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Kenmore dishwasher Lock On light flashing

Kenmore Dishwasher

My dishwasher control panel is locked out. Holding the lock button for 4 seconds does not clear the lock. I have turned off the power multiple times (once for 24 hours). The tech sheet is not in the dishwasher.

The current symptoms are:
The Lock On light is flashing about 1/second. Pressing Cancel/Drain causes that light to flash too. Opening and closing the door clears the Cancel/Drain light. Sometimes the pushing the Cancel/Drain button will start the pump. While the pump is running, the Lock On light flashes 3 times (quickly), pauses, flashes 3 times, etc.

Once I was able to get the cycle to start. The dishwasher started filling, then the lock light started to flash canceling the fill. The lock light went off and the dishwasher resumed filling. This happened several times so I cancelled the cycle. This was also interrupted several times.

Is the flashing light a trouble code?
Is there a sequence of key presses to reset the dishwasher?
How do I determine what component has failed?


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  • 7 more comments 
  • Krusty1 May 20, 2008

    I have exactly the same problem with my kenmore. I did almost exactly what the problem describes, but with the same limited results.

  • jollymaker Jun 24, 2008

    the lock light remains on and we cannot get it to cancel thus it locks everything up. We have push for the 4 seconds and have turned the power off and still can not get it to clear.Any suggestions?

  • ShaunMcd Aug 07, 2008

    I am having the same issue. I can not get the lock to unlock. I tried holding the button for minutes and still nothing

  • equiguy Nov 24, 2008

    Same thing here-none of the proscribed procedures works to clear the light!

    One suggestion was to depress the "Cancel drain" button fopr 10 seonds-light went out-until "cancel drain " was released-Then light comes back on.

    Help! Can't this function be bypassed?

  • Krystal-ness Dec 27, 2008

    I have the same problem. I even went to the main website for my dishwashers brand, and they don't even have an option for lock out and things. It's pretty bad when the makers don't know anything either. I feel for the other people who have this same trouble.

  • lwa1954 Apr 20, 2009

    I am having the same problem I have tried pushing all sorts of the buttons with no luck

  • Anonymous May 22, 2009

    Same issue here. We have done the same things and nothing has worked.

  • Anonymous Mar 16, 2014

    The controls are all lighting up and flashing start and cancel at the same time

  • Anonymous Mar 23, 2014

    Whirlpool dishwasher lock button flashes with all buttons and won't start



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Holding the button for four seconds will not do it, you have to hold it until the light stops blinking and
will go back to normal, normall takes more than four seconds to unlock the unit, this is something
the sears repair techs know becouse the are trained on all this things but, they will not share this things, becouse thats how they make money

Posted on Apr 18, 2009

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I had the same problem.. I just held down the AIR DRY button and tried to push down the whirlpool logo (not sure if its a button but there's no LOCK button) Anywho that seemed to do the trick. The light stopped flashing and then I just hit normal wash. Now its working again! Thanks for all the tips!!

Posted on Aug 18, 2009

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Maybe a stuck key. try pressing each button a couple times with the door open. worked for me

Posted on May 26, 2009

  • mcgus
    mcgus Aug 19, 2013

    I did. this, and them held the lock button until the light turned on, then held it again until it turned off, and while tslking to hubby pn phone, it started to work! Thank you!


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Open your dishwasher and read the instructions on the top of the door:
best -

Posted on Jun 17, 2009

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Just held the control lock button for 10+ seconds. There was funky standing water in the bottom, so it's draining right now. fingers crossed!!!

Posted on Apr 15, 2013

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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1 Answer

My Kenmore dishwasher model 665.17604301 has the LOCK ON light on and the dishwasher won't run. How can I turn the lock off?

The LOCK ON can be turned on or off by pressing and holding the AIR DRY button in for 4 seconds. This feature is used to prevent accidental use of the dishwasher, and/or small children from manipulating the control panel. These instructions are on page 15 of the Owner's Manual. If you no longer have a manual, you can download or print a FREE copy at

If you still require assistance, please post back and let me know. I hope this information is helpful to you.

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1 Answer

Kenmore dishwasher ultra was quiet guard 3 model 56516012403 control panel will not activate red lights blinking on normal wash and cancel drain. did the hold the heat dry button then the normal wash...

that would be model # 66516012403 correct??
you may have inadvertently set the lock on function..
check this out from your manual...

Lock On
Use the Lock On to prevent unintended use of the dishwasher
between cycles. You can also use the lock feature to prevent
unintended cycle or option changes during a cycle.
When LOCK ON is lit, all buttons are disabled.
NOTE: The dishwasher door can be opened while the controls
are locked. However, the lock must be turned off and the Start/
Resume button pressed to resume the cycle.
To turn on the Lock
Press and hold HEATED DRY for 4 seconds. LOCK ON glows.
If you press any pad while your dishwasher is locked, the light
flashes 3 times.
NOTE: If the Heated Dry option is selected, the light will
temporarily turn off until Lock On glows.
To turn off the Lock
Press and hold HEATED DRY for 4 seconds. The light turns off.

hope this helps,
best of luck,

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My dishwasher won"t wash. Help me, PLEASE???

Try pushing and holding the "Air Dry" button for at least 4 seconds. This should turn the control lock off.

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1 Answer

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You may have a stuck button as this will cause flashing of lights, try pushing button and see if it returns if not strike lightly above it with plastic spoon etc.

If this does not work u can buy the control panel from Sears for 190.00 but first go to then type your model no. In required space click on shop parts on appropriate model, then go to troubleshooting then to won't start, then go down to how to replace control panel.

According to instructions you will only need torx screwdriver and less than 30 minutes to replace.

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I finally decided to calm down and use my head and managed to solve the problem. I read the instructions that are on the top of the dishwasher door. ( Smart move on my part HUH!) It said that when the door lock light is on everything is disabled. Hold the air/dry button down for 4 seconds and the lock light will go out. Guess what, IT WORKED. Here is what I learned from this. Always read all instructions. I spent $9.95 for an answer that was right in front of me. Humans can be so dumb I am!!!!

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is that the button closest to that lock light? if not it may be a button closer to the lock light. if it still doenst work you may have a short

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1 Answer


Control Lock means that the entire dishwasher is locked, for child safety purposes.  It's normally cleared by holding the "No Heat Dry" button in for 4 seconds or more.  It is locked again by the same procedure -- holding the "No HEat Dry" button for 4 seconds (or more).

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There should be a button on the machine with a padlock symbol. Hold it down for 4 seconds to unlock it. If you want to lock it again, hold it down for 4 seconds to turn it on.

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