t start on command, make sure you have the right setting selected. While some drying settings have to be manually selected, certain wash settings may prohibit an immediate start.

The following settings can delay or prevent your dishwasher from starting immediately:

  • Delay Start: Delays the start of your dishwasher to a preselected later time. Press CANCEL/DRAIN to cancel the Delay Start function and START/RESUME to start your preferred cycle.
  • Sleep Mode: Saves energy by turning off power to the dishwasher. Disable sleep mode by opening or closing the dishwasher door or pressing the START or CANCEL button.
  • Control Lock: Prevents unintended use of the dishwasher by locking all functions. The lock button will illuminate when Control Lock is activated. Deactivate the Control Lock function by pressing and holding the lock button for 4 seconds. This should turn the lock light off.

If the control panel is showing an error code, refer to your user manual to determine its meaning and solution. However, if the control panel isn’t illuminated at all it may have gotten wet or malfunctioned. A defective control panel requires professional replacement.

3. Dishwasher Door Latch Malfunction

Your dishwasher won’t start if the dishwasher door isn’t securely closed and latched. Always close the door firmly, without slamming, to ensure that the latch is engaged. A Whirlpool dishwasher not starting even with a properly closed door may have a latch malfunction. If the latch is damaged or shows a lack of continuity with multimeter testing, it must be replaced.

4. Dishwasher Water Supply Problem

Why won’t my Whirlpool dishwasher turn on if it has power and is correctly set and latched? A water supply issue could be at fault. If the dishwasher won’t start or fill, make sure the water supply line is properly connected and the water valve is turned on. 

Just as a dishwasher won’t drain water if the drain hose is kinked, pinches in the water line can restrict water flow from your home supply. Gently straighten any kinks that can block water from flowing. Lastly, make sure the dishwasher’s water inlet valve is opening and closing properly. If it’s stuck in the closed position, water won’t flow to the dishwasher. A defective inlet valve should be professionally replaced.

5. Faulty Whirlpool Dishwasher Parts

If the above tips don’t do the trick, a faulty part may be responsible for your Whirlpool dishwasher not starting.

The following part failures can prevent an immediate start:

  • Thermal fuse: The thermal fuse will blow if it’s defective or if the dishwasher is in danger of overheating. If the fuse fails multimeter testing, it has blown and requires replacement for the dishwasher to start.
  • Main control board: This computerized board governs all dishwasher operations, sending voltage to the appropriate functions when it receives a signal from the control panel. If it malfunctions, the control board won’t provide the power needed to start the dishwasher and must be professionally replaced.
  • Timer: Like the control board, the timer governs the voltage to certain functions at certain times. If the timer is faulty, the dishwasher may not receive power to start and must be replaced by a professional service.
Photo Courtesy of Whirlpool

Whether you need a dishwasher repair or some dishwasher maintenance tips, our experts can help! Contact Sharper Service Solutions for all your kitchen appliance needs!

$10 Off
Appliance Repair

sign up for your coupon

Sign up for our Newsletter to get our best recommendations on products, maintenance, and cleaning.

You’ll also get $10 off your first repair!

I need help with my...