How To Reset A Kenmore Dishwasher [Elite, Ultra Wash, Quiet Guard Standard]?

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As convenient as the home dishwasher units are, it can be frustrating to be in the middle of a dishwashing cycle and hear it become interrupted. When you investigate what is causing the delay, you might be surprised to see blinking lights on the exterior control panel of your appliance. If you've ever encountered this before, this post will be a helpful guide in remedying this stressful situation with your Kenmore model dishwasher.

To reset your Kenmore dishwasher, there is a generic solution that will work the majority of the time. For the generic reset option, press the heated dry button, then the normal wash button, then the heated dry button, then the normal wash button. Pushing these buttons in this order will reset the Kenmore dishwasher and force it into a test mode. This test mode is a twelve-minute cycle.

Performing the reset sequence will solve this problem most of the time. But what if it doesn't work? Or what if your Kenmore dishwasher won't start at all? Are there any error codes associated with my Kenmore dishwasher? We've researched this model dishwasher in order to save you time, and will provide these answers to you in this post. Just keep reading.

Run the dishwashing machine. Woman's finger pressing the Start button, How To Reset A Kenmore Dishwasher [Elite, Ultra Wash, Quiet Guard Standard]?

What if the generic reset sequence fails?

As earlier stated, the generic button sequence will almost always work. But in case it doesn't, we've broken down some alternative ways to reset your Kenmore dishwasher, by model.

Close-up on woman's finger selecting a program on the panel of dishwasher

Kenmore Elite Dishwasher

When in standby, you can reset the Kenmore Elite model dishwasher by pressing buttons in the proper sequence. Simply press any three keys in the sequence 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3. Do not allow for more than a one-second delay between any of the button pressings. This should reset this model, but if it fails, we'll provide other methods later in this post.

Kenmore Ultra Wash dishwasher

Open dishwasher with clean dishes in the white kitchen

This model has a reset feature that is similar to the Elite but with a few extra steps. As with the Elite model, press any three keys in the sequence 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, not allowing more than one second to lapse in between each press of the buttons.

This will cause all of the lights on your Kenmore Ultra Wash to light up green. Close the door of the dishwasher, and the "clean" light will begin flashing. After a minute or so of this light flashing, the "high temp" light will begin to flash. When this happens, you simply open the door to the dishwasher, then press the "high temp" button. This will reset the dishwasher. You can then turn the cycle off, and restart your dishwasher.

Kenmore Quiet Guard Standard dishwasher


With this model of Kenmore dishwasher, first, start the reset process by opening the door to the dishwasher. The water will still be running from the guide arm but will stop soon after opening.

When the water stops spraying from the guide arm, immediately check the soap dispenser. If it's empty, refill it. Close the soap dispenser door. Leaving the front of the dishwasher unit open, press the button on the front of the appliance that reads "cancel/drain" two times. Press "start/resume," and close the door within three seconds. This method will throw the Kenmore Quiet Guard Standard dishwasher into a reset.

If these methods do not yield positive results, you can always try hitting the start/reset pad and waiting two minutes. This will also kick the Kenmore model into a reset mode.

But if your dishwasher still won't come out of the error mode after these methods have been tried, cutting the power to the appliance and restoring it should do the trick. Go to your breaker box and locate the breaker that the dishwasher is connected to. Flip the breaker off. Wait thirty seconds, then flip the breaker back into the on position. This will force your Kenmore washer into a reset.

Why is my Kenmore dishwasher not starting?

Close Up Of Man Setting Economy Cycle On Dishwasher

Your Kenmore dishwasher not starting could be due to several things. The easiest thing to check for is the power supply. If your unit is hard-wired into the electrical circuit, it cannot be accessed without removing the appliance. The likelihood of the dishwasher not working for this reason is not very likely.


But that doesn't mean that it hasn't lost power from its source. Check your breaker box. If the breaker associated with your dishwasher has been tripped to the "off" position, then this is the culprit. Simply flip it back to "on," and you're all set.

In some municipalities, it is required to have an on/off switch for your dishwasher in the form of a wall switch. This will resemble a basic switch and switch plate for room lights. Before going any further, make sure your switch is flipped to the "on" position.

Power Cord

If your breaker isn't the problem, it could be that the power cord has worked its way loose. It will be plugged into a socket in an adjacent cabinet to the dishwasher. Check this cord. If it's unplugged, you've identified the reason your dishwasher doesn't have electrical power. If the outlet has a GFI/GFCI button on it, be sure it hasn't been tripped. Then, if it has, press it to reset it.

Door Obstruction

Maybe your dishwasher door has a small obstruction that is keeping it from closing all the way? The door being slightly ajar will keep the control panel from lighting up, giving you the illusion that the appliance itself isn't getting any power. Open the door to the dishwasher all the way.

Check that the dishracks are pushed all the way inside. Be sure there are no obstructions between these dishracks and the back wall of the dishwasher basin. Be sure no utensils are protruding from their holder in such a way that they would keep the front door from closing.

How do I find the error codes on my Kenmore dishwasher?

Kenmore has numerous error codes for their models of dishwashers. We've researched the most common error codes and have them listed below.

  • IE = water inlet error
  • UE = unbalance error
  • OE = drain error
  • FE = overflow error
  • PE = pressure sensor error
  • DE = door open
  • TE = heating error. The THERMISTOR is out of order
  • LE = locked motor error
  • EE = eprom error
  • PF = power failure
  • AE = water leakage
  • FE = excessive water supplied to the machine
  • HE = heater circuit failure
  • NE = vario motor trouble

Error codes that are set off for any model dishwasher are always found in the dishwasher's owner's manual. If you've misplaced your manual, you can find various error codes online by clicking here.

In Closing

Run the dishwashing machine. Woman's finger pressing the Start button, How To Reset A Kenmore Dishwasher [Elite, Ultra Wash, Quiet Guard Standard]?

Lucky for you, there is a generic reset sequence for most Kenmore dishwasher models. There are also different methods to reset the Kenmore dishwashers, depending upon which lights are blinking on the operating panel of your unit. Learning how to reset your Kenmore washer is almost always a quick and easy process that only involves pressing the correct buttons in the proper sequence.

We've also covered the many common error codes for the Kenmore brand dishwashers and what they mean. Knowing and understanding the information provided in this post will hopefully give you a peace of mind when you next have an issue with your Kenmore dishwasher.

If you'd like to learn more about dishwashers, you might find the following posts helpful:

Are Plastic Food Containers Dishwasher Safe?

Are Casserole Dishes Dishwasher Safe?

Can You Put a Pasta Maker in the Dishwasher?

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. michel

    dishwasher not daring after cycle. there’s no obstruction. the water will drain if pressed manually

  2. Geraldine Bilotta

    Ken more green application lights are red and cannot reset to green. It starts up but no water coming thru

  3. Jean Leake

    All this information! Is there a way to print this information so that I can have it in front of me?
    I would really help to simplfy the process.

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