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Kenmore Dishwasher Light Blinking/Flashing

Some Kenmore dishwashers do not have a digital display, meaning that several lights can flash at you when something goes wrong. It can be overwhelming trying to understand all the different light codes to work out what is wrong with your dishwasher. For this reason, this article provides the cause and solution to several flashing lights on a Kenmore dishwasher so that you can get yours working again.

The lights on a Kenmore dishwasher flash to indicate an error. The Start LED indicates power was lost or the door was opened during a cycle. The Clean LED indicates the water is low or too cold, the latch is broken, or a circuit error has occurred. Any other flashing lights indicate keypad failure.

Woman pressing button to turn on dishwasher

I will explain these flashing lights in more detail below. There are also several different sequences of buttons that need to be pressed to reset the dishwasher. I have also included these in the article below.

Kenmore Dishwasher Light Blinking

Kenmore dishwasher blinking light codes are error messages that indicate specific issues with your dishwasher. For instance, a blinking “Start/Resume” light can signal a door latch issue, while a flashing “Clean” light might indicate a water heating problem. To identify and resolve the specific issue, refer to the user manual for detailed information on each code and troubleshooting steps.

Below are the error codes you can refer to for a certain sequence of flashing lights. Otherwise, you will also find the meaning of continuous flashing lights further down in the article.

LED Error Code


Clean light blinks 7 times

Heater circuit failure. Control didn’t detect the expected rise in water temperature when the heating element was energized to heat water during the cycle.


Console light blinks rapidly

The control detects a stuck button on the control panel.


Start/Resume light blinks slowly

If the dishwasher door is opened or power is interrupted during the cycle, the dishwasher won’t start again until the door is detected as closed and the Start/Resume button is pressed.


Clean light stays on

The dishwasher won’t start a new cycle unless it detects that the door opened after the previous cycle.


Control lock LED is on but not accepting key presses

Lock was accidentally turned on or control detected keypad problem.


Sanitized LED blinks at end of cycle

Control could not confirm Sanitation water temperature was achieved


Kenmore Dishwasher Light Blinking Won’t Start

Repairman with female fixing dishwasher

If your dishwasher won’t start when there is a light blinking, this means that you need to fix an issue in order for the dishwasher to function correctly. This could include any of the lights listed above or below.

If you are unsure of why the light is blinking, you can try resetting the unit and performing a test cycle, or unplugging the dishwasher for five minutes before plugging it back in. If you would like to run the 12-minute test cycle, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Press and release, in sequence, the ‘Heated Dry’ button and then the ‘Normal Wash’ button.

Step 2: Repeat Step 1 within five seconds to reset your kenmore dishwasher and initiate the test cycle.


A Kenmore dishwasher may produce a loud noise if there is a foreign object caught in the circulation pump or drain pump. These objects can cause a grinding or buzzing sound as the dishwasher runs. To fix this problem, remove the bottom rack and spray arm, and then inspect the pumps for any debris. Carefully remove the debris to stop the noise.

Kenmore Dishwasher Start Light Blinking

Dishwasher button turn on

The start light will usually blink if the dishwasher cycle has been interrupted, and you need to press the start button to resume or restart the cycle. This can be due to a number of issues.

Loss of Power

If the dishwasher temporarily loses power, such as in a power outage, you should be able to simply press the ‘Start’ button to resume the cycle. If it was due to a blown fuse, you will need to replace the fuse and then restart the cycle. You may also need to unplug the dishwasher from the power for five minutes and plug it back in.

The Door Was Opened

Opening the dishwasher door will always pause the cycle. Simply closing the door again and pressing the ‘Start’ button should correct the problem.

However, it may also be that the door latch is faulty, making the dishwasher think that the door is open when it is not. In this case, you will need to look at the door latch assembly and possibly replace it with a new one.

Kenmore Dishwasher Not Working Clean Light Blinking

Top rack of full dishwasher

Power Surge or Power Outage

A power surge or power outage will cause the control panel to have an error. This requires the dishwasher to be reset and run a 12-minute test cycle. This has been detailed above.

Broken Door Latch

The door latch assembly is a component that holds the door closed and engages a switch to allow the dishwasher to run. You can check to see if the switch is working by using a multimeter and confirming a current. If this is the issue, the entire component can be replaced.

Water Temperature is Too Cold

If the water temperature is too cold, the clean light will flash and the dishwasher will be paused. This can be an issue with either the heating element or the thermistor.

The heating element is a coiled rod in the bottom of the dishwasher that heats up when supplied with electricity. If this fails, the water will not be able to heat up to engage the wash cycle.

The thermistor detects the temperature of the water. If this is broken, it may register that the water is too cold, even if it is not. This will cause the dishwasher to pause and the clean light to flash.

Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on July 8, 2021.

Water Levels are Too Low

The clean light will also blink if the water levels are too low, or there is no water entering the dishwasher at all. This can be because no water is entering the dishwasher, or because the water is being drained away at the same rate.

If the water is not entering the dishwasher at all, it is likely that the water inlet valve is broken or blocked. It may also be that the associated electrical components are not working.

If the water is being drained away, it is likely because there is no high loop in the drainage pipe. There should be a portion of the drain pipe looping higher than the drain pipe for the sink to prevent water from being siphoned out of the dishwasher. Sometimes if the dishwasher detects a leak, it will also drain all the water.

Kenmore Dishwasher Quick Rinse Light Blinking

Hand turning on dishwasher

The ‘Quick Rinse’ light will blink when one of the buttons on the keypad is stuck or if the circuitry for the keypad has short-circuited. This usually causes an error in the system that can be fixed by restarting the dishwasher.

To do this, unplug the dishwasher for around five minutes before plugging it back in. Pressing the buttons several times while the dishwasher is unplugged may unstick the buttons.

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on July 8, 2021.

If you are unable to unstick the buttons, you may need to replace the control panel. You may also need a new circuit board if it is faulty and causing the short-circuiting to occur.

Kenmore Dishwasher Drain Light Blinking

Finger pressing dishwasher control button

If your drain light is blinking, this may be a similar issue to above, indicating that there is something wrong with the keypad. If you have already tried resetting the dishwasher and this does not work, you may need a new control board.

You could also try performing a 12-minute test cycle using the method mentioned above. This requires toggling between the ‘Heated Dry’ and ‘Normal Wash’ buttons twice.

Kenmore Dishwasher All Lights Flashing

Dishwasher door button control panel

When all lights are flashing on your dishwasher, you will not be able to use the control panel. This requires you to perform a simple reset of the control panel. This reset is done using the steps below.

Step 1: Press and release, in sequence, the ‘High Temp Wash’ button and the ‘No Heat Dry’ button.

Step 2: Repeat Step 1 two or three times until the dishwasher resets and starts its test cycle.

This also could indicate that the buttons have become stuck or the circuit board for the keypad has failed for several buttons. If this is the case, you should try unplugging the dishwasher for five minutes before plugging it back in or performing a test cycle, as mentioned above.

For additional tips you can visit our dishwasher red lights blinking article.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on July 8, 2021.

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