Modern dishwashers have a lot more functions and features than appliances from decades prior. This makes modern dishwashers more convenient to use, but also makes them a lot more complex, and more complexity often means more things that can go wrong.
The control panel on Maytag dishwashers is sometimes known to become partially or completely unresponsive. There are several reasons why it may happen. Some of them are faulty user interface control board, dirty ribbon cable contacts, broken door switch, or faulty main control board.
In this article, we’ll be taking a look at some of the common problems that can affect your Maytag dishwasher’s control panel. We’ll explain why these problems usually happen, and we’ll show you how you can resolve them.
Dishwasher Control Panel Problems – Faulty Components
Your dishwasher obviously contains a great number of different components, and the failure of some of these components can easily cause your control panel to stop working. It’s worth noting that some of these problems can affect your entire dishwasher, not just your control panel.
In this section, we’ll go over some of the reasons your control panel might not be working that are specifically the result of a failed dishwasher component.
Faulty Control Panel
If your control panel stops working, it could very well be a problem with the control panel itself. The term “control panel” refers to the assembly in the dishwasher that contains the touchpad, the door handle for the dishwasher, and the control board.
You may have to replace your control panel if the touchpad fails, if the door handle breaks, or if the control panel assembly is damaged somehow. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to replace the control board yourself, and you can complete this repair within an hour once you have the requisite parts.
Before replacing your control panel immediately, it’s worth performing a few tests to see if it is indeed the source of the problem.
- Start by pressing all of the buttons on the control panel. If some of them work but some of them don’t this means there’s probably an issue with the control panel.
- If none of them work, it’s more likely that the problem lies elsewhere.
Always make sure to unplug your dishwasher first if you intend to replace your control panel; you don’t want to inadvertently give yourself a shock. Replacement control panels for Maytag dishwashers generally cost between $100-250, so make sure it really is the control panel before immediately buying a new one.
Dirty Ribbon Cable Contacts
You’re actually kind of in luck if dirty control board contacts are the cause of your problem, since this is one of the easiest problems to solve. Fixing the issue of dirty control board contacts involves no extra cost and no replacement parts.
The control board in your dishwasher is connected via cables to your dishwasher’s other components, and if the contact points on these cables get dirty, it can prevent the components connected to the dishwasher from working correctly.
To clean the contact points on the control board and the cables, you’ll have to remove the control panel from the dishwasher. The main control board should be located within the control panel assembly.
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- Once you have the control board exposed, unplug the cables from the control board and examine them for any obvious signs of damage.
- Check the cables themselves to see if they’ve developed any hairline cracks; a magnifying glass can be pretty useful for this.
- If the cables look ok, it’s now time to clean the contact points. Get yourself a bottle of electronics contact cleaner, and apply some of the cleaning solution to a toothbrush with soft bristles.
- Then, gently scrub down the contact points on both the cables and the control board.
- Wait until the cleaning solution has evaporated, then reconnect everything and give it a try.
- If this doesn’t work, however, it’s likely that the control board itself has a problem.
Faulty Control Board
Pretty much all modern household appliances contain a control board that functions as the appliance’s brain. The control board is a printed circuit board that connects all of the dishwasher’s components together and basically controls all of your dishwasher’s functions.
Control boards can fail due to several reasons;
- They may be contaminated with dirt or moisture
- They may have been exposed to a voltage surge at some point that damaged them,
- They might be defective from the get-go due to errors in the manufacturing process or an inherent design flaw.
Dishwasher problems are often misdiagnosed as having to do with a bad control board, so you should take care to thoroughly test out your control board and your fridge’s other components before determining that the control board is the problem.
Replacing the control board is fairly simple.
- Unplug your dishwasher and remove the control panel assembly to expose the control board.
- Then, disconnect the control board from the cables and plastic tabs that keep in place, and remove the old control board from the control panel assembly.
- Installing the new control board is as simple as snapping it into place and reattaching the cables.
With any luck, your dishwasher should be totally back to normal after replacing the control board, but if not, you should get a professional to come do an assessment and find out where the problem is.
Faulty Door Latch/Door Switch
The door of your dishwasher contains a door latch, as you might expect, but also a door switch. The latch obviously keeps the door closed when the dishwasher is in operation, and the door switch ensures that the dishwasher cannot be started if the door is open.
If either the door latch or the door switch breaks for whatever reason, you won’t be able to run the dishwasher at all, much less use the control panel.
Testing the door latch is easy; just take note of whether or not the dishwasher door is able to close properly. If it isn’t, you probably have a bad door latch.
Testing the door switch is a little more complicated.
- You’ll need to open up your dishwasher’s control panel, find the switch, and test it with a multimeter for continuity.
- If the switch has no continuity, it’s gone bad and will have to be replaced.
Faulty Thermal Fuse
The thermal fuse is intended to protect the various parts in your dishwasher from overheating. If this fuse blows, you won’t be able to run your dishwasher until it’s fixed.
The thermal fuse should be located in the dishwasher’s control panel assembly.
- Once you’ve found it, test the fuse with a multimeter. If the fuse has no continuity, that means it has blown and needs to be replaced.
Faulty Dishwasher Timer
The timer in your dishwasher keeps track of the cycle the dishwasher is in and is responsible for sending power to the right components of your dishwasher at the right times. If this timer fails, the dishwasher may be unable to run at all.
Like many of the other components we’ve mentioned, the dishwasher timer should be located somewhere inside the control panel assembly. If you’ve determined that a bad timer is the source of your problems, you’ll have to replace it before your dishwasher will run normally again.
Dishwasher Control Panel Problems – Other Reasons
If your dishwasher’s control panel isn’t working normally, the cause isn’t always a defective part. Sometimes, one of the dishwasher’s own features can interfere with your ability to use your dishwasher as you typically would.
In this section, we’ll go over some of the reasons other than faulty components why your dishwasher’s control panel might not be working right.
Control Lock Is On
Many Maytag dishwashers come with a “control lock” feature. This feature is intended to stop the dishwasher from being used unintentionally (for example, if you have a kid who likes to play with buttons a little too much). While control lock is on, all of the buttons on the control panel will be disabled.
Luckily, disabling control lock is pretty easy. Your dishwasher should have a “Lock” button on its control panel; simply hold down the “Lock” button for four seconds, and control lock will be disabled.
“Delay Wash” Option Has Been Selected
If you’re trying to start your dishwasher but it’s refusing to run, it’s possible that you’ve accidentally selected the “delay wash” option. The delay wash option is intended to help you run your dishwasher during off-peak hours when electricity is less expensive. When this option is selected, the dishwasher won’t run until the delay time has expired.
To turn off the delay wash option, all you need to do is hit the “Canel/Drain” button to cancel the delay, and then hit “Start/Resume” to begin a new cycle.
Dishwasher Door Is Ajar
If, by accident, you happen to leave your dishwasher door slightly ajar, the dishwasher won’t run. This is thanks to the door switch we mentioned earlier which prevents the dishwasher from running with the door open.
To fix this, all you need to do is make sure your door is shut properly.
- If it refuses to shut, inspect the door latch to see if it’s broken.
- If you’ve accidentally installed your lower dishwasher rack in backwards (which happens more often than you might think), this can also prevent your dishwasher door from closing properly.