KitchenAid Dishwasher Control Panel Problems And Fixes

KitchenAid dishwashers are known for their reliability and efficiency, but like any appliance, they can experience issues over time. One common area where problems may arise is the control panel. If you’re facing problems with your KitchenAid dishwasher’s control panel, this guide will help you understand the potential issues and provide solutions to get your dishwasher back in working order.

Common Control Panel Problems

1. Control Panel Not Responding


Possible Causes and Fixes:

  • Power Supply Issues: Check if the dishwasher is receiving power. Ensure it’s plugged in and the circuit breaker is not tripped.
  • Control Lock: Some models have a control lock feature that can be accidentally activated. Look for a button or combination of buttons labeled “Control Lock” and hold them for a few seconds to deactivate it.
  • Faulty Control Panel: If the control panel is unresponsive even after checking power and control lock, it may be a faulty control panel that needs replacement.

2. Error Codes on Display

Symptom: The control panel displays error codes like F1, F2, etc.

Possible Causes and Fixes:

  • Refer to the Manual: Consult your dishwasher’s user manual to identify the specific error code and its meaning. It may provide guidance on how to resolve the issue.
  • Reset the Dishwasher: Sometimes, simply resetting the dishwasher can clear error codes. Unplug the dishwasher for a few minutes, then plug it back in.
  • Sensor or Component Issues: Certain error codes may indicate sensor or component failures. In such cases, it’s best to contact KitchenAid customer service or a qualified technician.

3. Buttons Not Working Properly

Symptom: Some buttons on the control panel work intermittently or not at all.

Possible Causes and Fixes:

  • Button Blockage: Check for any debris, moisture, or residue around the buttons. Clean the control panel with a damp cloth and ensure it’s completely dry before use.
  • Button Membrane Damage: If the buttons themselves are physically damaged or worn out, they may need replacement.
  • Control Board Issues: The control board behind the panel may be malfunctioning. This typically requires professional diagnosis and repair.

4. Inconsistent Display or Lighting

Symptom: The control panel display or indicator lights are flickering, dim, or not functioning correctly.

Possible Causes and Fixes:

  • Loose Wiring: Inspect the wiring connections behind the control panel. Loose or damaged wires can cause erratic behavior. Ensure all connections are secure.
  • Power Surge: If your dishwasher experienced a power surge, it could damage the control panel. Consider using surge protectors for your appliances.
  • Control Board Malfunction: If the display or lighting issues persist, it may be a problem with the control board, which should be inspected by a technician.

When to Seek Professional Help

While some control panel problems can be resolved with DIY solutions, others require the expertise of a qualified technician. You should consider professional assistance in the following situations:

  • The dishwasher is under warranty, as attempting repairs yourself might void the warranty.
  • You’re unsure about diagnosing the issue or don’t have experience with appliance repair.
  • The problem is related to complex electrical components or involves disassembling the control panel.

5. Control Panel Display is Blank

Symptom: The control panel display is completely blank, and the dishwasher is unresponsive.

Possible Causes and Fixes:

  • Power Supply: Verify that there is power to the dishwasher. Check the power outlet and circuit breaker.
  • Control Lock: As mentioned earlier, the control lock feature can sometimes be activated inadvertently. Try holding the “Control Lock” button to disable it.
  • Faulty Control Board: If the control board itself is malfunctioning, it may need replacement.

6. Display Shows “PF” (Power Failure)

Symptom: The control panel displays “PF” after a power outage.

Possible Causes and Fixes:

  • “PF” is a common indicator after a power outage. In most cases, it’s not an error but an alert that power was interrupted. Press the “Cancel” button to clear it and resume normal operation.

7. Buttons Are Sticky or Unresponsive

Symptom: Buttons on the control panel feel sticky or don’t respond well to touch.

Possible Causes and Fixes:

  • Sticky Residue: Clean the buttons and the surrounding area thoroughly with a mild detergent to remove any sticky residue that might be interfering with button function.
  • Water Damage: If moisture has seeped into the control panel, it can cause buttons to malfunction. Ensure the dishwasher is completely dry inside and out before using it.

8. Control Panel Is Frozen

Symptom: The control panel is frozen or stuck on one setting.

Possible Causes and Fixes:

  • Control Lock Activation: Check if the control panel is locked. If it is, unlock it by holding the “Control Lock” button for a few seconds.
  • Software Glitch: Try resetting the dishwasher by unplugging it for a few minutes, then plugging it back in. This can sometimes resolve software glitches causing the freeze.
  • Update Software: Some modern dishwashers can receive software updates. Check your user manual or contact KitchenAid customer support to see if a software update is available.

Maintenance Tips to Prevent Control Panel Problems

Preventing control panel issues can prolong the life of your KitchenAid dishwasher. Here are some maintenance tips:

  1. Regular Cleaning: Keep the control panel and surrounding area clean and dry. Wipe it down after each use to prevent debris, moisture, or residue buildup.
  2. Control Lock Awareness: Be mindful of the control lock feature. If you inadvertently activate it, you may think there’s a control panel problem when there isn’t.
  3. Surge Protection: Consider using surge protectors for your appliances to protect them from power surges and voltage spikes.
  4. Professional Maintenance: Schedule regular professional maintenance to check for any potential issues before they become major problems.

Control Panel Won’t Turn On

Problem DescriptionPossible CausesTroubleshooting StepsFixAdditional Notes
Control panel is unresponsivePower outage or loose connections1. Check power source. 2. Ensure the door is properly closed. 3. Examine wiring connections.Reconnect power or replace faulty componentsBe cautious with electrical components.

Error Codes on Control Panel

Problem DescriptionPossible CausesTroubleshooting StepsFixAdditional Notes
Error codes on the displaySensor issues or system malfunction1. Refer to the manual for error code meanings. 2. Restart the dishwasher. 3. If error persists, call for service.Follow error code instructions or call serviceDocument error codes for reference.

Control Panel Buttons Not Responding

Problem DescriptionPossible CausesTroubleshooting StepsFixAdditional Notes
Buttons on the panel don’t workSticky residue or damaged buttons1. Clean buttons with a damp cloth. 2. Check for physical damage. 3. Replace faulty buttons.Clean or replace buttons as neededAvoid using abrasive materials.

Control Panel Display Is Flickering

Problem DescriptionPossible CausesTroubleshooting StepsFixAdditional Notes
Display screen flickersElectrical issues or loose connections1. Inspect wiring connections. 2. Check for loose cables. 3. Test with a different power source.Fix electrical connections or consult a technicianSafety first when dealing with electrical components.

Control Panel Lock Is Activated

Problem DescriptionPossible CausesTroubleshooting StepsFixAdditional Notes
Control panel lock is engagedAccidental activation or child lock1. Press and hold the control lock button for 3-5 seconds. 2. Refer to the manual for specific instructions.Deactivate the control lockKeep the manual handy for guidance.


A malfunctioning control panel can disrupt the functionality of your KitchenAid dishwasher, but many issues can be resolved with some troubleshooting. However, if the problems persist or you’re uncomfortable with DIY repairs, it’s always wise to seek professional assistance to ensure the safe and efficient operation of your appliance. Regular maintenance and care can also help prevent control panel problems in the first place, prolonging the lifespan of your dishwasher.


KitchenAid Dishwasher Control Panel Problems And Fixes

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