Whirlpool Dishwasher Start Button Not Working [7 Fixes Explained!]

I’ve had instances where my Whirlpool dishwasher failed to start. And I’ve had to do more troubleshooting on it many times than I have on any other appliance in my house.

So if your Whirlpool dishwasher start button is not working, I can understand how frustrated you’re because I’ve been there.

The Whirlpool dishwasher start button fails to work because the key switch is defective. The control board may be faulty, the start button keypad connection may be loose, or water supply issues. The key may have stuck, or the thermal fuse may have blown.

This guide will look at the reasons why the Whirlpool dishwasher start button is not working. I’ll also give you the solution to each problem to get the dishwasher running in the shortest time possible.

Let’s get started. 

whirlpool dishwasher start button not working

Why is My Whirlpool Dishwasher Start Button Not Working?  

The table below shows the possible reasons why your Whirlpool dishwasher button isn’t working, plus the DIY fix for each problem.

Start Button Isn’t WorkingQuick DIY Fix
Power failing to reach the supply unitCheck if the circuit breaker tripped and replace the fuse if blown
The door is not closed Close the door and make sure you latch it
Water supply turned offTurn on the water supply to the machine and try again
Blown thermal fuse  Replace the thermal fuse with Blue Stars Fuse Kit Replacement.
Faulty keypadGet a new electric control panel for replacement. The Whirlpool Dishwasher Electronic Control Board is a good example to consider.

1. There’s No Power Getting to the Unit

If you’ve pressed your Whirlpool dishwasher’s start button several times but noticed that it failed, it could be the problem is with the power supply. It might be that the fuse has blown or the circuit breaker tripped.

We’re dealing with two problems here:

  • A blown fuse
  • A tripped circuit board

Fortunately, these issues are easy to fix and don’t require the contribution of a professional electrician.

First, have the fuse replaced. You can get the Bussmann 20 Amp Base Plug Fuse, which can withstand a starting surge in residential and light-duty circuits.

Bussmann Base Plug Fuse

Second, reset the tripped circuit breaker by moving the handle to the off position and then turn it back on. I recommend standing to the side of the panel or wear safety goggles just in case sparks come from the circuit breaker.

2. You Failed to Close the Door Properly

A Whirlpool dishwasher may fail to turn on because there’s an issue with the door. If you’ve tried pressing the start button a few times but seen no response, there’s a high chance you need to check the door.

At least three things that can go wrong here:

  • Child Latch: It’s possible that you activated the kid safety setting. Child locks prevent youngsters from gaining access to the dishwasher or from becoming trapped within. Look for kid safety latches, which are often a little switch on the inner edge of the door, and turn them off.   
  • Jammed Latch: Check whether the door latch has any old soap or food muck caught in it. The latch will not close if it is blocked or clogged with old muck. The switch will not activate, and the dishwasher will not start.
  • Broken Latch: It’s also possible that your door latch or latch switch is broken. If the latch fails, the door will not click and keep itself closed, preventing the dishwasher from starting and running properly. The door latch and maybe the switch will need to a replacement.

Make sure you close and latch the door of your dishwasher properly. Ensure there’s nothing in the washer that can potentially keep the door from fully closing. Then, press the start button to see if that fixes the problem.

3. You May Be Having a Problem With a Stuck Key

It’s hard to notice if any of the Whirlpool dishwasher key sticks, but this could be a potential reason why the start button isn’t working.

To be clear, stuck key is a problem only specific to Whirlpool dishwasher models that feature key switches. If you have a washer with capacitive touch key and the start button is not working, you’re dealing with a completely different problem altogether. 

So what’s the problem here?

Usually, the dishwasher records information about stuck keys in its service history, but you don’t get an alert about this kind of problem. So unless you check this yourself, you may never know for sure if the keys work correct.

Start troubleshooting by checking the responsiveness of the keys. If notice that some keys fail to respond:

  • Disconnect the dishwasher from its power outlet
  • Remove the door and disconnect the LCD display module
  • Check if the connections are correct
  • Put back the door in place and reconnect the washer to the power outlet
  • Wait at least 10 seconds for the LCD display module (or the control) to power up
  • Close the door and observe how the control respond

It should take about two minutes for the dishwasher to respond if there are no shortened keywords with the keypad unplugged. However, this indicates the keypad is faulty, so you’ll have to replace the entire console.

The Whirlpool W10854215 Dishwasher Electronic Control Board is an example of a control board that you can get as a replacement.

Whirlpool W10854215 Dishwasher Electronic Control Board

And provided you have a few minutes to spare, you should be able to fix this without asking for professional help.

4. There’s a Problem with Water Supply

Whirlpool designed this appliance such that it can’t work without water flowing to the right places. It makes sense because in a typical environment, water must first come from the kitchen’s faucet for dishwashing to be possible.

So if water supply to the Whirlpool dishwasher is off, the start button won’t respond no matter how many times you try to push it.

As with every basic Whirlpool problem, the quick fix to this one is to turn on the water supply channel so that water can get into the dishwasher. The start button should respond thereafter.

5. The Dishwasher Just Jammed and Needs a Reset

Sometimes the reason why your Whirlpool dishwasher start button fails to work is that the machine’s program jams. You should cycle power to the unit to reset it.

From what we understand, turning the power off and in can fix many basic problems with most dishwashers, and the Whirlpool isn’t an exception.

6. The Washer’s Thermal Fuse May Have Blown

If the thermal fuse is defective, or if your dishwasher was in risk of overheating due to high temperatures, there’s a high chance the start button won’t respond because the thermal fuse is dead.

If feasible, use a multi meter to see if electricity is flowing to and from the fuse. If blown, replace it with a thermal fuse certified by the manufacturer.

A good example of a thermal fuse that you might want to consider is the Blue Stars Fuse Kit Replacement.

Keep in mind that replacing a blown thermal fuse isn’t difficult, so you won’t need to hire the services of an appliance specialist. It should take you roughly 30 minutes to get the job done. 

7. Your Whirlpool Dishwasher Has Too Much Dirt Build Up

The accumulation of dirt, grease, and oil is one of the most common causes of the dishwasher’s buttons failing to respond.

One or more of your dishwasher’s buttons may fail due to food, grease, or dirt. And if these accumulate around the start button, the washer will fail to work no matter how many times you press the button. 

If the button appears to be stuck, use an ammonia-based solution to clean it. We strongly recommend that you wear a pair of gloves because the solution can potentially hurt your skin. Also, wear some kind of protective mask to keep your respiratory system in good condition.  

whirlpool dishwasher door opened

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is My Whirlpool Dishwasher Start Button not Working?

Your dishwasher start button may work because you have not connected the machine to a power source or because the circuit breaker tripped. So make sure you plug the device in properly and that you set the circuit breaker to its initial position.

2. Does Whirlpool Dishwasher have a Reset Button?

Whirlpool dishwasher doesn’t have a reset button, but it’s easy to reset the unit nonetheless.

  • Press the headed dry button followed by the normal button
  • Press the two buttons for the second time, but in quick succession

The device will go in diagnostic mode and initiate the reset.

3. How do I Reset my Whirlpool Dishwasher Control Board?

It’s easy to reset a Whirlpool dishwasher’s control board. Follow these steps:

  • Press the dishwasher’s “off” button
  • Unplug the dishwasher from the power source
  • Let the dishwasher rest for at least 15 minutes
  • After the minutes elapse, select “pots and pans” or “high” from the board
  • Wait for a minute or two and choose one of the hot wash cycles

Summary: ”Why Whirlpool Dishwasher Start Button Not Working?”

As you can see, there are many reasons why your Whirlpool dishwasher’s button doesn’t work as required. It helps to run the troubleshooting suggestions in this guide to get machine running optimally again.

Resetting the control panel of the dishwasher is often the ultimate solution when every other troubleshooting option you’ve tried fails.

Unplug the dishwasher from the power supply, unscrewed the control board from the door panel, and remove the control board’s wires.

You can reconnect the wires if they appear to be in good condition, but you should prioritize replacing them if they appear damaged. Replace the control panel in the dishwasher you put the wires in the right locations.  

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