When you run into trouble with your KitchenAid or Whirlpool dishwasher, one of the first steps to troubleshoot the problem is to reset the appliance.
Sadly, there is no single ‘RESET’ button for you to push.
Instead, you’ll be pressing some of the other buttons in what’s known as a reset sequence.
In this article, we’re going to tell you just how to do that.
Are KitchenAid And Whirlpool The Same Company?
There’s an important reason why we’re including both KitchenAid and Whirlpool dishwashers in this article. For the most part, many of those appliances are precisely the same thing!
Simply put, Whirlpool purchased KitchenAid in 1989. Since then, Whirlpool has been manufacturing many of KitchenAid’s large appliances, including dishwashers.
KitchenAid and Whirlpool Have Similar Reset Sequences
Why does it matter that your KitchenAid might be a Whirlpool? Well, it’s because many of the dishwashers for both brands use the same parts and controllers.
Suppose you were to dismantle a KitchenAid dishwasher. The odds are that you’ll find plenty of Whirlpool parts inside.
As such, there tend to also be many similarities between the ways you’d reset a KitchenAid dishwasher and one from Whirlpool.
Let’s find out what those differences are.
What Is The Reset Sequence for KitchenAid or Whirlpool Dishwashers?
The first type of reset that we’ll look at is a simple one. Here’s how you can do that:
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- Disconnect the dishwasher from its power supply.
- Leave it alone for one minute.
- Reconnect the power supply and start a new wash cycle.
Suppose the dishwasher is hard-wired to your home’s power supply. If that’s the case, then you’ll want to turn off the circuit breaker for the dishwasher and let it stay off for a minute.
Once that minute is over, you can turn the supply back on and see if it’ll function correctly again.
The Reset Sequence
Suppose the previous step wasn’t effective. You may need to perform a reset sequence instead. In the user manual and elsewhere online, you may see that this process is called ‘invoking’ the dishwasher’s Service Diagnostics Cycle.
To perform a reset sequence, you’ll need to press a series of buttons on the dishwasher’s control panel in a very specific order.
Generally, there are two possible sequences that you can use, be it for your KitchenAid or Whirlpool dishwasher. To simplify things, we’ll call them the 1-2-3 sequence and the 1-2 sequence.
Here’s how to do both of them:
The 1-2-3 Sequence
This first reset sequence involves pressing any three keys on the control panel (except for the Power and Cancel buttons), exactly three times. Here are the precise steps:
- Make sure that your dishwasher is in Standby mode.
- From left to right, press any three keys, one at a time (i.e. press one key, then a second, and then a third).
- Repeat that same sequence three times, without waiting more than a second between each keypress.
- If the dishwasher door is open, you’ll need to shut the door.
If you did it correctly: Suppose you used the correct reset sequence for your KitchenAid or Whirlpool model. You’ll then see that the display panel goes blank before flashing the word ‘Clean’ or ‘Completed’ several times.
That’s a clear sign that you’ve successfully invoked the Service Diagnostics Cycle (which includes a dishwasher reset).
What happens next: When you’ve entered the cycle correctly, the dishwasher will clear its memory and restore all of its settings to their defaults. Then, the appliance will automatically start a sensor calibration cycle, where it starts to diagnose itself for any problems.
How much time the process requires: In many models, the Service Diagnostics Cycle will take roughly 23 minutes in total. You must let the machine complete the entire cycle without any interruptions.
The 1-2 Sequence
If the previous reset sequence does not work for your KitchenAid or Whirlpool dishwasher, you could try using what we’ll call the 1-2 sequence. Here’s how this reset sequence works:
- Make sure that your dishwasher is in Standby mode.
- Press two buttons one after the other. For example, your model may require pressing the High Temp Scrub then Air Dry, or Sani Rinse then Air Dry.
- Important: Some models only require you to repeat that sequence four, eight, or ten times. To be on the safe side, you should just repeat the two keypresses ten times until your dishwasher begins the diagnostics and reset process.
If you did it correctly: Suppose you did it correctly, then the Diagnostics Cycle will begin.
Firstly, you’ll see lights on the control panel flash at random. Besides that, you’ll hear the dishwasher go through many different cycles one after the other.
What happens next: Once the Diagnostics Cycle has started, the dishwasher will start to test all of its different LED lights and functions.
Then, the appliance will also reset itself by clearing its memory and returning to factory settings.
How much time the process requires: The duration of this process can differ according to the KitchenAid or Whirlpool dishwasher model that you own.
Just like with the previous reset sequence, the process may take up to 20 or so minutes.
It’s best that you let the appliance complete the entire diagnostic cycle without any interruptions.
How To Enter Diagnostic Mode
Here’s everything you need to know about entering the Diagnostics Mode (or ‘Service Diagnostics Cycle’) for your KitchenAid or Whirlpool dishwasher.
What it is: The Diagnostics Mode, sometimes called the Service Diagnostics Cycle, is when the dishwasher goes through a thorough list of automatic tests.
Depending on your dishwasher model, that process can take up to 20 or more minutes to complete.
As part of the cycle, the dishwasher may display error codes to inform you when something isn’t working correctly.
How it works: Typically, the Diagnostics Mode will trigger your dishwasher to test a complete list of features.
That may start with testing the various lights including the Cycles, Options, and Status LEDs.
Then, the appliance will run checks on its various sensors and components, like its vent, wash motor, and heating element, among others.
As you might imagine, the more LEDs and features your KitchenAid or Whirlpool dishwasher has, the longer it’ll take the machine to finish testing all of them.
How to do it: As mentioned earlier, KitchenAid and Whirlpool tend to share the same methods of invoking or entering the Diagnostics Modes.
The exact methods may differ depending on the model you have, but they’re either the 1-2 sequence (using two buttons) or the 1-2-3 sequence (using three buttons).
For either one, make sure the dishwasher is in Standby mode with the door closed.
To perform the 1-2 sequence:
- Press two buttons one after the other, with no more than one second between pressing each key.
- Repeat this for a total of ten times.
To perform the 1-2-3 sequence:
- Press three buttons one after the other, with a maximum of one second between each keypress.
- Repeat this sequence three times.
When you see that the LED lights are flashing at random, and you can hear the machine running through different cycles, that means the diagnostic process has started.
How to skip steps in the diagnostic process: Your dishwasher needs to go through a long list of tests to complete the diagnostic process.
To skip through those intervals, all you’ll have to do is press the cycle keys, like Pots & Pans/Heavy or Anti-Bacteria/Cookware, to skip past different intervals in the process.
Once the process is completed, you might see error codes to let you know if something isn’t working correctly.
How To Read Error Codes For Whirlpool Or Kitchenaid
Besides sharing similar components and reset sequences, Whirlpool and KitchenAid dishwashers also share the same ways of displaying error codes for you to read.
Depending on the model, you’ll either see error codes being displayed clearly with alphabets and numbers, or you’ll see the ‘Clean’ light flash in patterns that indicate specific problems.
For example, some models will display an error code that reads ‘F1E1’. That exact same error might appear on other models as the ‘Clean’ light flashing one time, then pausing for two seconds, then flashing once more.
The first set of flashes points to the Function code, while the second indicates the Problem code.
What These Error Codes Mean
Here are some common error codes that you may experience with your KitchenAid or Whirlpool dishwasher.
Don’t worry if you miss the code the first time around, it will repeat itself long enough for you to catch it.
|Error Code (alphanumeric)||Error Code (Number of ‘Clean’ light flashes, with a two-second gap between them)||Problem|
|F1E1||1 then 1||A relay may be stuck on the electronic control board or ECB.|
|F1E2||1 then 2||The memory on the control board is damaged or corrupted. The microprocessor may also be carrying incompatible software components.|
|F2E1||2 then 1||There is a button stuck on the user interface control.|
|F2E2||2 then 2||The electronic control board can’t communicate with the user interface control.|
|F3E1||3 then 1||Failure in the thermistor or Optical Water Indicator (OWI).|
|F3E2||3 then 2||Thermistor or Optical Water Indicator (OWI) shorted out.|
|F3E3||3 then 3||Dirty water is flowing back into the dishwasher (OWI failed to calibrate or drain hose check valve isn’t working).|
|F4E1||4 then 1||Circulation pump motor can’t communicate with electronic control board.|
|F4E2||4 then 2||Circulation pump motor can’t communicate with electronic control board.|
|F5E1||5 then 1||Door switch failure.|
|F5E2||5 then 2||The control detects that the door isn’t opening.|
|F6E1||6 then 1||The dishwasher won’t fill.|
|F6E2||6 then 2||The water inlet valve is not working.|
|F6E3||6 then 3||The water pump is filled with suds or air.|
|F6E6||6 then 6||The water supply is too cold for the dishwasher.|
|F6E7||6 then 7||Flow meter is damaged or disconnected.|
|F6E8||6 then 8||Water softener regeneration valve is faulty.|
|F7E1||7 then 1||The heating element isn’t working.|
|F7E2||7 then 2||Heating element works but won’t shut off.|
|F8E1||8 then 1||The water is draining too slowly.|
|F8E2||8 then 2||Electrical problem with the drain pump.|
|F9E1||9 then 1||Electronic Control Board (ECB) can’t detect the position of the diverter disk.|
|F9E2||9 then 2||Diverter motor won’t shut off.|
|FAE1||10 then 1||Detergent dispenser isn’t working.|
|FAE2||10 then 2||Vent wax motor has an electrical problem.|
|FAE3||10 then 3||Drying fan has failed.|