A KitchenAid dishwasher that won't run doesn't necessarily mean that is broken and requires service. A variety of issues can occur that affect its operation, and many can be fixed with a simple reset or reboot of the dishwasher's computerized control board.
Reasons to Reset
A cold reboot, which means turning off the power to the dishwasher, often corrects some of the problems that occur. Another option is to reset the control panel by pushing two buttons in series. Issues that can necessitate a reset of the dishwasher include when a cycle won't advance, when the Clean-Complete light keeps blinking, when there are power interruptions, or when the dishwasher fails to run altogether.
The simplest way to fix some of these issues on the dishwasher is to clear the memory in the control panel's computer by turning off the unit. You can do this one of two ways: Turn off the circuit breaker that powers the dishwasher, waiting at least five minutes before turning it back on, or unplug the unit from the wall and wait five minutes before plugging it back in.
Another reason why the dishwasher isn't working may be because the circuit breaker isn't on. When flipping the circuit breaker switch, check to ensure that it stays fully engaged in the On position before resetng the dishwasher.
If you just need to reset a cycle, simply press and hold the Cancel or Cancel-Drain button to reset the cycle and choose a new one.
Control Panel Reset
When powering down the unit and turning it back on doesn't work, it may be best to reset the control panel's computer. This is done by pressing two buttons, one after the other, at least five times each for a total of 10 presses. The door must be completely shut while the buttons are being pressed.
Some dishwashers reset after pressing these buttons four times each, but just press each button five times, alternating between them since it works for most dishwasher models. First push the Hi Temp, Hi Temp Scrub or Hi Temp Wash button and then press the Heated Dry, Energy Saver Dry or Air Dry button, depending on the model you have.
After pressing the buttons, you may see the LEDs above the buttons engage, blink or activate. You may also hear the machine go through a series of self-diagnostics, such as the drain pump engaging or other activity. Don't interrupt this; allow the dishwasher to go through its self-assessment, which could take several minutes. Once the unit finishes press the Cancel or Cancel-Drain button; this starts the drain cycle, which can last up to two minutes. Once that cycle is finished, another desired cycle will be able to start.
When It Fails to Reset
When the dishwasher fails to reset, even after checking the power to the unit and/or going through the reset operation, it means there is a potential problem with the control panel's computer board or its fuse may be blown. The control panel and fuse can be accessed by removing the door panel. Anyone who is inexperienced with this kind if repair should contact a service technician.
As a native Californian, artist, journalist and published author, Laurie Brenner began writing professionally in 1975. She has written for newspapers, magazines, online publications and sites. Brenner graduated from San Diego's Coleman College.