Safely Fix Kenmore Dishwasher Start Button Not Working Issues

Last Updated on May 19, 2023 by River Tree Farms

The Kenmore dishwasher is one fantastic appliance you can count on for years of service. When the issue of your Kenmore dishwasher start button comes up, it’s easy to assume that your dishwasher is coming to the end of its life span.

In reality, however, this may not be the case. So why is Kenmore dishwasher start button not working? The first reason is that the touchpad is defective, and you will need a Kenmore dishwasher touchpad replacement. It is sure, especially if other buttons are not working as well. Meanwhile, Flip the circuit breaker off, and leave it for 1 minute before connecting it back.

I love my Kenmore dishwasher. It has been in my family for many years and is a beautiful addition to my daily cooking routine. I can assure you, however, that if you are a Kenmore dishwasher user, you are not alone in facing this problem since the Kenmore dishwasher touchpad not working is a common problem.

Today, I decided to write this article to offer someone a solution as I have experienced the same problem, run various diagnostic tests, and solved the problem diligently.

Keep tuned!

Why Is The Kenmore Dishwasher Start Button Not Working?

The Kenmore dishwasher start button is not working for three main reasons:

  • Faulty control panel, including the touchpad
  • Defective timer
  • Faulty control board

Let us discuss the three in detail so that you can figure out what is wrong with your Kenmore dishwasher start button.

1. Faulty Touchpad

If the Kenmore dishwasher touchpad is defective, you will find that it is not only the start button that is not working but other buttons as well. All other controls can also stop working, or just some particular buttons.

It also happens when the start button overpresses the switch causing some bending in the plastic housing of the touchpad.

In this case, the panel lights will also be working perfectly, meaning it is not the entire control panel that has a problem but the touchpad. So the Kenmore dishwasher won’t start, but the light comes on.

The solution to this will be a Kenmore dishwasher touchpad replacement.

2. Faulty Control Panel

When all or some buttons are not working, and the control lights are not working, the entire user control unit is not functional. It means the team that comes with the touchpad.

You will need to replace the control panel.

3. Faulty door switch

Sometimes you will think that the Kenmore start button is not working, but it is just the door switch that has a problem, and the door is not latching correctly.

As a safety feature, the Kenmore dishwasher will only start if the door has closed properly. The dishwasher door will close well if only the door closes with a clicking sound meaning it is closed to avoid any spillings and danger from the hot water used in the cycle.

4. Defective Timer

The timer can be defective due to power wiring problems. When the timer is not saying the amount of time that the cycle will run, there is no way you will start the dishwasher.

You need to contact customer service to check the continuity of the timer, but if you know, go ahead and use the multimeter.

5. Faulty Control Board

If the issues we have discussed seem not to be the problem, the reason the dishwasher start button is not working can be the Kenmore dishwasher control board problems.

We know that the control board is the control center of most activities in a dishwasher that can affect any functioning if faulty.

It can be evident, especially if there are other random signs like the Kenmore dishwasher error codes and other abnormalities.

How do I fix the Start button on the Kenmore dishwasher?

You can start by resetting the Kenmore dishwasher before you think of any repair, as the appliance might be misbehaving due to a minor technical glitch.

Otherwise, in most cases, you will need to replace the touchpad as it is the leading cause of the Kenmore dishwasher start button not working.

We will discuss how you can replace the touchpad yourself, but if you are not confident in it, you need to contact a professional to avoid further damage.

Kenmore dishwasher touchpad replacement steps

  • Unplug the dishwasher from the power.
  • Turn off the water.
  • Open the door of the dishwasher.
  • Remove the eight screws on the inside to remove the top cover.
  • Remove the control panel top by removing the clip on the side by pulling it off.
  • Remove the screw holding together the soap dispenser, the control board, and the door switch flipping them over to access the touchpad.
  • Push down the two clips at the side of the touchpad and remove the touchpad.
  • To install the new touchpad, put it on the reverse of how you removed the old one and held the clips in place.
  • Close the unit you open, returning all the screws and any disengaged wire.

Another quick solution to the Kenmore start button not working is:

Test to check whether it is the Kenmore control panel or the touchpad that has a problem

  • When you access the touchpad( by opening it using the procedure above), Clean using a pencil rubber or remove the keypad ribbon cable.
  • Plug in the dishwasher.
  • Leave it on standby for 5 seconds before closing the door to monitor how the controller responds.
  • If the user control is okay, it will turn on the drain pump motor for approximately 2 minutes.
  • If not okay, the drain pump remains off, and you need to replace the control panel.

Where is the reset button on a Kenmore dishwasher?

Depending on the model, it is at the control panel where you will open the dishwasher’s door and find a small button at the top. However, if there is no reset button in your Kenmore dishwasher’s model, you can use the High temp, sunny rinse, and heated dry controls.

How do I reset the Kenmore dishwasher?

  • Close the dishwasher door
  • Press the sunny rinse and heated dry buttons, releasing immediately
  • Repeat the process three times, consequently
  • The reset process will take 4 minutes
  • Press the cancel button.

This process resets the whole system, including the control panel.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is my Kenmore dishwasher not starting?

The Kenmore dishwasher is not starting for various reasons, including a Blown thermal fuse, defective door latch, activated control lock, or a bad control board. The dishwasher will also not start if the start button is not working due to a faulty touchpad.

How do I reset the control panel on my Kenmore dishwasher?

Press the cancel/drain button and wait for the reset process to run. Then disconnect the power for about 30 seconds and plug it in. It perfectly resets the control panel.

How much is the Kenmore dishwasher’s control panel plus the touchpad?

Depending on the model, the Kenmore dishwasher touchpad price ranges from $200 to $300.


If you follow all the guides and instructions here, you will most likely be able to fix the Kenmore dishwasher start button not working problem.

In general, most dishwasher problems, including this, are caused because the owner’s failure to do the periodic maintenance of it. An annual repair can prevent your appliances from breaking down at a crucial moment and save you big money.

We hope you enjoyed this article and that I was able to help you resolve your problem, but if you need additional assistance, don’t hesitate to contact customer service for further assistance.