The Reset Sequence for a KitchenAid Dishwasher

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.

A cold reboot -- disengaging the power -- 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:

  • cycle won't advance
  • Clean-Complete light blinking
  • power interruptions
  • dishwasher fails to run

Cold Reboot

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 5 minutes before turning it back on, or unplug the unit from the wall and wait 5 minutes before plugging it back in.

If you find the circuit breaker tripped, this could be the reason the dishwasher isn't working. When flipping the circuit breaker switch, check to ensure that it stays fully engaged in the On position before resetting the dishwasher.

Cycle Reset

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, and you cannot use the buttons on the control panel to start a cycle, you may have 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 for this operation.

Some dishwashers reset after pressing these buttons four times each, but just press each button five times, alternating between them -- as this covers most of the models out there. 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. When it finishes the drain cycle, you should be able to start the desired cycle.

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. You can access the control panel and the fuse by removing the door panel if you have experience working with voltmeters and making these kinds of repairs; otherwise, contact a service technician.