This is Why Your Dishwasher Not Working After A Power Outage!

Power outages are unavoidable for any building that uses electricity. These outages can be very frustrating and even worse when they affect your appliances.

Although they resume operation once there is power restoration, some appliances, like the dishwasher, wouldn’t work after power restoration.

When this happens, it is customary to worry about the dishwasher. But, it would help to read this article thoroughly to understand why the dishwasher isn’t working after a power outage.

The dishwasher is not working after a power outage due to an electrical surge after power restoration. The power surge triggers the microprocessor inside the dishwasher, which reacts by refusing to work. The microprocessor is vulnerable to power surges. So, the dishwasher not working is the appliance’s response to fluctuations after restoring the power. 

In this article, I will explain how a power outage affects the dishwasher, how to fix it, and the steps to resetting the dishwasher.

By the end, you will also understand how to prevent power surges in your dishwasher.

Why is My Dishwasher Not Working After a Power Outage?

Dishwasher Not Working After a Power Outage

Your dishwasher is not working after a power outage because of a surge after power restoration. A surge is due to a sudden increase in voltage and current after power restoration.

When the dishwasher goes off due to an issue at the electrical outlet, it keeps its memory and returns to its former setting once you fix it.

The appliance resumes its normal function immediately after the power restoration. However, the case is slightly different when there is a power outage.

During a power outage, all the electrical wires are empty, and no electricity flows through them. 

So when the power comes on, the electricity suddenly rushes through the wires creating an abnormality. It causes the voltage to increase unusually.

This abnormal increase is a power surge that causes the dishwasher to cease functioning. Most dishwashers run at standard household current varying from 110-120 volts.

But after a power outage, the electrical current increases to 200 volts or more. This current is unhealthy for your dishwasher and can damage it.

The current causes heat if it flows through the dishwasher and damages the appliance’s circuit and other electrical components.

Therefore, the dishwasher will cease functioning because the electrical current is too high. Although, it may be worrisome that your dishwasher isn’t functioning.

However, it would be best if you didn’t let it bother you because it doesn’t affect the dishwasher. It is only the appliance’s technical reaction to the increased current.

Your dishwasher will function once you fix it and the electrical current returns to its standard range.     

Can a Power Outage Damage a Dishwasher?

No, a power outage can’t damage a dishwasher. The appliance only stops running because there is no power supply.

However, the problem that can damage a dishwasher arises when there is power restoration because the electrical surge causes issues for the dishwasher.

Dishwashers are prone to power surges because they contain a microprocessor. The microprocessor makes them highly vulnerable.

Nonetheless, the microprocessor is vital to the functioning of the appliance. It is the component that is in charge of taps and detectors.

It also controls switches in charge of the dishwasher parts for cleaning dishes. But, the microprocessor is very sensitive to electrical current.

Any fluctuation in the electrical current affects the proper functioning. In addition, It is essential to note that power surges can occur at either high or low levels.

Although, a low-level power surge is more common. It only causes electronic rust and gradually degrades the appliance’s inner circuit when it happens.

The circuit eventually stops working after a while. On the other hand, large or high power surges fries the circuit board melts metal and plastic parts and causes severe damage.

The type of power surge that occurs after a power outage is the high-level surge. It damages the dishwasher’s electrical components.

How Do I Fix a Dishwasher That Isn’t Working After a Power Outage?

Resetting is the best way to fix a dishwasher that isn’t working after a power outage. After a successful reset, the appliance will start up and function properly.

You only need to locate the dishwasher’s reset function and operate it accordingly. Although, the reset function in dishwashers varies according to the model and brand.

Therefore, you need to identify the brand and model of any dishwasher you intend to reset. It will help you to understand its reset method.

Although, there is a general reset method that works for every dishwasher. However, if it doesn’t work, you must use an alternate method.

A power reset may not resolve the issue if other issues disturb the dishwasher.

So when a power reset fails, you should consider other issues like a blown a fuse, faulty pump, faulty control panel, faulty door latch, and thermostat.

These faulty components can prevent the dishwasher from working, irrespective of the power supply level.

A fuse blown can cause a power outage in your dishwasher, so check the fuse if the appliance goes off when there is still a general power supply in the building.

For instance, the dishwasher will indicate no power when the fuse has blown or a breaker tripped. 

Diagnosing any of the other issues will help you fix the dishwasher quickly. Although, they may occur even when there is no power outage.

Here is a table to help you check the other reasons for the dishwasher not working.

Faulty door latchCheck the door latch microswitch.
Faulty control panel It stops mid-cycle, or the light fluctuates.
Faulty pumpCheck the water inlet valve for blockage and leaks.
Faulty thermostatIt doesn’t work or stops during the dry cycle.

If the dishwasher still doesn’t work after determining all these issues, you probably activated child lock, sleep mode, or delayed mode.

Furthermore, you can prevent power surges from affecting your dishwasher, so you won’t need to fix it every time there is a power outage.

You can prevent power surges by;

  • Disconnecting the dishwasher when you are not using it.
  • Installing a home or dishwasher’s surge protector.
  • Unplugging your dishwasher immediately after a power outage.
  • Fixing the cause of the power outage totally before replugging the dishwasher.
  • Having a technician check your wirings against possible power outages.

How Do I Reset My Dishwasher After a Power Outage?

To reset your dishwasher after a power outage:

  • Press and hold the start button for about three seconds.
  • Then, wait for a few minutes for the dishwasher to turn on.

If this method doesn’t reset the dishwasher, try the alternative below:

  • Unplug the appliance from its power source.
  • Leave it for about 60 seconds.
  • Replug it back into its power source.

Suppose you cannot access the plug because the appliance’s cable is hardwired directly to a power source. 

  • Then, you need to turn off the building’s main fuse box or circuit breaker. 
  • Leave it for a minute, then turn it back on. The dishwasher will reboot normally.

However, checking your dishwasher’s manual for instructions to reset it is best. You can use the general methods outlined above if there is no reset instruction.


#1. Where is the Reset Button on a Dishwasher?

Dishwashers do not have a reset button. You can reset it with the power button or unplug it from the power source. Then, replug it after a minute.

#2. Why Would a Dishwasher Suddenly Stop Working?

A dishwasher would suddenly stop working if there is a blown a fuse, faulty user control interface, broken wire, or malfunctioning control board. These issues could prevent the appliance from powering up.

#3. Are Most Dishwashers Hardwired or Plugged in?

Most dishwashers are hardwired because the appliance needs to connect directly to the plumbing system.

#4. Why Do I Have to Keep Resetting My Dishwasher?

You need to keep resetting your dishwasher if there is a power surge repeatedly. It could also be due to pressing the start button multiple times or a faulty component.

#5. What Are the Signs of a Power Surge?

  • The dishwasher isn’t working.
  • The appliance lights are flashing.
  • The area around the dishwasher or power source smells burnt.
  • The surge protector needs resetting.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the dishwasher isn’t working after a power outage because:

  • There is an electrical surge after power restoration.
  • Its microprocessor is sensitive to power fluctuations.
  • You need to reset it after power restoration.

However, you can overcome all these issues by installing a defense system against the power surge or disconnecting the dishwasher after a power outage.

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