The start button on the Whirlpool dishwasher doesn't function due to a defective key switch. Possible causes of this issue include a malfunctioning control board, a loose connection in the start button keypad, problems with the water supply, a stuck key, or a blown thermal fuse.

Why is My Whirlpool Dishwasher Start Button Not Working?

1. There’s No Power Getting to the Unit

If you've repeatedly attempted to start your Whirlpool dishwasher and found it unresponsive, it may be related to a power supply problem. This could be due to a blown fuse or a tripped circuit breaker. Fortunately, there are two potential issues to address here:

  1. A blown fuse.
  2. A tripped circuit breaker.

The good news is that these problems are relatively easy to resolve and typically do not require the services of a professional electrician.

To address these issues

First, consider replacing the blown fuse. You can obtain a Bussmann 20 Amp Base Plug Fuse, which is designed to withstand the initial power surge in residential and light-duty circuits.

Second, reset the tripped circuit breaker by switching the handle to the off position and then back on. As a safety precaution, it's advisable to stand to the side of the panel or wear safety goggles in case sparks are generated when resetting the circuit breaker.

2. You Failed to Close the Door Properly

A Whirlpool dishwasher may refuse to activate due to potential issues with the door. If you've attempted to initiate a wash cycle multiple times without any response, it's highly likely that you should inspect the dishwasher door for the following three problems:

  1. Child Safety Lock: It's possible that the child safety feature is engaged. Child locks are designed to prevent children from accessing the dishwasher or getting trapped inside it. To address this, search for child safety latches, usually a small switch on the inner edge of the door, and disable them.
  2. Jammed Door Latch: Examine the door latch for any accumulation of old soap or food residues that might be obstructing it. If the latch is blocked or clogged with debris, it won't close properly, leading to an inability to activate the switch and start the dishwasher.
  3. Broken Door Latch: Another potential issue is a damaged door latch or latch switch. If the latch is malfunctioning, it won't securely click into place to keep the door closed, preventing the dishwasher from starting and running efficiently. In such cases, both the door latch and possibly the switch will require replacement.

3. You May Be Having a Problem With a Stuck Key

Detecting a stuck key in a Whirlpool dishwasher could be a subtle yet potential reason for the start button's unresponsiveness. It's important to note that this issue primarily applies to Whirlpool dishwasher models with key switches. If you have a dishwasher with capacitive touch keys and the start button isn't working, you're dealing with a different problem altogether.

The problem with stuck keys often goes unnoticed because Whirlpool dishwashers typically record information about such issues in their service history without providing an alert. Therefore, unless you manually check for this problem, you might not be aware of key malfunctions.

Here's a step-by-step troubleshooting process for addressing this issue:

  1. Disconnect the dishwasher from its power source.
  2. Remove the dishwasher door and disconnect the LCD display module.
  3. Inspect the connections to ensure they are correctly attached.
  4. Reattach the dishwasher door and reconnect it to the power source.
  5. Wait for at least 10 seconds to allow the LCD display module (or the control) to power up.
  6. Close the door and observe how the control responds.

If, after disconnecting the keypad, the dishwasher takes about two minutes to respond and there are no shortened keypresses, it suggests that the keypad is faulty. In such cases, you'll need to replace the entire console.

As an example, you can consider the Whirlpool W10854215 Dishwasher Electronic Control Board as a replacement part. With a bit of time and some basic tools, you should be able to resolve this issue without the need for professional assistance.

Pros and Cons of Whirlpool Dishwasher


  • Reliability
  • Variety of Models
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Quiet Operation
  • Innovative Features


  • Price
  • Repair Costs
  • Complex Features
  • Customer Service

Differences Between Whirlpool Dishwasher and Bosh Dishwasher


Whirlpool dishwashers offer a range of features, including sensor-based cleaning and adjustable racks, but the level of sophistication in features can vary among models.


Bosch dishwashers are often praised for their superior cleaning performance and advanced features, such as precision spray arms, adjustable racks, and specialized wash cycles.

Alternative to Whirlpool Dishwasher

Samsung Dishwashers

Samsung offers a range of modern dishwashers with innovative features. The Samsung DW80R5060US is a highly-rated model.

4. Your Whirlpool Dishwasher Has Too Much Dirt Build Up

The build-up of dirt, grease, and oil is a prevalent reason for buttons on the dishwasher to become unresponsive.

One or more buttons on your dishwasher may stop working due to the accumulation of food particles, grease, or dirt. If this buildup affects the start button, the dishwasher will not function, regardless of how many times you attempt to use it.

If you observe that a button is stuck or unresponsive, you can resolve this issue by cleaning it with an ammonia-based solution. However, for your safety, it's strongly advised to wear protective gloves because the solution can potentially irritate your skin.

Additionally, it's recommended to wear some form of protective mask to safeguard your respiratory health during the cleaning process.

5. The Dishwasher Just Jammed and Needs a Reset

Occasionally, the cause of the malfunctioning start button on your Whirlpool dishwasher is due to a program jam. To resolve this issue, it's recommended to reset the dishwasher by power cycling it.

It's widely known that power cycling, or turning the power off and then back on, can effectively resolve various basic issues in most dishwashers, and this method is also applicable to Whirlpool dishwashers. Resetting the power can help clear any temporary glitches or program jams that might be causing the start button to malfunction.


When faced with the issue of Whirlpool dishwasher buttons not working, there are several potential causes to consider. These include power supply problems, issues with the door, stuck or malfunctioning keys, water supply issues, program jams, and even the possibility of a blown thermal fuse.

Addressing these problems often involves straightforward troubleshooting steps that can be performed without the need for professional assistance.

It's important to examine each potential cause methodically to identify and resolve the specific issue affecting your dishwasher's buttons. Regular maintenance, such as keeping the buttons clean and checking for any obstructions, can also help prevent these problems from occurring in the first place.

Remember, safety precautions, such as wearing protective gear when using cleaning solutions or handling electrical components, should always be a priority. By following these guidelines and troubleshooting steps, you can restore the functionality of your Whirlpool dishwasher's buttons and ensure it operates smoothly once more.


My name is Wisdom Bassey, I'm a blog content writer and graphic designer who provides support and services for brands and different companies. I'm young and versatile, A tech enthusiast. I carry out deep research on every topic I choose to write about. You can reach me through my social media handles, I'm always available and ready to connect.

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