kenmore dishwasher start button not working

Is your Kenmore dishwasher start button not working? Keep reading because we have the ultimate solution for your dishwasher’s start button and how to restore its functionality!

To fix when a Kenmore dishwasher’ start button isn’t working, check if the power supply is installed correctly and deactivate the “Delay Start” timer.

Next, clean the dishwasher’s filter, close the appliance’s door all the way, and reset the Kenmore machine!

Keep reading further into the guide!

Why Is Kenmore Washer Start Button Not Working?

Your Kenmore dishwasher’s washing cycle can only be initiated if particular factors are met.

For example, not closing your dishwasher’s door all the way or not installing the power supply correctly, will make the “Start” button inactive.

reasons for start button not working

Here are all possibilities why the Kenmore dishwasher start button is not working:

  1. An issue with the power supply
  2. An issue with the door latch
  3. Blocked button mechanism
  4. An issue with the control panel
  5. Malfunction with the wiring
  6. A Burnt out thermal fuse
  7. A faulty dishwasher float switch

Try This First!

Before we start, hold the Start button of the dishwasher for at least 30 seconds to determine if there will be any output from the dishwasher.

As a result of holding the button for that long, your dishwasher’s LED lights should come or blink to indicate there’s power.

Kenmore Dishwasher Start Button Not Working8 Fixes!

Info: Follow our instructions consecutively for the fastest results and best efficiency!

1. Close the Door All the Way

The door latch detects when the dishwasher’s door is closed.

Therefore the start button of your Kenmore dishwasher will be inactive until the door of the appliance is closed all the way and it is making contact with the door latch.

  • Push the door of the Kenmore dishwasher until it closes!
close the door all the way

You should hear a click when the door of the device closes. When there is no more space to move to the door, press the start button and check if there will be any output from the dishwasher device.

Tip: Don’t Force the Door!

Closing the door of the Kenmore dishwasher forcefully often may wear-out the door latch.

When this happens, the dishwasher will no longer be able to tell when the door is closed and therefore the start button will stop working permanently!

In case that’s not the culprit for the power button issue, proceed with the next step!

2. Perform a Power Cycle!

In case the problem is related to the power, the next step is to power cycle your dishwasher.

This process will circulate the electricity of the dishwasher and refresh the system of the device. Hopefully, that will get the start button working and resolve the problem.

perform a powercycle

Follow these instructions to power cycle your dishwasher:

  1. Hold the start button on the device for 10 seconds.
  2. Unplug the power cord of the Kenmore dishwasher.
  3. Wait for the next 3-4 minutes and reconnect the dishwasher.
  4. Hold the Start button for 5 seconds and then let go.
Info: If your Kenmore dishwasher is working properly, holding the start button after the power cycle should start on the device. 

3. Deactivate “Delay Start”

Your Kenmore dishwasher has a feature called “Delay Start”, which allows the device to start the washing cycle with a little delay. You can adjust how long your dishwasher will take before it starts with the cycle, by using the “+” and “-” buttons.

  • The delay start can only be adjusted after pressing the “Delay Start” button!

How to Check Kenmore Dishwasher “Delay Start” Timer?

  1. Locate the “Delay Start” button on the dishwasher.
  2. Press the “Delay Start” button for 3-4 seconds.
  3. Check if the delay timer displays “00”.

How to Adjust Kenmore Dishwasher “Delay Start” Timer?

adjust delay start timer
  1. Locate the “Cancel” or “Reset” button on the dishwasher.
  2. Press and hold either button for about 5 seconds.
  3. Wait for the dishwasher’s timer to display “00”.
Info: The numbers displayed on the dishwasher’s delay start timer show how many seconds is the start delayed.

4. Inspect the Wiring Configuration!

The wiring configuration of your Kenmore dishwasher may be causing the fault with the “Start” button.

To settle this problem, you must inspect all wires in the control panel of the dishwasher and determine if any cables are loose or damaged.

Follow these steps to inspect the wires of the Kenmore dishwasher:

  1. Unplug the dishwasher and turn off the breaker’s power.
  2. Open the dishwasher door and find the control panel screws.
  3. Use a Phillips-head screwdriver to undo all of the screws.
  4. Remove the cover of the dishwasher’s control panel.
  5. Unplug all of the ribbon cables in the control panel.
  6. Using a flashlight, inspect all of the dishwasher’s wires.
Alert: If you’ve spotted any loose or damaged cables, report the fault to Kenmore or contact the merchant you’ve purchased the appliance from directly!

5. Check the Detergent Dispenser

The detergent dispenser of your Kenmore dishwasher will automatically release the soap after opening it during the correct time in the washing cycle.

If the detergent dispenser is clogged or has garbage in it, it’s likely that your dishwasher will refuse to start up.

clean detergent dispenser

Here’s how to access/clean the detergent dispenser:

  1. Open the dishwasher’s door and look inside the tub.
  2. Find the detergent dispenser next to the dishwasher tub.
  3. Closely examine the dispenser for visible clocks/blockages.
  4. Fill a bowl or a bucket of water with warm (or hot) water.
  5. Pour dish soap or detergent into the bucket/bowl and mix it.
  6. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to carefully clean the dispenser.
Info: While cleaning the dispenser, make sure it also has enough soap fluid to release during the washing cycles.

6. Reset the Machine’s Float Switch!

If your Kenmore dishwasher has a float switch, its function is to control the flow of water coming into the dishwasher.

It controls the water level and prevents the liquid from rising until the point where it overflows or causes issues during the wash cycle.

Here’s how to locate/reset your dishwasher’s float switch:

  1. Disconnect the dishwasher’s power cord.
  2. Open the door of the dishwasher fully.
  3. Locate the switch, near the tub, at the front.
  4. Push the float switch down 5-6 times.
  5. Ensure the switch is not stuck.
  6. (Optional) Clean the float switch thoroughly.
reset dishwasher float switch
Notice: If the float switch doesn’t go all the way in, it’s probably because it is blocked by debris. 

Use soap and water to thoroughly clean the switch itself and the area around it.

7. Clean the Dishwasher Filters

Using your dishwasher for long enough, may cause too much debris to be collected by the filters.

If the filters get clogged, the Kenmore dishwasher will prevent any washing cycles from being started, until the filter is free of all debris!

  • Your Kenmore dishwasher cannot work with a damaged or faulty filter

Here’s how to clean your Kenmore dishwasher’s filters:

  1. Turn off the power to the dishwasher.
  2. Remove the lower rack of the device.
  3. Locate the filters at the bottom of the tub.
  4. Twist the filter counterclockwise slightly.
  5. Lift the filter out of the tub holder carefully.
  6. Repeat for the other filter (they are usually two)
  7. Use water and soap to thoroughly clean the filter.
clean dishwasher filter
Info: If the filter doesn’t seem damaged, reinstall it back onto the holder by performing clockwise movements. 

If there are cracks or damages on the filter, replace it!

8. Factory Reset the Dishwasher!

A factory reset on your Kenmore dishwasher may settle the problem with the “Start” button.

It’s a simple reset of the software, that’ll flush the system of the appliance and fix any functionality problems or issues with the washing cycle as well.

Follow these simple steps to factory reset your dishwasher:

  1. Turn off the power to the dishwasher.
  2. Unplug the device from the outlet.
  3. Press the “Heated Dry” button for 5 seconds.
  4. Release the “Heated Dry” functionality button.
  5. Press and hold the “Normal Wash” button.
  6. Release the “Normal Wash” action button.
  7. Now press and hold “Start” for about 5 seconds.
  8. Reconnect the dishwasher’s power cord cable.
Alert: Immediately after reconnecting your Kenmore dishwasher to power, the LED lights of the device should blink, to indicate the successful reset.

Quick Recap:

Hence, the solution when the Kenmore dishwasher start button not working is to check the power supply of the dishwasher and close the door all the way.

After that, check if you’ve activated “Delay Start” and factory reset the appliance to solve the issue.

Read Next: Why Isn’t My Kenmore Dishwasher Draining? – Complete Fix Guide

Nicole B