How to Reset Codes on a Kenmore Dishwasher

Several top manufacturers make appliances for Sears to sell in its retail and outlet stores under the Kenmore name. Each dishwasher has an appliance tag that identifies both the manufacturer and the model number of the machine.

The first three digits of the model number, followed by a period or a space, identify the company that made the dishwasher for Sears. For example, Kenmore dishwasher model numbers that begin with 106, 110, 664 or 665 are manufactured by the Whirlpool company for Sears.

Model Number Location

You can find the appliance tag on either the edge of the door or the lip of the machine at the top, right or left side. Once you know the model number, you can download the manual specific to your dishwasher and order replacement parts online from Sears if you have the skills to make the repairs yourself.

Blinking Light Error Codes

Kenmore dishwashers have buttons and indicator lights that blink when the machine experiences a problem or error. Since these dishwashers don't have a digital display, the blinking lights serve the same purpose as an error code. Pressing a series of keys to enter the diagnostic mode sometimes can clear these issues only if there are no other problems with the machine.

Start-Resume Blinking Light

The most common indicator that blinks on a Kenmore dishwasher is the light above the Start-Resume button. This light blinks when a cycle has been interrupted because of a power outage or because someone opened the dishwasher while it was running. Simply press the Start-Resume button again to restart the cycle. It could also indicate a faulty door switch that requires replacement. If there appears to be no power to the unit, verify the following:

  • Check for power at the outlet with a non-contact circuit tester.
  • Flip the circuit breaker switch from On to Off and back to On again in your home's electrical panel.
  • Replace blown fuses
  • or unplug the unit from the outlet if it has power and wait five minutes before plugging it back in.

When the door is opened during a cycle, you need to close it within three seconds of opening it for the cycle to resume or you must press the Start-Resume button to restart the cycle.

Sanitize Blinking Light

Some Kenmore dishwashers have a sanitize feature; when this light blinks, it means the sanitization step failed because the hot water in the dishwasher did not achieve the desired temperature or the final rinse cycle was interrupted.

To fix this error, set the home's hot water heater to a minimum of 120 degrees Fahrenheit or don't open the machine during the final rinse.

Rapid Blinking -- Console Light

When this light blinks it usually indicates a problem with a stuck button and a problem with the control panel or electronic board in the dishwasher. If entering the test mode doesn't fix the problem, you will need to contact a service tech or fix the problem by replacing the board or panel.

Clean Light Error

The clean light blinks a series of seven times or stays on continually if there is a problem with the machine. When the door switch fails, the clean light may stay lit. When the clean light flashes, the control board did not register an increase in water temperature during the wash cycle, indicating that the dishes may not be clean.

This light blinking can also be caused by one of several components in the dishwasher:

  • a heating element problem
  • an in-line thermostat failure
  • a wiring problem
  • a control board failure
  • a door-switch failure
  • a filter or spray arm blockage
  • premature draining
  • or not enough water for washing.

Simple fixes include opening up the dishwasher, checking for blockage in the filter and verifying the spray arm is not hitting an item that is too tall inside at the back of the machine, such as a baking sheet.

If you found a blockage in the filter after removing and cleaning it or a tall pan blocked the spray arm, reset the dishwasher by engaging the machine's test mode reset. If the problem was fixed, the diagnostic testing mode, when complete, should turn the light off.

Control Lock

When the control lock LED stays on there may be a problem with the keypad or it was accidentally activated. Press and hold the Heated Dry button for at least 5 seconds to turn the control lock feature off. If that does not solve the problem, the keypad may require replacement.

Test Mode Reset

Running the dishwasher through a self-diagnosis test can sometimes eliminate the problem of the blinking clean light or other light issues and reset the machine as long as the dishwasher doesn't have any problems. To enter the diagnostic test mode, push the Heated Dry and Normal Wash buttons twice in quick succession, one right after the other: Heated Dry, Normal Wash, Heated Dry, Normal Wash.

If the test mode engages successfully, all the lights on the dishwasher turn on. Close the door to allow it to go through a series of self-tests over the course of a few minutes. After the self-tests, the clean light should go off if the machine detects no other problems in the dishwasher.

Otherwise, unless you have experience taking apart appliances, repairing them and putting them back together, you will more than likely need to call for service.