Kenmore Dishwasher Blinking Lights – Won’t wash the dishes.

The Kenmore dishwasher is on the fritz and there are blinking lights on the front panel, including  the (2 4 6) hour delay  lights.  I have never used the delay feature.  Does anybody?  Tried the full reset by 1) removing power at the breaker box – some people on the internet say 30 minutes!, then doing a reset by pressing the following button sequence to reset.

heated drying, normal wash, heated drying, normal wash, heated drying, normal wash

This procedure does indeed do something but in the end the dishwasher is still broken.

Obviously, the computer is messed up. I decided to open it up since at this point there was nothing to lose, the warranty is long gone.  Maybe it will be easy to fix?

Turn off the electrical breaker to the dishwasher!  On my panel this is circuit #1, dedicated to the dishwasher.

You can get at the computer – maybe it is more properly called a controller circuit board, by opening the door and removing the  torx screws which are fairly hefty, over an inch long and maybe 1/8″ or so in diameter.  I don’t have the right torx driver but I used a 3 (or maybe its 3.5) mm hex driver and it gripped the screw heads adequately.  The screws hold sheet metal to plastic and screw into plastic, so they came out without undue difficulty or damage.  The top six screws hold in the controller unit.  It may be possible to do the job removing only those six screws instead of removing the entire panel – not sure about that. Try that first, then remove more if necessary

Once you have the door apart the controller is accessible under a plastic cover.  This is held in place by plastic press tabs which are designed to allow access – there’s three of them to press in.  I started at the right and worked around and the cover came free easily.   Now you can see the board.   It would be good to pull the whole board out – I didn’t do this because it would involve removing all the connectors – a task I really distrust.   On the board I did see that some roaches had found a way in and died.  There was an egg case attached to the board – that could do it (i.e.short out the controller circuit board).  There was also various stain material of insect origin on the board too.  I used alcohol to swab the board clean, a toothbrush to remove any junk on the board, and then sprayed it down with “corrosion block” which is great for corroded connectors, radios, potentiometers etc as a cleaner and corrosion prevention.

Put back together.  Do the top controller housing first.  Remember you are screwing into plastic and don’t overtighten.

Put the power back on.


It works!  Saves buying a $90 part and a repair bill!   I think I got lucky but it is good to keep in mind that insects getting into the electronics can short out printed circuit boards, and if you’re lucky, just cleaning up the mess can restore operation.


One Response to “Kenmore Dishwasher Blinking Lights – Won’t wash the dishes.”

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