Many times when troubleshooting a Whirlpool-built dishwasher (also sold under the Kenmore and Kitchenaid brands), you'll have a problem that looks like it could be either a bad touchpanel or the control board, but you can't really be sure. Examples include:
- Normal light keeps blinking but the dishwasher won't run
- none of the lights on the panel work and the dishwasher won't run
Could take on lots of other variations but the thing they'll all have in common is that dishwasher won't run.
The conundrum you face is which part to replace: the touchpanel or the control board?
Experience says that it's almost always the touchpanel that goes bad in these cases-- a keypad gets stuck closed or worn on the inside so it no longer makes contact.
Fortunately, there's a way to tell for sure without any guesswork!
Remove the kickpanels below the door and you'll find a tech sheet in a plastic pouch (unless some sleaze bag stole it). Therein it is written this simple procedure for determining whether the touchpanel or control board is the culprit:
CHECKING KEYPAD OPERATION
A rapidly blinking LED over one of the keys of the keypad (or sometimes a “dead” keypad/console)
indicates one or more key switch lines are stuck or shorted on either the control or the keypad.
To determine if the control or keypad is faulty, do the following test:
1. Unplug dishwasher or disconnect power.
2. Open the dishwasher door.
3. Open console and disconnect the keypad ribbon connection from the control (at P1).
Make sure all other connections are made.
4. Put console back together. Do not close the dishwasher door.
5. Plug in dishwasher or reconnect power.
6. Wait 5 seconds.
7. Close dishwasher door.
8. Monitor the control’s response:
➔If the control is OK (no longer sees shorts with the keypad unplugged),
it will respond by turning on a Drain Motor for 2 minutes.
Check and/or replace the keypad if the control responds OK.
➔If the control is not OK (still sees shorts with the keypad unplugged),
then the drain motor will NOT respond and will remain off.
If no response, replace the control.