Kenmore Dishwasher Troubleshooting [Problems Solved]

Kenmore is one of the leading home appliance brand names in the world.

They make a wide variety of top-of-the-line appliances, including refrigerators, washers, dryers, and dishwashers. Their dishwashers are very reliable and some of the best on the market.

However, Kenmore dishwashers are also not immune to problems like other brands.

Quite often, the repair cost is more than just fixing the part; it could be the whole unit needs to be replaced.

So, to help you save time and money, our team of experts has put together a list of the most common issues with a complete Kenmore dishwasher troubleshooting guide.

“The most common Kenmore dishwasher problems include drainage issues, washing inefficiency, leaks, noise, door squeals, odors, drying troubles, no water spray, and startup failures.”

Kenmore Dishwasher Troubleshooting

Kenmore Dishwasher Troubleshooting

To fix the Kenmore dishwasher problems, check out the most common causes first.

Kenmore Dishwasher ProblemsQuick Fix
Not DrainingClear drain pump/solenoid, check hoses, and clean drain opening.
Not WashingVerify motor and cycle settings, clean filters, and check the spray arm and water supply.
Leaking DoorInspect/replace the door gasket, check for loose fittings, and consider door interior replacement.
Leaking BottomCheck/replace the bottom seal, examine the drain hose, and clean the floor pan.
Noise/VibrationTighten connections and check for obstructions, if severe, contact dealer.
Door SquealsAdjust/replace latch mechanism, check hinges, and replace door gasket if needed.
OdorClean drain trap and sink drain opening; check for clogs.
Not DryingEnsure water level is full, clean out detergent residues.
Not Spraying WaterInspect the water supply line, wash arms, and ensure the machine is clean.
Not StartingCheck water supply, verify faucet, ensure good electrical connection, and check fuses.

1. Kenmore Dishwasher Not Draining: 

If your Kenmore dishwasher is not draining, check the drain pump and solenoid.

Check for obstructions or broken drain hoses. If everything appears OK, the problem may be located at the bottom of the unit where the water enters the machine.

If the unit is older and has no automatic shut-off, remove the floor pan and inspect the drain opening under the sink.

Is there any food buildup or debris that should not be in the machine? If so, clean the drain opening with an old toothbrush or wire.

2. Dishwasher Not Washing:

The dishwasher not washing could be caused by a malfunctioning motor or an improper setting on the dials controlling the cycle.

Check the rinse aid, soil sensor, and timer setting. Ensure they are all set properly, and the unit is connected to a working electrical source.

Another cause is that the spray arm is not working. A blocked filter is usually the reason. If the machine has a self-clean function, do it immediately.

If it does not, remove the machine’s top and inspect the wash arms and the connection points between the wash arms and the spray arms.

Also, check for foreign objects, such as dirt or small pebbles, that may have gotten into the unit and are blocking up the works. A vacuum cleaner can be used to suck up these objects.

3. Kenmore Dishwasher Leaking From The Door:

This could be caused by a worn washer or seal at the bottom of the door. Check for loose fittings or corrosion on the door gasket. Also, if the machine has a self-clean function, do it immediately.

Another cause of leaking from the door is a broken water line inside the cabinet. A frozen line or a leaky faucet could cause this.

If the door is particularly bad, you may have to replace the entire interior of the door. 

Repairing Kenmore Dishwasher

4. Dishwasher Leaking From The Bottom:

This could be caused by a worn-out rubber seal at the bottom of the unit. Or it could be a hole in the bottom of the unit where the drain pipe comes up through the floor.

In this case, the machine must be pulled out and the floor cleaned out.

Check the drain hose for leaks and cracks. Also, check the floor pan and the bottom of the unit for obstructions or corrosion.

5. Noise or Vibration When Running:

Noise or vibration when the dishwasher is running is probably not a problem; however, it could be a sign of a more serious problem.

If the noise or vibration is constant and extremely loud, stop using the machine immediately and return it to the dealer. A loose connection or a short circuit could cause this.

If it is just a minor amount of noise, continue using the machine and see if it goes away on its own.

6. Door Squeals When Opened And Shut:

This could be caused by a worn or improperly adjusted latch or lock mechanism.

Check all of the hinges for loose or broken fittings. Another cause could be corrosion on the door gasket.

If the door squeaks when opened and shut, even with all the latches and locks tight, then the door gasket needs to be replaced.

7. Odor During or After Operation:

Dishwasher odor can be caused by several factors. Check for clogs in the drain trap and the drain pipe.

Check the drain opening under the sink for food buildup or debris. Clean it out with an old toothbrush or piece of wire.

8. Kenmore Dishwasher Not Drying:

Kenmore Dishwasher Problems

Make sure the water level in the dishwasher is full. If it is, check the detergent box to make sure it is empty.

Also, empty the detergent pods and ensure no leftover tablets or powder are at the bottom of the machine.

If this does not solve the problem, then you may have to get the machine checked out by a repair person.

9. Kenmore Dishwasher Not Spraying Water:

Check the water supply line coming off the faucet to ensure no pinched or cracked pipes.

Also, remove the top of the machine and visually inspect the wash arms and the connection points between the wash arms and the spray arms.

If the machine has a self-clean function, do it immediately. This will remove the need to use harsh chemicals and save money in the long run.

10. Not Starting:

Make sure the water line leading to the machine is turned on. If it is, check the faucet to ensure it is not leaking. Another possibility is a bad electrical connection at the wall socket.

Ensure the electrical supply is turned on and there are no shorts or ground currents near the dishwasher. Check the fuse box for blown or loose fuses if it is an electric model.


So there. Those are 10 of the most common appliance repair problems that my repair people have to deal with regularly.

Hopefully, our Kenmore dishwasher troubleshooting guide has helped you fix the problem quickly.

Remember, the best way to avoid having to do this is to maintain your equipment and keep it clean and well-maintained. Appliances last longer when they receive proper care and maintenance. 

Steven Settles Author

Steven Settles is an ISCET-certified master in appliance repair. He has aced the National Appliance Service Technician Certification Exam, showcasing his exceptional diagnostic and repair skills. With an in-depth understanding of the latest repair technologies and a keen eye on evolving industry standards, Steven is a go-to expert for any appliance issue.

2 thoughts on “Kenmore Dishwasher Troubleshooting [Problems Solved]”

    • Hi Lynda,

      I hope you are doing great!
      Water may flow out between the wash arm support and the bottom pump housing if it is loose, creating waves. Water may flow out of the bottom of the door as a result of these waves. Check the gasket for any holes, rips, or cuts that might result in a dishwasher door leak.


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