Frigidaire Dishwasher Won’t Start – What To Do?

Frigidaire dishwashers are both dependable and affordable. However, if your dishwasher suddenly won't start, it can be a huge inconvenience. So what do you do if this happens? Should you call an appliance technician immediately or try to fix it yourself? We have researched the most common reasons why this may occur and what to do if it does. In this post, we will discuss it.

If your Frigidaire dishwasher won't start, it's best to do a bit of troubleshooting. This includes checking the door latch, inspecting the racks to ensure they're not overloaded, checking the detergent dispenser, and looking for any error codes. Sometimes the issue can be something as simple as the door not being completely shut while other times it may call for a part to be replaced or fixed.

It's always best to try to troubleshoot your Frigidaire dishwasher yourself before reaching out to a contractor. Sometimes you can even do the repair yourself if it's a relatively easy fix. Let's take a look at the most common reasons why these dishwashers won't start and how to know when it's time to reach out to the pros.

Engineer opens up a broken dishwasher to mend it, Frigidaire Dishwasher Won't Start - What To Do?

Frigidaire Dishwasher Error Codes

Most Frigidaire dishwashers are operated using small LEDs or integrated controls for the dishwasher cycles. If your dishwasher suddenly stops or experiences any type of failure, take a look at the error code on the digital display to see what the issue may be. Here are the most common ones:

  • iC0 - This code means that there are malfunctions with the control board
  • i20, i40, iFO - This usually indicates that there's a clog in the drain hose come online, or one of the filters
  • i60 - This typically means that there is an issue with the hot water
  • i50 - This code suggests that there are drain or wash problems
  • i10 - This error code means that there isn't enough water in the dishwasher, which could be
  • due to issues with the water valve
  • i30 - If there are any issues with the drain pan at the bottom of the unit or any type of moisture or water leak, this code will usually appear

Let's take a look at other things to check when the dishwasher doesn't start.

Dishwasher with dirty dishes

Door Latch or Switch Assembly

One of the first things that you should check is the door latch. If the dishwasher's door isn't closed completely, the unit will not initiate a cycle. You'll also want to check the switch assembly to see if the latch is closing correctly.

Sometimes the sensor inside of the latch switch will fail, which means that the dishwasher doesn't know that the door is closed and locked. You can test the switch using a multimeter. If it reads at a "0" or something near there, the switch has continuity. If it doesn't, you'll need to replace it.

Click here to read more details about this multimeter on Amazon.

A Faulty Thermal Fuse

A faulty thermal fuse can also cause the dishwasher to fail to start. This is especially true in newer models that have electronic control boards. If the thermal fuse has no continuity, the control board won't receive power to initiate a new cycle.

For this issue, you'll need to unplug the dishwasher and locate the thermal fuse to test its continuity. It will usually have two wires on either the side or the bottom of the fuse. And this is a relatively simple and inexpensive fix, as you can replace the thermal fuse yourself for about $15.

The Selector Switch is Faulty

Other times, the selector switch on the dishwasher could be the culprit. Many Frigidaire models have an "Energy Saver" or "Quick Wash" setting for efficiency. And on some models, the switch may be connected directly to the main power circuit or a field circuit.

And sometimes, they can become loose with everyday usage. To see if this is the issue, open up the dishwasher and find the selector switch connected to the control board.

Ensure all the wires are correctly connected and then reset the dishwasher to see this fixes the problem. You can also test the wires using a multimeter to ensure that they have continuity.

Electronic Control or Timer Issues

If the latch and switch assembly seem to work fine, it could be an issue with the manual timer. Often times you may hear the timer click as the dishwasher attempts to initiate a cycle. However, the unit won't start, and it may continue to click.

To fix the problem, you will need to unplug the dishwasher and remove the front door panel. The timer is usually located right behind the panel, and you can use a multimeter to test its continuity. Place the multimeter's problems on the bottom two contacts of the timer.

It may be helpful to use your user's manual to correctly locate the correct wires to test. If your dishwasher has an electronic control board, the main circuit controlling the board could have a relay issue. If this is the case, you'll typically see a fault code display when the relay fails.

A Bad Drive Motor

One of the most crucial parts of a dishwasher is the drive motor. This motor powers the devices that distribute water within the tub to clean the dishes. Over time, however, the drive motor can become faulty and eventually wear out.

Sometimes the windings may go bad, in which case you may hear a loud hum coming from the unit. Other times they may go out completely. You can test the drive motor using a multimeter.

To access it, remove the control panel and unhook its electrical wires. If the motor shows no continuity, you will need to replace it. Unfortunately, you can't repair this part.

Why will my Frigidaire Dishwasher not Start?

If your Frigidaire dishwasher doesn't start, chances are that the door is not closed completely, a part has malfunctioned, or there is an issue with the door switch assembly. The best thing to do is to look at the control panel to see if there are any error codes being displayed. If you see any codes, refer to your user manual to troubleshoot the issues.

How do I Run a Diagnostic on my Frigidaire Dishwasher?

The diagnostic process may vary by Frigidaire a model, but here is a common one that'll work for many units from this brand:

Press the "Start-Cancel" and "High-Temp" buttons simultaneously until you see the control panel change. Once the indicator lights start blinking, you should see "01" or something similar appear on the display. This usually indicates that the diagnostic mode has begun.

The diagnostic process can take anywhere from 3-5 minutes, after which the dishwasher should reset itself. If not, you can reset it manually. You can always check your user guide to see the specific diagnostic mode initiation for your dishwasher.

However, if the dishwasher fails to reset after it goes into diagnostic mode, or if the LED stays on after you've entered the diagnostic mode, it's best to contact an appliance technician to help troubleshoot the issue. That is, if you aren't able to test it yourself.

How do you reset a Frigidaire dishwasher?

On most Frigidaire dishwashers, you can hold down the cancel button for about 3 to 5 seconds to initiate a reset. If there is a reset button, it's typically located on the far right side of the unit control panel.

If this doesn't reset the unit, turn off the dishwasher and remove the power cord for about 5 minutes. You can also do a hard reset by switching off the circuit breaker that corresponds to the dishwasher. Leave the breaker off for about 40 seconds and then switch it back to the "On" position.

How do I Start my Frigidaire Dishwasher Manually?

The man puts dirty dishes in the dishwasher, How To Reset An Amana Dishwasher

There is no manual way to start a Frigidaire dishwasher, per se. The only way to start it is to press the start button, which will initiate a new wash cycle. However, if the washer will not start, you'll need to do a bit of troubleshooting to determine the reason why.

Oftentimes, you'll see an error code on the display illustrating an issue that may be causing the unit to fail to start. To fix the issue, check for the error code in your user's manual.

You'll also want to ensure that the dishwasher door is closed, has detergent, and that's the door is latched. Lastly, make sure that the child lock is not on, as this will also prevent the unit from starting.

How do you Force a Frigidaire Dishwasher to Drain?

An opened dishwasher filled with spoons and forks with plates and bowl

If the dishwasher is not draining, you can drain it manually by first powering it off to the unit. To do this, unplug the power cord. Next, place a large dry towel beneath the dishwasher and then open up the door.

Use another dry towel to remove any standing water from the bottom of the tub. Then remove the dishwasher from its position, pull out the drain hose, and clear it of any obstructions. Do the same for the filters. Afterward, the dishwasher should be clear of all water.

Wrapping Things Up

We hope this post has helped break down how to troubleshoot a Frigidaire dishwasher that won't start. Remember, there is always a reason why the dishwasher isn't starting, and sometimes it may require a bit of troubleshooting to nail down the underlying issue.

Before you go, be sure to check out our other posts:

How To Reset A Kitchenaid Dishwasher

Dishwasher Soap Dispenser Broken—What To Do?

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