Whirlpool dishwasher start button not working (Fixed)

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If your Whirlpool dishwasher start button is not working, the culprit is oftentimes a defective key switch (or just a bad start button keypad connection) or even a faulty control board.

But it can be anything else so below is how to troubleshoot your whirlpool dishwasher if the start button is seemingly not working.

Whirlpool dishwasher start button not working – what to check and potential repairs

Basic fixes

Essentially, the start button may be unresponsive due to the following issues:

  • There is no power to the unit– Start by verifying that power is getting to the unit (check if a fuse has blown in your home’s fuse box or if the circuit breaker is tripped).
  • The door is not properly closed– Typically the door of your dishwasher must be correctly closed and latched for the unit’s start button to function so check this too.
  • Water supply issue– The button may also not be working because water supply to the appliance is turned off so verify that water is getting into the machine.


Try to reset it

The issue could be due to the machine’s program jamming so the next step in your troubleshooting is cycling power to the unit to reset it.

Just so you know, turning power off then turning it back on solves a huge number of simple problems in modern-day dishwashers.

If resetting the appliance does not make the button work, try the following fixes:


The key could be stuck causing the issue so check it

Typically, if any key is stuck (you may not always notice it is stuck), the dishwasher will start ignoring the stuck key(s).

Also, an error is recorded to its service history.

However, no alert is communicated to the user.

Keep in mind that this fault occurs on whirlpool dishwasher models featuring key switches only (and not on models with capacitive touch key).

Troubleshooting steps

Check the responsiveness of each one of the keys and ….

If some keys won’t respond (including the start key), then:

  1. Unplug your dishwasher (or just dis-connect power).
  2. Disassemble the door and disconnect the keypad from the control (or the LCD display module).
  3. Verify that all connections to the control are correctly made.
  4. Reassemble the door but do not shut it.
  5. Plug in the dishwasher (or reconnect power).
  6. Wait at least seven (7) seconds for the control to completely power up.
  7. Close the dishwasher door and observe the control response..

Now, if the control appears OK (does not see stuck/shorted keys with the keypad unplugged), it normally responds by turning on the unit’s drain motor for about 2 minutes.

This usually indicates that the keypad is faulty and you will need to replace the whole keypad and console.

The good news is that replacing the part is typically extremely easy. 

It’s worth mentioning that the ribbon frequently goes bad – it can rust (if you note signs of corrosion, you should try to clean it first), get fried, etc.

Quick tip: But before you do that, it is important to inspect the wire harness that usually goes between Control panel and Control board – the connectors at one or both ends of the cable may have come out from the sockets. If so, fixing them could do the trick.

But if, on the other hand, there was no response by the control, it might be the culprit.

The part can be ordered online too and you can follow the steps in this YouTube video by repairclinic.com to perform the replacement.


Whirlpool dishwasher start button not working – other troubleshooting steps

Try to invoke the diagnostic mode

This might give you a clue on what other specific errors could be causing the issue.

Bear in mind that once you enter diagnostic mode, an error code may be displayed or  some lights will flash to indicate the cause.

Each error code could have a unique fix to implement and the button may work once again if it was the cause. 

Our Whirlpool dishwasher diagnostic mode (How to enter) guide can be helpful for this step.

Check the thermal fuse –its failure can prevent the button from working

The thermal fuse may have blown if it’s faulty or if your dishwasher was in danger of getting overheated perhaps from high temperature (this is for the safety of your vital dishwasher parts).

If possible, first test if electricity is going to/or from the fuse with a multimeter (To perform the test, Watch and follow the instructions in this Video).

If it’s blown, you should replace it with a manufacturer-approved replacement thermal fuse (replacing the blown thermal fuse should not take more than 30 minutes and again you can follow the instructions in this guide).


What to do if the dishwasher won’t run and the start/resume button LED seems dead

By design, once the dishwasher door is opened during a cycle (or power supply is interrupted), you must press Start/Resume key to restart operation.

Do that and see if this helps (the door must always be latched for “Start”/ “Resume” key to operate.

The other likely cause is the door switch failing to make proper contact.

This could be due to a faulty (or loose) door latch assembly or even a non-functional door switch (test for high resistance).

Troubleshooting steps

  1. Unplug the dishwasher or disconnect the power.
  2. Measure resistance of the door switch contacts (remember to check the mechanical operation of the latch assembly while at it and fix/replace).
  3. Confirm the switches have not come loose from the latch assembly (fix if necessary).
  4. Check the strike plate and the door closure.
  5. Check/replace the control (watch the video we recommended above).


Final words

Be sure to reach out to a pro if you don’t feel confident enough to attempt the above repairs.

You can also reach out to Whirlpool service if your dishwasher is not out of warranty (model number will be required so confirm it first).

Hope this helps.


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Whirlpool dishwasher diagnostic mode (How to enter)

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Whirlpool dishwasher drain pump test (steps)


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