Whirlpool Dishwasher Buttons Not Working

If your Whirlpool dishwasher buttons are not responding, it can be frustrating and disrupt your daily routine. However, there are several potential reasons for this issue, and you can often resolve it on your own without the need for a technician. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you troubleshoot and fix the problem.

1. Check for Power Supply


a. Power Connection: Verify that the dishwasher is properly plugged into an electrical outlet and that the outlet is functioning. You may want to try plugging another device into the same outlet to confirm that it’s working.

b. Circuit Breaker: Check your home’s circuit breaker or fuse box to ensure that the dishwasher’s circuit is not tripped or the fuse isn’t blown. Reset the circuit breaker or replace the fuse if necessary.

2. Examine the Control Lock

Whirlpool dishwashers often have a control lock feature that can accidentally be engaged, preventing any buttons from responding:

a. Control Lock Indicator: Look for a control lock indicator light on the dishwasher’s control panel. If it’s illuminated, the control lock is active.

b. Deactivate Control Lock: To deactivate the control lock, press and hold the “Control Lock” button (if available) or refer to your dishwasher’s user manual for specific instructions.

3. Inspect the Door Latch

Dishwashers typically won’t start if the door isn’t securely latched. Ensure that the door is closing properly and that the latch is engaging. If the door is not fully closed, the control panel buttons won’t work.

4. Reset the Dishwasher

Sometimes, a simple reset can resolve button issues:

a. Unplug the Dishwasher: Disconnect the dishwasher from power by unplugging it from the electrical outlet or turning off the circuit breaker that supplies power to it. Wait for a few minutes (about 5-10 minutes) to allow any residual charge to dissipate.

b. Plug it Back In: Reconnect the dishwasher to power and turn on the circuit breaker. This effectively performs a soft reset, which can often resolve minor glitches.

5. Run a Diagnostic Cycle

Many Whirlpool dishwashers have a diagnostic mode that can help identify the source of the problem:

a. Enter Diagnostic Mode: Refer to your dishwasher’s user manual for instructions on how to enter diagnostic mode. This usually involves a specific button sequence.

b. Observe Error Codes: While in diagnostic mode, the control panel may display error codes. Note these codes as they can provide valuable information for troubleshooting or contacting customer support.

6. Check for a Faulty Control Panel

If the above steps do not resolve the issue, it’s possible that the control panel itself is faulty. This may require professional repair or replacement of the control panel. Contact Whirlpool customer service or a qualified technician for assistance.

7. Consult the User Manual

Always consult your dishwasher’s user manual for model-specific troubleshooting guidance and instructions. The manual can often provide valuable insights into resolving button-related issues.


8. Test Different Wash Cycles

Try selecting different wash cycles on your dishwasher. Sometimes, certain buttons may be unresponsive for one cycle but work for another. This could indicate a specific issue with a cycle button rather than a broader problem.

9. Inspect for Physical Damage

Examine the control panel for any physical damage, like cracks or moisture damage. If the panel is damaged, it might need to be replaced. Be sure to power off the dishwasher and unplug it before attempting to replace any parts.

10. Clean the Control Panel

Over time, dirt and residue can accumulate on the control panel, hindering button responsiveness. Gently clean the panel with a soft, damp cloth and a mild detergent. Ensure it is completely dry before testing the buttons again.

11. Check for Water Leakage

Water leakage can damage the control panel and prevent buttons from working correctly. Inspect the dishwasher for any signs of water leakage around the control panel area. If you find any, address the leakage issue and allow the control panel to dry thoroughly.

12. Examine the Wiring

Inspect the wiring connections behind the control panel. Loose or damaged wires can disrupt communication between the buttons and the dishwasher’s control board. If you’re comfortable working with electrical components, carefully check and secure any loose wires. Otherwise, seek professional assistance.

13. Software Update

In some cases, Whirlpool provides software updates for their appliances to address performance issues. Check the Whirlpool website for any available updates for your specific dishwasher model and follow the instructions to update the software.

14. Contact Whirlpool Customer Support

If all else fails and your dishwasher is still under warranty, contact Whirlpool’s customer support or the retailer where you purchased the appliance. They may be able to provide further guidance, schedule a service appointment, or offer a replacement if necessary.

15. Seek Professional Repair

If you’re unable to resolve the issue on your own and your dishwasher is out of warranty, it’s advisable to consult a professional appliance repair technician. They have the expertise and tools to diagnose and repair complex issues with the control panel, circuitry, or buttons.

Possible Causes

CauseDescriptionSolutionParts NeededCost (Estimate)
Electrical IssuePower supply problems or wiring faultsCheck power supply and wiring connectionsNoneN/A
Control Panel DefectMalfunctions in the dishwasher’s control panelReplace the control panel or circuit boardControl Panel or Circuit Board$$-$$$
Button Overlay DamagePhysical damage to the button overlay or keypadReplace the button overlay or keypadButton Overlay or Keypad$$-$$$
Software GlitchFirmware or software errors within the dishwasherReset or update the dishwasher’s softwareNoneN/A
Water DamageMoisture causing electrical problemsInspect for water leaks and repair if necessarySeals, Gaskets, or Hoses$$-$$$

Troubleshooting Steps

Check Power SupplyEnsure the dishwasher is receiving power
Test Other ButtonsDetermine if specific buttons or the entire panel is affected
Inspect for DamageExamine the button overlay and control panel for physical damage
Run Diagnostic TestUse the dishwasher’s diagnostic mode if available
Update SoftwareCheck for software updates and install if applicable

Button Functions

Start/CancelInitiates or cancels the washing cycle
PowerTurns the dishwasher on/off
Cycle SelectionSelects the wash cycle (e.g., normal, heavy-duty)
Delay StartSets a delayed start time for the dishwasher
OptionsAdjusts additional settings (e.g., sanitize, rinse)

DIY Solutions

IssueDIY Solution
Buttons StickingGently clean around the buttons and ensure they move freely
Button Overlay PeelingApply adhesive to reattach a peeling overlay
Software GlitchFollow the manufacturer’s instructions to reset or update the software
Loose WiringReconnect loose wires or call an electrician for repairs if needed
Water LeaksFix minor leaks by tightening connections or replace damaged parts

Professional Help

IssueWhen to Seek Professional Assistance
Control Panel DefectWhen buttons still don’t work after DIY attempts
Major Electrical IssueIf there are serious electrical problems
Water DamageFor extensive water damage or persistent leaks
Complex Software FixIf software-related issues are beyond your expertise
Button Overlay ReplacementIf the overlay needs professional replacement


Remember that electrical appliances can be hazardous if mishandled, so prioritize safety throughout the troubleshooting process. Always unplug the dishwasher or turn off the circuit breaker before attempting any repairs or maintenance.

By systematically working through these troubleshooting steps and seeking professional assistance if needed, you can increase the chances of resolving the issue and getting your Whirlpool dishwasher buttons back in working order.

Whirlpool Dishwasher Buttons Not Working

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