kenmore elite dishwasher locked light on

The Kenmore Elite dishwasher has a mechanism called a safety lock, that will prevent accidents.

However, a common error might cause the lock light to stay on randomly. So what to do when the Kenmore Elite dishwasher locked light on won’t go away?

You should be able to get rid of the Kenmore Elite dishwasher lock light by canceling the lock functioning. Other times, however, you will find that the door hinges or the door gasket are not allowing the door to close fully, thus triggering the safety lock; or the panel control is defective and won’t allow the lock light to go off.

Are you eager to learn how to turn the “Lock light” off?

The guide below will discuss all the solutions you can use. In addition, we will guide you step by step if it is necessary to fix or replace any components.

Kenmore Elite Dishwasher Locked Light On – Reasons

why kenmore elite dishwasher locked light on

Sometimes the Kenmore Elite dishwasher lock light stays on, preventing you from starting a new cycle or using any command.

Even though the lock function is useful, it can be a bother if it activates without your intention. Why is that happening?

Let’s find out:

You Activated It

Even if you didn’t want to, you might have triggered the lock function by doing something wrong. 

Malfunctioning System

In this case, it is not your fault but the dishwasher system’s fault. Some hardware or software issues might have activated the lock function.

Door Issues

The lock function keeps the door from opening when the dishwasher is operating.

If the dishwasher’s door is not working correctly, the lock function can be triggered at inappropriate times.

Control Panel

It is likely that an electrical issue on the control panel is triggering the lock function. You might have to fix some wires or change the panel.

Fix The Kenmore Elite Dishwasher Locked Light On

how fix kenmore dishwasher locked light

So how do you get rid of the annoying lock light? There are some ways you can do that. The results will vary according to what is causing the trouble.

We will begin by suggesting very simple solutions. At the end of this guide, you should have your dishwasher working again.

1. Deactivate The Safety Lock

Sometimes the safety lock of your Kenmore Elite has been triggered without the true intention of locking it.

Then, there are some steps you can take to deactivate the function:

  1. Unplug the dishwasher from power;
  2. Wait a few minutes;
  3. Plug it on.

If the safety lock light is still on after a simple power cycle, do the following to deactivate it:

  1. Press “heated dry”/”air dry” or “top rack only”;
  2. Hold the button for 5 seconds;
  3. Release the button, and the light should go out.

You can alternate the buttons you try if one doesn’t work. 

Tip: If pressing the buttons doesn't work immediately, you might try power cycling the appliance afterward. Then, turn the dishwasher on again and check if the lock light still appears.

2. Check The Door

check dishwasher door

If pressing the buttons or power cycling the appliance hasn’t made an effect, you must check the door.

The door may be positioned in a way that has triggered the lock sensor and won’t allow you to start new cycles.

First, do this:

  1. Open and close the door;
  2. Press the “Top Rack Only” button;
  3. The Lock light should go off.

Investigate The Door Hinges

If simply opening and closing the door doesn’t reset the lock sensor, perhaps the door isn’t fully closing.

That way, the safety lock is active, so a leak won’t happen when you start the dishwasher for a new cycle.

Do this:

  1. Take a good look at the door’s hinges;
  2. Check if the door can close all the way;
  3. See if there are loose screws;
  4. Tighten screws if necessary;
  5. Align the door in a way it can close entirely.

Next, try closing the door and pressing the “Top rack only” button again. The problem should be solved.

Replace The Hinges

replace the door hinges

Perhaps you checked the door and the hinges, which led you to find that the hinges are defective or broken.

Thus, you must replace them by doing this:

  1. Detach the door’s cables;
  2. Detach the door wires from the retainer;
  3. After opening the door, let it go from its hinges.

Now here is the hard work:

  1. Unscrew the bottom screw of the hinge;
  2. Move out the hinge;
  3. Put the new door hinge in place;
  4. Replace the lock;
  5. Put the mechanisms and door in place;
  6. Reconnect and secure the wires;
  7. Close the door;
  8. Connect wires to the door hinges.
Tip: Hinges are sometimes fragile, so you must take care when installing the new ones.

3. Investigate The Door Gasket

investigate gasket

Since the lock feature might prevent leaks, one cause of the lock light staying on might be that the door gasket is no longer good.

If not defective, perhaps it is not well-adjusted. Here are some measures you can take:

  1. Check for signs of cut or tear in the gasket;
  2. See if there are gaps between the gasket and the dishwasher when the door is closed;
  3. Check how firm the gasket is on the door.

Analyzing those features will determine if you must only adjust the gasket or change it.

Replace The Gasket

First, you only need to open the door and pull the gasket. You might need to apply some extra strength to remove it entirely.

Then here is how you ensure the new gasket is installed properly:

replace the door gasket
  1. Allow a few millimeters of the new gasket to extend beyond the bottom of the channel; 
  2. Press around six inches of the new component into the opening; 
  3. Ensure its lip faces the exterior;
  4. Do the same for the polar end with both edges secured; 
  5. Spread the seal as you place it to fit well into the opening.

After installing the gasket, it is necessary to check that the door closes fully.

Doing that will help you make adjustments where needed. Finally, close the door and see if the “lock light” trouble disappears.

Note: The door gasket might also be described as a door seal. Being aware of that will help you buy the correct part.

4. Fix Or Replace The Control Panel

fix or replace control panel

If none of the options have worked so far, the issue may lie in the control panel.

It is probably facing a harsh malfunction that triggers the lock function without human interference.

You might try fixing the panel, but it might also require a replacement. 

  1. Remove the screws that hold the front panel in place. 
  2. Lift the panel off to access the inside of the dishwasher.
  3. Once you see the panel’s wires and electrical components, clean them;
  4. After cleaning, check for rust, loose wires, or any other sign of damage;

Replace The Panel

If a quick fix is not possible, that means you must replace the control panel (also sometimes called “control board”).

Do the following:

replace control panel
  1. Access the control panel again;
  2. Carefully let go of the wires on the control board. 
  3. Detach any screws or clips that secure the control board 
  4. Carefully take it out of the dishwasher
  5. Insert the new control board 
  6. Secure it in place with screws or fasteners.
  7. Reattach the wires to the new control board.

Installing a new control board must eliminate all system issues, including the lock light that doesn’t go out. 

Alert: This is the only replacement of an electrical component in this guide. Before doing it, ensure that your dishwasher is no longer under warranty. If it is, Kenmore might send you a new appliance instead.

What We Learned

Is the Kenmore Elite dishwasher locked light on? That can happen when you accidentally trigger it.

However, it might also indicate that something is not right with your dishwasher. We hope that the guide above helped you eliminate the issue.

Read Next: How to Fix Kenmore Dishwasher Start Button Not Working Issue?

Nicole B