Whirlpool Dishwasher Buttons Not Working (8 Reasons & Fixes!)

Whirlpool dishwashers are some of the best models on the market because they give you your money’s worth. But if you have the Whirlpool dishwasher buttons not working problem, you doubt whether you bought the right dishwasher in the first place.

Fortunately, failed buttons doesn’t mean the unit is useless or the brand is sham. It simply means there are technical issues with the unit, the kind you can fix and get the dishwasher working again.

Whirlpool dishwasher buttons fail to work because of dirt built up, electrical wiring problems, or a faulty trap and filter system. Some buttons fail because the child lock is on or because you haven’t plugged in the unit to a power source. Troubleshoot the unit, identify the issue, and fix it.

I understand how frustrating it can be if the buttons of your Whirlpool dishwasher can’t work. If anything, you can’t start the machine and it’s impossible to wash your dishes.

Fortunately, the unit can light up and display an error message so that you know where the problem is. And once you know why the buttons aren’t working, it becomes easy for you to look for the most suitable solution to the problem.

whirlpool dishwasher buttons not working

8 Reasons Why You Have Whirlpool Dishwasher Buttons Not Working Problem

The table below shows eight reasons why your Whirlpool dishwasher’s buttons aren’t working, plus a quick fix for each issue.

 Problem CausePossible Solution
1.Dishwasher not plugged inMake sure you hook the unit’s power inlet to a  working power source
2.Dust build up in the unitUse an ammonia based solution to clean the dust built and test the buttons again
3.Faulty main control boardInspect defective parts and fix. Replace the main control board if completely  damaged
4.Faulty touchpad and control panelYou may need to get the touchpad and control panel replaced
5.You have the control lock onDisable the control lock feature to get the buttons to start working again
6.Trap and filter assembly not working properlyCleaning the trap and filter system should get the unit’s buttons to start working again. 
7.Wash delay option activatedWait for the unit to start working after the delay period elapses
8.Electrical wiring problemInspect the wiring connection to ascertain they have a good connection

Let’s look at each problem even further in the following section:

1. The Dishwasher is NOT Plugged In

If the buttons on your dishwasher aren’t working, it’s possible that you haven’t had the dishwasher plugged in to a power source.

Forgetting to plug the unit into a power source is also one of the reasons why Whirlpool dishwashers fail to turn on.

Check if you had the unit disconnected from the power outlet and you forgot to put it back. You may also have to switch the unit to a different power outlet just in case the current one is faulty. 

If the dishwasher doesn’t turn on despite bring plugged in, you may need to inspect the circuit breaker to ensure the switch is in the correct position. Also, it helps to double check to ensure the unit has a link to a water source.

2. Dirt Build Up in Your Whirlpool Dishwasher 

The accumulation of dirt, grease, and oil is one of the most typical causes of Whirlpool dishwasher buttons failing to work. Dirt build up cause the buttons to stick, especially for the models that have the top control panels. 

Fortunately, this problem isn’t difficult to fix.

Use an ammonia based solution to clean up the dirt build up and get the unit back to the best working condition. Be sure to wear the right safety gear so you don’t burn yourself in the process.

3. Problem with the Main Control Board

The main control board manages all the function of the Whirlpool dishwasher. If the board has a problem, it will fail to transmit electricity to the dishwasher touchpad, preventing the touchpad buttons from working.

Disconnect the Whirlpool dishwasher from the power source to perform a reset, and then check to see if the reset fixed the problem. 

If resetting the unit doesn’t fix the main control board, consider a replacement. The Core Centric Electronic Control Board might be a good replacement part because it’s compatible with Whirlpool dishwashers.

CoreCentric Dishwasher Electronic Control Board

4. The Touchpad and Control Panel Have Issues

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where some buttons on your Whirlpool dishwasher fail to work and you wonder what the problem could be?

I’m talking about the wash and cancel buttons not working, the green light on for some buttons, and the unit not even starting sometimes.

It can be such a frustrating experience, especially if you want to do your dishes fast get on with other businesses.

It’s highly likely your unit’s touchpad and control panel are faulty and require an immediate replacement to get dishwasher to start working again.

Some manufacturers sell the touchpad and the control panel separately. Others ask you to buy both the touchpad and the control panel at the same time. Replace the touchpad and control panel if you can’t replace the touchpad separately.

The Whirlpool W10811169 Touchpad and Control Panel is a good example to consider as a replacement.

Take this even further and reset the control panel of the unit. To do this, unplug the Whirlpool dishwasher from the power source with the panel unscrewed from the door panel and its wires unplugged.

If the wires are in good condition, reconnect them. If they appear somewhat damaged, replace them. 

5. The Control Lock of You Whirlpool Dishwasher is Active

Whirlpool dishwashers come equipped with control locks. The purpose of the control lock is to keep children from inadvertently modifying your wash cycle’s instructions and unintended use of the dishwasher.

When set to active, the control lock deactivates all the buttons, causing the machine not to function as intended.

Simply deactivate the child lock option by holding down the child lock button for 3 seconds to get the dishwasher buttons to start working again.

6. The Trap and Filter Assembly is Faulty

The trap and filter assembly system might be malfunctioning. The water pump may cease working if the Trap inside the dishwasher’s bottom blocks with garbage, and the other parts of the dishwasher will not function correctly if the water pump is not operating properly.

More often than not, buttons will glow but not work. If you see this, be certain the unit indicates the trap is full, causing the buttons not to respond to presses.

Clean the trap and filter system to get the unit to normal operation.  

7. A Wash Delay Option is Active

Sometimes the reason your Whirlpool dishwasher buttons fail to work is the unit’s settings. In particular, you may have activated the wash delay option, which causes even the Whirlpool dishwasher start button not to work.

There are two ways to fix this:

First, you can wait until the unit reaches the delay time, after which it should resume normal operation. Second, you can turn off the delay wash feature by pressing Cancel/Drain to cancel the delay and Start/Resume to start a wash cycle.

8. Your Whirlpool Dishwasher Has an Electrical Problem

Another reason the buttons of your Whirlpool dishwasher can fail to work is the issue of electrical wiring.

Even if you’re not engrossed to the hardware level of dishwashers, you now that every component needs electrical pulses to work efficiently. There would be no such thing as a functional Whirlpool dishwasher without electrical circuit.

So, it’s possible that the button will stop working if there’s an issue with the wiring.

In this circumstance, it’s critical to contact an electrician for assistance – or fix the wiring problem yourself if you have some DIY skills in fixing broken or faulty gadgets.

Keep in mind that tinkering with the machine’s wiring may render the machine’s warranty void, so check to make sure you have the right information before you attempt to fix the electrical problems on your own.

whirlpool dishwasher start button not working

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does my Whirlpool dishwasher have a reset button?

Whirlpool dishwashers don’t have a button you can press to reset the unit, but there’s still an easy way to do this.

Simply unplug the unit from the power source, wait for about five minutes, and then plug it back to the power source. Doing so should perform a reset and get the unit ready for a new wash cycle. 

2. How do I reset the control panel on my Whirlpool dishwasher? 

You can reset the control panel of your Whirlpool dishwasher by unplugging the unit from the power source for about a minute and then plug it back in to the power source.

If you’ve had your dishwasher hard wired to the power supply, turn the circuit breaker that powers the dishwasher off, wait 60 seconds, and turn it back on again.

3. How do you unlock the controls on a Whirlpool dishwasher?

You can unlock the Control Lock of your Whirlpool dishwasher by pressing and holding down the “Control Lock Hold” for 3 seconds.

Note that some dishwashers come with dedicated Control Lock buttons found in the Options selection. Simply press this button for about 3 seconds and release to deactivate the control lock option. 

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there’s more than one reason why your Whirlpool dishwasher buttons may not be working. And each issue has a quick DIY fix, so you don’t necessarily need to hire a professional to fix the problems for you.

I recommend putting your Whirlpool dishwasher in diagnostic mode to determine the most possible error the unit is likely to have.

To enter the mode, press a combination of three buttons three times in the same sequence, with a time lapse of not more than a second between each press.

Keep in mind that the diagnostic mode will generally run for 20 minutes – or even more. Despite taking that long, you will have an easy time knowing what error your unit has so you can easily fix the error.

Do a reset if you don’t wait to wait longer than 20 minutes. Sometimes resetting the unit is what you need to get the buttons to work.