7 Reasons Why Kenmore Dishwasher Won’t Start [Solutions]

A dishwasher is one of the essential appliances in every kitchen. It can be frustrating when the dishwasher stops working.

If you are reading this article, you must be using a Kenmore dishwasher.

Kenmore is one of the renowned brands known for manufacturing a wide range of electronic appliances, including Kenmore dishwashers. 

The company has been manufacturing dishwashers for years. They manufactured advanced and quality dishwashers.

Like other dishwashers, the Kenmore dishwashers encounter various types of errors over time.

If your Kenmore dishwasher is not starting, you have come to the right place.

In this article, we will discuss various reasons and their solution that stop your dishwasher from starting. 

Why my Kenmore dishwasher is not starting?

There are various reasons that stop the dishwasher from starting a new cycle.

If your Kenmore dishwasher is not starting the cycle, there must be technical issues in your dishwasher.

The technical issue can be anything from a broken door latch to a faulty motor. 

It is difficult to specify one particular issue when the dishwasher is not starting.

Unless and until we inspect the dishwasher, we can’t be certain regarding the issues.

However, one of the most common reasons the dishwasher won’t start is electrical issues or a faulty motor.

If your dishwasher has any of these issues, consider fixing this issue and try restarting the dishwasher. 

How to find and fix the problem in your dishwasher?

7 Reasons Why Kenmore Dishwasher Won't Start [Solutions]

To fix the Kenmore dishwasher won’t start the problem; first, you should identify the reason.

Once you find the reason behind the problem, half of the problem is solved.

In most cases, it is very difficult to identify the issue behind the problem, which takes much time to fix the issue in the dishwasher.

In this section, we will discuss several issues that stop the dishwasher from starting, along with the appropriate solution. 

Electrical issues

Electrical issues are one of the most common issues that stop the dishwasher from starting.

If your dishwasher is unable to power on the dishwasher, there must be an electrical issue in your dishwasher.

The problem can be anything like a blown fuse, tripped breaker, torn-up power cord or problem with a power switch. 

I recommend you to make a proper inspection of these components of your dishwasher.

Make sure that all these components are working fine and there are no issues. 


First of all, make sure that your dishwasher is receiving power. Check that the dishwasher power cord is not torn up or broken.

If the wire is torn up or broken, you should replace the wire. Check the thermal switch if there is no issue power cord or switch.

The thermal switch is located just beside the control panel. You can use a multimeter to check whether the thermal switch is functioning properly.

Follow the below instruction to check the dishwasher thermal switch:

  1. Turn off the power supply of your dishwasher. 
  2. Locate the thermal switch. It is located on the top of the dishwasher circuit board assembly. 
  3. Unthread the screw securing circuit board assembly, and you will see a thermal switch connected with two wires attached. 
  4. Remove these two wires from the thermal switch. 
  5. Using a multimeter probe, touch each wire terminal on the fuse. If the reading shows less than infinity, it indicates your thermal switch is faulty. 

Child lock mode is ON

Child lock mode is actually not the issue. It can be an issue when you don’t know how to activate and deactivate child lock mode in your dishwasher.

The child lock mode feature is available in every dishwasher, including the Kenmore dishwasher.

This mode prevents your child from playing with the dishwasher. You can check the owner manual to know more about various other modes available in your dishwasher.

When you activate this mode in your dishwasher, you can’t access or run a new cycle in your dishwasher.

If your dishwasher is not starting, it could also be the issue behind the Kenmore dishwasher won’t start issues.

Therefore, I recommend you make sure that you haven’t activated this mode in your dishwasher. 


If the child lock mode is activated in your dishwasher. To deactivate child lock mode, press and hold the cancel button for five in your dishwasher.

This should deactivate child lock mode on your dishwasher. If the problem persists, there must be something technical issue behind the problem.

Faulty door latch 

A faulty door latch can also stop the dishwasher from starting. The dishwasher door latch is equipped with special types of sensors that prevent the dishwasher from starting when the door is opened.

Sometimes a small obstruction can prevent the dishwasher from closing all the way.

Similarly, overloading can also prevent your dishwasher from running the cycle.

Make sure that the dish rack is pushed inside and there is no obstruction between the disk rack and dishwasher back.

Remove the dishes that is creating problem while closing the dishwasher door.


If your dishwasher door latch is loose, secure it tightly using the screwdriver. Similarly, if the door latch is faulty, you should replace them with a new door latch.

The process of replacing the door latch is easy. If you don’t know how to replace the Kenmore dishwasher door latch, don’t worry. Follow the below step-wise instruction. 

  1. Before starting the replacement procedure, make sure that you have turned off the dishwasher power supply. 
  2. Open the dishwasher door and remove all the screws securing the control panel. 
  3. Take out the control panel from the dishwasher door. 
  4. Now locate the dishwasher door latch. The door latch is located at the top of the dishwasher door. 
  5. If you have located the door latch, unthread the screw securing the dishwasher door latch. 
  6. Now remove the wire from the dishwasher door latch. 
  7. Install the new door latch by connecting the wire to the appropriate terminal. 
  8. Secure the latch with a screwdriver and make sure that the door latch is not loose. 
  9. Secure the control panel with a screwdriver and restart the dishwasher. 

Faulty water valve

Sometimes food remains can block the way to passing water onto the dishwasher.

The water valve helps you load water into the dishwasher; if the valve is not working, you can’t start your dishwasher.

A dishwasher requires water to start the cycle; you can’t start a cycle with empty dish tanks. Therefore, I recommend you inspect that your water valve is working fine. 

Another possible issue could be lower water pressure. If the dishwasher is not filing water or slowly filing, water pressure must be low in your home.

Low water pressure can prevent the dishwasher from running cycle in the dishwasher. 


If there is low water pressure in your home, consult a plumber regarding the issues. Similarly, if the dishwasher water inlet valve is faulty, consider replacing it.

If you don’t know how to replace the dishwasher inlet valve, follow the below step-wise instruction. 

  1. First of all, shut the power supply of the dishwasher and turn off the water supply into the dishwasher. 
  2. If the dishwasher is inside the cabinet, unthread all the screws securing the dishwasher onto the kitchen cabinet. Pull the dishwasher from the cabinet. 
  3. Remove the lower access panel of your dishwasher and locate the inlet supply line. 
  4. Remove the water supply line from the adapter and prepare for some water leaks. 
  5. After removing the supply line, remove the adapter from the inlet valve. Now unthread the screw of the inlet valve, slide the whole valve to the left, and push it back. 
  6. Now remove the clamp securing the outlet tube of the dishwasher. 
  7. Disconnect the wire connected to the inlet valve. 
  8. Install the inlet valve by following the same step you followed while removing it. 

Incorrect cycle settings

There are different types of a cycle on the dishwasher: wash, drain, and drying. It depends upon the model of your dishwasher.

You can identify it by looking indicator light that is lightning in the dishwasher control panel. 

If the indicator light is lit up and the machine is doing nothing, you must have set an incorrect or delayed cycle setting.

I suggest you check the cycle setting of your dishwasher and ensure that you have correctly programmed the cycle set in the Kenmore dishwasher. 

Touchpad issues

If the touchpad of your Kenmore dishwasher is not working, you can’t start the cycle on your dishwasher.

Similarly, if the button is stuck, it can prevent you from running. Over time dirt can build up inside the dishwasher control panel, which can make the control panel button stuck.

You can fix this problem by cleaning the control panel. 

How to reset the Kenmore dishwasher?

Sometimes resetting the dishwasher can fix most minor issues from the dishwasher.

When the dishwasher goes into reset, it will erase all the settings and configurations from memory. This will allow your dishwasher to run on new settings. 

If your Kenmore dishwasher is not starting or has some glitch, I recommend you reset the dishwasher.

To reset the Kenmore dishwasher Turn off your dishwasher power supply for 10 to 15 minutes.

Then press the power button and start the dishwasher to see if the problem persists. 

What to do if the problem persists?

If the Kenmore dishwasher doesn’t start, issues persist even after trying all the above-discussed solutions.

I recommend you to contact your supplier or Kenmore customer support. They can help you figure out the issue causing your dishwasher from starting. 

Besides this, if your dishwasher warranty support period is not over, you can repair this issue free of cost.

All you need to do is search the warranty card and tell them about the model number and name you gave while buying the dishwasher. 


I hope you have figured out the issues stopping the Kenmore dishwasher from starting. There are various reasons that cause Kenmore dishwasher to start.

In this article, we have discussed all these issues along with the step-wise solution. 

Besides this, if the dishwasher is still not starting, I recommend you to contact dishwasher technicians.

They can help you fix the issues as they know about dishwasher components and tools to repair them. If you have any queries about the article, leave a comment down below in this article. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the Kenmore dishwasher not draining?

If your dishwasher is not draining, your dishwasher drain filter must be blocked with food remains or particles. You can fix the draining issue by removing food remains from your dishwasher drain filter. Check the dishwasher garbage disposal and drain hose if this does not fix the issue. Food remains can also build up in drain hoses and garbage disposal. Therefore, make sure your dishwasher garbage disposal is clean, and there is no food clogged. 

How to fix the error code in the Kenmore dishwasher?

If your dishwasher is showing an error code, then there are some issues in your dishwasher. The dishwasher shows an error code when there is a problem inside the dishwasher. You can check the owner manual if you don’t know what the error code is saying. You will find complete information about every error code displayed on your dishwasher control panel.

Why is Kenmore dishwasher not drying?

If your dishes are not drying after the appropriate cycle, ensure that the air vent is not blocked. Remove the things or blockage if present. If there is no issue with the dishwasher, air vent overloading could be the reason. When you overload the dishwasher, air can’t circulate to the dishes, which leaves dishes wet.  

Is it okay to use dish soap in the dishwasher?

Using dish soap or ordinary detergent over dishwasher detergent can creates problems in the dishwasher. Only detergent that is specially made for dishwashers should be used. When you use dish soap, it creates more suds which can cause a problem during the draining. More suds leads to draining issue. Therefore, I suggest you use the detergent recommended by your manufacturer.

I am Kevin Technician and this website is created with the purpose to help common people to find proper information about Dishwasher. Feel free to comment or email your queries.