How Do I Know if My Dishwasher Control Board Is Bad

  • One of the most common signs that your dishwasher control board is bad is if it fails to start or respond when you press the buttons.
  • If your dishwasher is making strange noises or not cleaning dishes properly, it could be a sign that the control board is malfunctioning.
  • If you notice that your dishwasher is running longer than usual or stopping mid-cycle, this could also be a sign of a faulty control board.
  • In some cases, a bad control board may cause the dishwasher to overheat or even catch fire, so it’s important to address any issues as soon as possible.
  • If you’re unsure whether your dishwasher’s control board is bad, it’s best to consult with a professional technician who can diagnose and repair the issue.

Do you ever find yourself standing in front of your dishwasher, scratching your head and wondering why it’s not working properly? The answer may lie within the control board. But how do you know if it’s the culprit behind your dishwasher woes?

A malfunctioning control board can cause a range of issues, from not turning on at all to running endlessly without actually cleaning your dishes. And let’s face it, nobody has time for hand-washing dishes every night.

So, how can you identify if the control board is to blame? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the signs that indicate a bad dishwasher control board. By knowing what to look for, you’ll be able to quickly troubleshoot and get your dishwasher back in order in no time.

The Quick Answer:

A malfunctioning dishwasher control board can cause various issues like poor cleaning performance, unresponsive buttons, error codes displayed on the digital display, and the dishwasher not starting or turning off. The control board regulates all functions of the dishwasher, and when it’s faulty, it affects its operation. Other signs include flickering lights on the panel, a timer that doesn’t work correctly, a detergent dispenser that doesn’t open, and water temperature that doesn’t change during cycles.

Common Signs of a Bad Dishwasher Control Board

The dishwasher control board is an essential part of the dishwasher as it controls all its functions. It can be frustrating and inconvenient when it goes bad and affects the operation of the machine. Here are some common signs that could indicate a faulty dishwasher control board:

Dishwasher Not Starting or Turning Off

If your dishwasher fails to start or turns off intermittently, it could be due to a malfunctioning control board. The control board sends signals to other parts of the dishwasher like the heating element or motor to start or stop, but when it’s faulty, it might not send these signals.

Error Code Displayed

Another sign that your dishwasher control board might be failing is if there is an error code displayed on its digital display. Error codes can vary depending on the model of your dishwasher, but they’re usually indicated with alphanumeric codes.

Unresponsive Buttons

When you press buttons on the control panel and nothing happens, this could indicate a damaged control board. The buttons might not respond because they don’t receive signals from the mainboard.

Other Common Signs

  • The lights on the dishwasher panel flicker.
  • The timer doesn’t work correctly.
  • The detergent dispenser doesn’t open.
  • The water temperature doesn’t change during cycles.

Can a Malfunctioning Control Board Cause Other Issues with My Dishwasher?

A bad dishwasher control board can cause many problems with your machine beyond those mentioned above. For instance:

Poor Cleaning Performance

If you notice that your dishes are coming out dirty even after running them through several cycles, this could indicate a malfunctioning control board. The control board regulates the water temperature, pressure, and cycle times. If it’s defective or damaged, it might not send signals to the motor or heating element, causing poor cleaning performance.


A faulty control board can cause overheating of your dishwasher. This could lead to damage to other parts of the machine like the thermostat or heating element. When you notice that your dishwasher is excessively hot during cycles or emits a burning smell, this could be an indicator of a malfunctioning control board.

Electrical Issues

The control board is responsible for regulating power supply to different parts of the dishwasher. When it’s damaged, it might not regulate power correctly, which could cause electrical issues. For example, if your machine keeps tripping the circuit breaker or fuses when in use, this could mean that there is an electrical problem caused by a faulty control board.

Typical Lifespan of a Dishwasher Control Board Before Replacement

The lifespan of a dishwasher control board varies depending on how often you use your machine and how well maintained it is. On average, most dishwashers last between eight and ten years before they need replacement. Therefore, you can expect your control board to last about as long.

However, some factors can shorten its lifespan and require replacement sooner than expected. These factors include:

  • Frequent power surges/changes in voltage.
  • Exposure to moisture/humidity.
  • Poor maintenance practices.
  • Malfunctioning other components like motors or heating elements.

Repair or Replace: What to Do When Your Dishwasher Control Board Fails

When faced with a failed dishwasher control board, one must determine whether to repair or replace it entirely. Several factors should be considered when making this decision, including:

Cost of Replacement Parts

The cost of a replacement control board varies depending on the make and model of your dishwasher. Some brands have expensive replacement parts compared to others. If the cost of replacing the control board is high, it might not be economical to repair it.

Age of Your Dishwasher

If your machine is already at the end of its lifespan or beyond ten years old, repairing a faulty control board might not be worth it. At this point, it’s best to replace the entire machine.

Severity of Damage

When your dishwasher has other severe issues besides a malfunctioning control board, repairing it might not solve all the problems. In such cases, replacing the entire machine makes more sense than repairing individual components.

Diagnosing a Faulty Dishwasher Control Board: Steps to Take

To diagnose a faulty dishwasher control board accurately, you need to follow these steps:

Step 1: Unplug Your Dishwasher

The first step is always to turn off power supply to your dishwasher by unplugging it from the power outlet or turning off power from its circuit breaker.

Step 2: Remove the Control Panel Cover

Remove the screws that hold your dishwasher’s control panel cover in place and then remove the cover itself.

Step 3: Inspect the Control Board for Any Burnt Components

Inspect your dishwasher’s mainboard thoroughly for any burnt components like resistors or capacitors. If you notice any burnt elements on the control board, then it’s time to replace it entirely.


It would help if you took care when inspecting electrical components as they can carry high voltage even when unplugged.

DIY Fixes for a Bad Dishwasher Control Board

If your dishwasher control board is faulty, and you’re handy with DIY repairs, then you can fix it yourself using these steps:

Step 1: Order Replacement Parts

Order the necessary replacement parts from a reputable supplier or manufacturer.

Step 2: Disconnect Power Supply to Your Dishwasher

You should always disconnect power supply to your dishwasher before attempting any repairs.

Step 3: Remove the Control Panel Cover

Remove the screws that hold your dishwasher’s control panel cover in place and then remove the cover itself.

Step 4: Replace the Faulty Components on the Control Board

Identify and replace any damaged components on the control board. Be sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions when replacing components.


Repairing a dishwasher control board requires some electrical knowledge and expertise. If you’re not confident in your abilities, it’s best to hire a professional technician.

Costs of Replacing a Dishwasher Control Board and Installation Services

The cost of replacing a dishwasher control board varies depending on several factors, including:

  • The make and model of your dishwasher.
  • The severity of damage.
  • The cost of labor in your area.
  • The availability of replacement parts.

On average, replacing a dishwasher control board costs between $150 to $300 for parts only. However, if you factor in installation services, then it could cost upwards of $500 or more.

Dishwasher Control Board Replacement or Repair: What Are Your Options?

When faced with a faulty dishwasher control board, you have two options – repair or replace it entirely. Here are some pros and cons of each option:

Repairing the Control Board


  • It’s cheaper than replacing the entire machine.
  • You can do it yourself if you’re handy with DIY repairs.
  • You can extend the lifespan of your dishwasher.


  • It requires some electrical expertise, which not everyone has.
  • If other components are damaged, repairing them might not solve all problems.

Replacing the Entire Machine


  • You get a new machine with updated features and technology.
  • There’s no need to worry about other potential issues that could occur in the future.


  • It’s more expensive than repairing just the control board.
  • The old machine may end up in landfills and contribute to environmental pollution.

Ultimately, when deciding between repairing or replacing your dishwasher control board, consider factors like cost, age of your machine, severity of damage, and availability of replacement parts.

In conclusion, identifying a bad dishwasher control board can be challenging, but common signs include malfunctioning buttons, inconsistent heating, and flashing lights. If you suspect your control board is faulty, it’s best to consult a professional for repair or replacement.

Frequently Asked Questions about How Do I Know if My Dishwasher Control Board Is Bad

How do you reset the control board on a Whirlpool dishwasher?
In order to reset certain dishwasher models, you may need to either unplug the device or turn off the circuit breaker. Alternatively, pressing and holding the Start/Reset button on the control panel for a few seconds before beginning a wash cycle may also work.

Is it worth it to replace a dishwasher control panel?
If the cost of repairing your dishwasher exceeds 50% of the price of buying a new one, then it’s recommended to replace it instead. For example, if a new dishwasher costs $500, then you should only consider repairing it if the cost is less than $250. Additionally, if you have had to make multiple repairs within the past year, it may be time to invest in a new dishwasher.

How much does it cost to repair a control panel on a dishwasher?
Dishwasher repairs typically cost around $180 on average, but the cost can vary greatly depending on the type of repair needed. Simple repairs like replacing a blown fuse or water valve usually cost less than $150, while more complex repairs like replacing the electronic control board or pump assembly can cost over $400.

How much does it cost to replace a dishwasher circuit board?
The following are the typical expenses for repairing common problems: Door handle repair costs between $50 and $100, door spring repair costs between $100 and $200, and electronic control boards repair costs between $200 and $400, as of January 30, 2023.

Why do appliance control boards fail?
A leading reason for the malfunction of an electronic oven control board is damage from power surges. These surges can occur due to lightning strikes during an electric storm or as a result of power outages, overloaded electrical grids, utility service provider load shifting, and wind storms.

What causes a dishwasher to short circuit?
Your dishwasher may be tripping due to a wiring problem with the plug or cables, rather than a fuse issue. It’s important to check the plug top and cables for damage that may be causing the problem.

Charlie Thomson is Appliance Mastery's expert on laundry appliances. With a degree in mechanical engineering and over 8 years of experience in the appliance repair industry, Charlie is a go-to resource for homeowners who want to tackle common issues with their washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers.

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