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Kenmore Elite Dishwasher - multiple escalating problems resulting in non-working status


Premium Member
May 7, 2014
Salt Lake City, Utah
Model Number
I'm a detail person (sorry), so this is a detailed run-down of my dishwasher's issue (see the numbered steps below to see symptoms & actions taken):

Dishwasher is 6 years old this month – Great machine! I have a functioning water softener, and use only Cascade powder detergent, not liquid detergent or the little "packets". I use JetDry as well. Dishwasher is run 2x each week on average. Always use SmartWash HE, with Hi-Temp, Steam Sanitize, and Heated Dry options. Have used Normal Wash (with same heating options as above) probably a dozen times over the life of the machine. Have used 1 Hour Wash probably 6 times over life of machine. Have used TurboZone probably 6 times over life of machine. Have used Top Rack Only only once. Have never used China Gentle or Quick Rinse. Dishwasher has been perfect until now. I do not have the repair/wiring diagrams anymore which came with the machine (had a leak in my first year of ownership, the warranty repair guy took them with him).

ABOUT THIS DISHWASHER (for other forum readers):
This dishwasher has a touch panel on the top edge of the door - the door must be open to select the wash options (lights indicate what options have been selected), and closing the door (which hides the panel) is like pressing the start button on other machines. The touch panel does not work via pressure: A light brush of the fingertips selects the options (much like touching an iPad screen). An LED outline appears on the front of the door on a Smart Display screen which shows what part of the cycle is currently running. A row of multiple blue lines (a "status bar") decreases in length as the machine goes through its cycle like a countdown so you can see how much longer until the cycle is completed. Red words will also show at completion of cycle ("Completed" and/or "Sanitized").

1) Starting last month, my dishwasher started showing "Not Sanitized" when the Steam Sanitize option had been selected. Happened about 4 times. Realized that the word "Sanitized" has not appeared at the end of a cycle (I always select the Steam Sanitize option) for several months.
2) Then stopped showing "Completed", and dishes still dripping (assume didn't finish cycle). Happened about 3 times.
3) Then noticed black control panel (non-blinking, no "Completed" notification) with water left in the bottom. Pressing "Cancel/Drain" worked fine to empty the water.
4) Tried running a cycle several more times - trying Normal Wash, High Efficiency wash, deselecting Hi-Temp, deselecting Steam Sanitize, deselecting Heated Dry, and then re-selecting various options again, stopped at same place in the cycle, but now started having to wait a few hours before the panel resumed ability to accept my "Cancel/Drain" command (dead panel - no lights, had to go back several times throughout the day to see if it worked yet).
5) One time I noticed the front display "countdown bars" blinking - no pattern, just constant flashing like the door has been closed when a cycle has been interrupted by an opened door and "Start/Resume" hasn't been pressed again. The cycle select lights were also flashing (the same ones used for the current cycle). Could not press "Start/Resume" or "Cancel/Drain" because upon my first press, the control panel blacked out and would not respond further.
6) Panel responded to starting a Test Cycle (normal wash/heated dry key combination, even though the lights didn't appear as I was touching the buttons), stopped at same place as the regular runs happen, and the control panel goes dead for several hours.
7) Tried resetting breaker in my basement, even though the other items on the same circuit work fine, no change in results of another Test Cycle. Still stopped at same place, dead control panel.
8) Researched problem, bought & replaced thermal fuse (did not test original fuse since I couldn't find my multimeter).
9) Started regular cycle, stopped same place as before. This time, control panel did not come back to life.
10) Bought new multimeter, tested old thermal fuse, was still good.
11) Bought and installed new control board. Started cycle, still stops at same place, full of water, control panel goes black. Hours later, found it had blinking lights again (no pattern, just the normal blinking like the cycle had been interrupted and door closed without cycle being restarted). Pressing "Cancel/Drain" worked fine, but then the control panel went black again. 24 hours later, still no life, even after circuit breaker downstairs has been reset.

Please help! I think I have gremlins - this is the fourth appliance which has broken in the past month (all unrelated, no electrical issues on any of the others), and I don't have any money left to pay a service technician to come and charge me to redo all I have already done. Thanks so much for your help!
This is a model I haven't serviced before, but it sounds like a bad control panel.

Here's the control panel for your model: W10083161 Console - AppliancePartsPros.com

The parts diagram of your control panel is #1 here:

I'll see if Rick can assist you, he may be more familar with this model than me.

No, I haven't yet replaced the part you are recommending.

I first replaced the Thermal Fuse #W10258275 (RepairClinic item # 1549751) - #5 on your diagram.

Then, I replaced the Main Control Board #W10285178 (RepairClinic item #1874820) - #8 on your diagram.

So you think that I need to replace the control panel aka Temperature Control Thermostat as well? Anything else I should test, or any way I can check this part first?

Thanks so much for your quick responses! :)
I first replaced the Thermal fuse .......Then, I replaced the Main Control Board
If you purchased the parts through a link on this site, you can return them for a refund.

Anything else I should test, or any way I can check this part first?
A rapidly blinking LED over one of the keys (or sometimes a “dead” keypad/console) indicates one or more key switch lines are stuck or shorted on the control or the keypad. See if the machine will go into a service cycle. Make sure the machine is in stand by mode. Press: HI TEMP > NORMAL > HI TEMP > NORMAL > HIGH TEMP > NORMAL. If there's no error codes, the Clean LED will stay solid for 5 seconds pause for 2 seconds and stay solid for 5 seconds and pause for 5 more seconds. It will repeat three more times. If there is an error code, the Clean LED will flash the COMPONENT code, pause for 2 seconds, then flash the PROBLEM code, then pause for 5 seconds and repeat three more times.

If that doesn't work, try this; Shut off power to the machine. Open the door and access the control. Disconnect the ribbon cable from the control at P1, and then reassemble the door but don't close the door. First restore power. Wait 5 seconds and then close the door and monitor the machines response. You should hear the drain motor turn on for two minutes.
OKay, so I tried the HI TEMP > NORMAL repeating combination and it does nothing on my dishwasher. I tried it several times, and it just selects & deselects those wash options, no matter how many times I alternate between the two. When I try the NORMAL WASH > HEATED DRY repeating combination, it goes into a shortened version of a complete wash cycle (what I've been calling a "test cycle"). Tried this test cycle again. The machine stops and the panel/display goes blank with 5 lines left of the 12-line countdown bar (the "status bar"). This stop is at the beginning of the Wash Cycle Drain (at the end of the wash cycle). This is where the dishwasher always stops and the control panel screen and all lights go "black", leaving water in the bottom. The control panel responded right away to the Cancel/Drain command this time.

There are no rapidly-blinking lights alerting me to any "stuck" buttons. I can get a rapid blink only when selecting certain combinations of options which are not compatible with each other, such as attempting to select Heated Dry when Quick Rinse has already been selected - then the Heated Dry button blinks rapidly and turns off, just like it should.

I remember there was a way to get the results you want (the blinking service code), but I don't remember how to get there on my machine now and can't look it up since the warranty guy took my stuff all those years ago.

I tried a few more combinations, and then the control panel stopped responding to any input (it went completely black again). I guess I overwhelmed it - ha ha!

I shut off power at the breaker, then disassembled the door and realized that the P1 connector you want me to disconnect is a ribbon cable which my machine does not have. I have multiple (terminal block?) connections along the long edge of the control board (color coded and P-numbered) as well as two larger-gauge block connectors on the flat portion of the board. Some of the wires are a bit brown, but that looks like it's staining from the rubberized door sound-proofing which has softened and melted a bit on the wires, and not like burned wire insulation. I can replace that stained portion of those wires using butt connectors if you think I am mis-reading this brown discoloration (the brown discoloration does not appear all the way around the insulation on any of the wires that I can see so far - I can check more carefully if you would like).

Here are pictures of my control board as well as the soundproofing material from the door which "melted" onto the wires (sorry, all the pictures imported upside down on this post).


My available connections are as follows (labels included below are printed on the control board, in case this helps):
On the flat surface of the control board are the following:

CON1 (a large-gauge terminal connector w/four wires):
P2 - W - Neu
P3 - W-R - Heat
P4 - W-V - Door_Neu (Solid White wire)
P5 - BU-W - Wash

CON2 (a large-gauge terminal connector w/three wires [no place for P7]):
P6 - BK-W - L1
P8 - T - Door_L1
blank space
P9 - BU-R - Pilot_L1

Along the long edge are the following connectors and labels (with smaller gauge, matching color wires in each terminal block):
P10 - Violet - Vent
P11 - Brown - Dispenser | Drain | Fill
P12 - Lt-Blue - TW/DIV | Spare (only one wire, at the edge of the connector on the TW/DIV side)
P13 - Orange - A/D
P14 - Pink - Logic (no connector or wires in this spot)
P15 - Yellow - Soil | Temp
P16 - Grey - Wide

Anything new to try? Perhaps I need to disconnect one of these in lieu of my dishwasher's non-existent P1 ribbon cable? Thanks so much for your help so far - I really, really appreciate it!
I wasn't sure if that would work for that model. If you no longer have a tech sheet (tapped to the bottom of the tub) all I can say is it's the only part left since you replaced the control board already.
Rats, I was hoping there was something I was missing. Oh well - this is such an amazing dishwasher - and so quiet, too! - that the expense is well worth it, even including the other components I replaced which apparently were not bad.

I'll have to wait until my next paycheck, then I'll order this part from the RepairClinic.com link you provided.

Thanks so much for all your help! If you think of anything new, please let me know. Hopefully, the new control panel (Temperature Control Thermostat) will be the final piece of this puzzle.

Have a Great weekend!
Ordering part today. Not ordering from links on this site, nor did I order the other parts from links on this site. Found a local place, says there's 100+ of these in stock, I'll have the part on Tuesday. Ordering from the links on this site, the part won't be here for another month (out of stock), even though the price including shipping is about $8 less than the local shop (including tax). Would love to order from the links, but I'm tired of washing dishes by hand.

I'll let you know if this Temperature Control Thermostat 8557669 fixes the problem.

Funny how my friends keep saying, "looks like it's time to get a new dishwasher". This is really annoying, so I ask them if they would throw away a Lamborghini and get a different car just because it needed a $1,000 set of new tires?

This is an amazing dishwasher, and this is the first trouble I've had with it. Even with the total cost of all the parts I've replaced so far (including the new part), I wouldn't get a new dishwasher half as good for twice what these repairs are costing me! I'd buy this dishwasher again in a heartbeat!
OK, I see you're in SLC. That means either Reliable Parts in Sugar House or Appliance Parts Company on California Ave. If you purchase the parts from either one and for some reason it doesn't work, you're stuck with the parts. They only have a 90 day warranty on the parts. AppliancePartsPros and RepairClinic both have a one year warranty and if the part doesn't fix the problem you can return it for a refund less shipping.
Okay, here's an update. The Temperature Control Thermostat 8557669 did not fix the problem. *sigh* The cycle stops in the exact same place as before. Rats.

Now, I've pulled the heating element (it looked great so didn't pull it before). I have long, skinny arms, so I was able to unscrew it from the bottom and pull it (and can put it back) without completely uninstalling the dishwasher. The resistance on the heating element measures at 12.9 to 13.5 on my ohm meter. Is this still good? Or could it be bad?

Also, I found the foreign language spec sheet way in the back under my dishwasher (the repair guy apparently only took my English language spec sheet). Can you still "read" it if I scan it and post it here?

Thanks for all your help! Now this is a challenge! I'm getting used to doing dishes by hand (I didn't say I like it), and this feels like one of those "Medical Mysteries" shows - I'm eager to keep working on it until I figure out what the problem is. Yup, silly me, I know. :)

As always, any help is greatly appreciated!
The only other language I know is Bitch. The wife speaks it all the time. Go ahead and post it. Anything is better than nothing and at this point I need something to go by. I'll give it my all.
Some scans of my Tech Sheet (in French)

Everything blew up at work and with kids and crap, so I apologize for not getting this posted much, much earlier. Anyway, here are some areas of the Technical Diagram (it's a huge double-sided sheet, so I only scanned a few segments of only one side - it would take about 8 scans to cover one side). It's in French, not Bitch, unfortunately. The other side is Error Codes (my board never blinked any error codes) as well as the Troubleshooting Guide (referring mainly to error codes, but not all) and the Execution of Programs. All these titles are what the Google Translator says when I type in the words from the sheet.

Let me know what else you need to see from this. I'll scan that in and post it.
Circuits - 1.jpgCircuits - 2.jpgDiagnostic Program.jpgControl Board.jpg
OK, If you can, sum up where we're at on this machine. I already know what parts you replaced so far, so after installing the new part you ran the machine and what happened? Does it run for less than 45 seconds and then shut off? The heating element is good with those measurements, 12 - 13 ohms. Anywhere between 10 and 30 ohms is good. I will be able to tell you what the problem is.:) This is what we are going to do; Basically, we're going to start over. Measure the voltage at the power supply connection Where the main power supply connects to the dishwasher. Then answer those two questions and post the results of the voltage measurements. Try not to go into information overload mode on me:nightmare: and we'll have this knocked out in no time.

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