Whirlpool Dishwasher Diagnostic Mode [4 Ways To Start]

By: Talen Quire

Imagine starting your Whirlpool dishwasher, only to have it stop working without any warning. It’s frustrating, confusing, and leaves you wondering what went wrong.

Many users face this issue and feel lost due to the complexity of modern appliances. But there’s a solution! Whirlpool Dishwasher Diagnostic Mode is your key to understanding these problems.

By running diagnostic tests, this mode pinpoints issues and provides detailed information to help you troubleshoot effectively. It’s a game-changer for anyone tired of guessing what’s wrong with their dishwasher.

Stay with us, and we’ll guide you through enabling and using this powerful tool, ensuring your appliance runs smoothly again.

Diagnostic mode on whirlpool dishwasher

What Is the Diagnostic Mode On the Whirlpool Dishwasher?

Diagnostic mode on a Whirlpool dishwasher is a special feature that identifies issues and provides detailed information for troubleshooting. By entering this mode, the dishwasher runs tests on its components, revealing any problems and their causes.

When activated, diagnostic mode performs a series of checks, including water valve operation, wash pump functionality, and heater performance. Each component is tested, and any faults are displayed as error codes. This helps users pinpoint the exact issue without guesswork, making repairs or service calls more efficient.

How To Enter Diagnostic Mode On Whirlpool Dishwasher?

Entering diagnostic mode on dishwasher

I have mentioned several methods of activating this mode below which you can follow according to the model of your dishwasher.

Method 1: Three Buttons Sequence [1-2-3]

To enter diagnostic mode on your Whirlpool dishwasher using the three-button sequence method, follow these steps:

  1. Standby Mode: Ensure your Whirlpool dishwasher is in standby mode with the door closed. Standby mode means the appliance is powered on but not running any cycles.
  2. Choose Buttons: Select any three buttons on the display that aren’t the “Start,” “Delay,” or “Cycle” buttons.
  3. Press Sequence: Press the chosen buttons in a 1-2-3 sequence, with no more than 1 second between each press. Repeat this sequence three times until the LED on the panel lights up.
  4. Model Specifics: Some models may require specific buttons to be pressed. For example:
    • WDT710PAHZ1 and WDF560SAFM2: Press “Normal Wash” and “Heat Dry” in a 1-2-1-2 sequence three times.
    • WDT720PADM2: Press the “Normal Wash” and “Heat Dry” buttons simultaneously twice.
  5. Start Diagnostic Cycle: Once the LED lights up, press “Start” to begin the diagnostic cycle.

Method 2: Cycles And Start/Cancel Buttons

To enter the diagnostic mode on your Whirlpool dishwasher using the “Cycles” and “Start/Cancel” buttons, follow these steps:

  1. Turn Off: Ensure your Whirlpool dishwasher is turned off.
  2. Disconnect Power: Cut the power supply to the dishwasher. If hardwired, use the circuit breaker.
  3. Reconnect Power: Restore power to the dishwasher and ensure the door is open.
  4. Press Buttons: Press and hold the “Cycles” and “Start/Cancel” buttons simultaneously.
  5. Repeat: Release the buttons and press them again within 60 seconds.
  6. Close Door: Shut the dishwasher door to initiate the diagnostic mode.

Method 3: On/Off And Start/Pause Button

Needed Steps:

  • Turn Off the Dishwasher: Ensure your dishwasher is completely turned off.
  • Disconnect Power: Unplug the dishwasher or switch off the circuit breaker if it is hardwired.
  • Open the Door: Open the dishwasher door to access the control panel.
  • Restore Power: Plug the dishwasher back in or turn the circuit breaker on to restore power.
  • Press and Hold Buttons: Within 60 seconds of restoring power, press and hold the “On/Off” and “Start/Pause” buttons simultaneously.
  • Close the Door: Close the dishwasher door to initiate the diagnostic cycle.

Method 4: Rinse + Start Button

To enter diagnostic mode on your Whirlpool dishwasher using the “Rinse” and “Start” buttons, follow these steps:

  1. Turn Off and Unplug: Ensure the dishwasher is turned off and none of the LEDs are lit. Unplug the dishwasher for a few seconds.
  2. Reconnect Power: Plug the appliance back in and leave the door open.
  3. Press Buttons: Within 60 seconds of reconnecting the power, press and hold the “Rinse” and “Start” buttons simultaneously.
  4. Diagnostic Mode: Once the appliance enters diagnostic mode, all the LEDs on the panel will light up.
  5. Close Door: Close the door and wait for the appliance to begin its diagnostic cycle.

During the diagnostic cycle, the dishwasher will perform sensor checks on various parts of the appliance. If you wish to skip testing a certain setting or part, press the “Start/Resume” button.

The entire diagnostic cycle lasts about 25 minutes without skipping any steps. If there are no errors, the LED lights will stay on for about 5 seconds after the cycle ends. If there are errors, the display will flash error codes.

Quick Tip: Some models may require you to open and close the door during the sequence. Always consult your user manual for any special instructions.

If you still have any doubts, watch the below video:

How to Exit The Diagnostic Mode?

To exit the diagnostic mode, simply unplug the appliance. The “Start” and “On/Off” buttons won’t stop the cycle once it’s activated, so unplugging is the only way to exit early.

What happens if I don’t exit diagnostic mode on my Whirlpool dishwasher?

Failing to exit diagnostic mode on your Whirlpool dishwasher can lead to several issues.

Extended Diagnostic Mode Operation

If the dishwasher remains in diagnostic mode, it will continue to run tests on its components. This extended operation can lead to unnecessary wear and tear on the appliance.

Incomplete Cycles

Diagnostic mode is not designed for regular washing. If you don’t exit diagnostic mode, the dishwasher won’t perform standard cleaning cycles, which means your dishes won’t get properly cleaned.

Power Consumption

Keeping the dishwasher in diagnostic mode consumes more power than necessary. This continuous operation can lead to higher electricity bills and unnecessary energy waste.


Overheating dishwasher

Extended diagnostic mode operation can cause the dishwasher to overheat, particularly if the heating elements are continuously tested. Overheating can damage internal components and reduce the appliance’s lifespan.

Error Codes Display

The dishwasher may continue to display error codes or remain in a loop of diagnostic tests. This can be confusing and prevent you from understanding the actual status of your dishwasher.

Manual Reset

If the dishwasher remains in diagnostic mode for too long, you might need to manually reset it by unplugging the appliance. This additional step can be inconvenient and time-consuming.

Reduced Appliance Efficiency

Prolonged diagnostic mode usage can reduce the efficiency of your dishwasher. The appliance might not perform optimally in regular washing cycles due to continuous testing and self-diagnosis.

Component Strain

Running diagnostic mode for an extended period puts strain on various components, such as the motor and sensors. This strain can lead to premature wear and potential malfunctions.

User Inconvenience

Leaving the dishwasher in diagnostic mode can be inconvenient for users who need to run regular washing cycles. It disrupts the normal operation and functionality of the appliance.

What Are the Components That the Dishwasher Tests During Service Mode?

Dishwasher testing its components

After entering the diagnostic mode, your machine will go through a series of tests of its own components. You should make sure that your dishwasher is testing each component.

Here are the parts that your dishwasher tests during the service mode:

  • Water Valve: The water valve opens to allow 3 liters of water to enter the unit, monitored by the flow meter.
  • Wash Pump and Heater: The wash pump activates first, followed by the heater after a 10-second delay. The dishwasher stops when the temperature reaches 57 degrees Celsius, indicated by a beep. Press the “Start” button to proceed to the next step.
  • High Wash Pump and Dispenser: The wash pump runs for 8 seconds with three 2-second delays, then continues for 45 seconds without interruption. This is followed by a 30-second pause.
  • Drain Pump: The drain pump operates for 30 seconds, after which a single beep sounds, and the diagnostic code is displayed.

How to Read the Error Code On Whirlpool Dishwasher?

To read the error code on your Whirlpool dishwasher, follow these steps:

  1. Identify Error Code Format: Whirlpool dishwasher error codes typically appear as a combination of F# and E#. The number next to F indicates which part of the appliance is experiencing the error, while the number next to E indicates the nature of the error.
  2. Locate Error Code: When an error occurs, the dishwasher’s display will show the error code. Make note of this code.

Now check the below table to check what your error code means.

Error CodeType Of ErrorError Description
F1Control BoardThe main electronic control board has a relay error or corrupted memory.
F2User InterfaceThe user interface panel (display control panel) has a stuck key or cannot communicate with the main electronic control board.
F3Thermistor/Turbidity SensorThe thermistor or turbidity sensor is stuck open, has shorted, or cannot be calibrated.
F4Wash MotorThe wash motor is not running.
F5Door SwitchThe door is either stuck open or closed.
F6Water Inlet ValveThere is a fault in the water inlet valve, water pump, float switch, or flow meter.
F7Heating The appliance is either not heating or the heater is stuck open.
F8DrainingThe appliance is stuck in the draining process, not draining, or encountering a mechanical fault in its draining pump.
F9DiverterThe diverter motor has a mechanical failure or the diverter disk is missing.
F10OthersThere is an error with either the drying fan or the dispenser.

Alternative Error Code Format: If your dishwasher displays error codes as #-# instead of F#E#, the reading is still the same. The first number indicates the part of the appliance with the error, and the second number specifies the nature of the error.

Quick Tip: Always refer to your dishwasher’s user manual for specific instructions and troubleshooting steps related to the displayed error code. This will help you accurately diagnose and address the issue.

What Are the Benefits Of Using Diagnostic Mode On My Whirlpool Dishwasher?

Using diagnostic mode on your Whirlpool dishwasher offers several benefits that can help maintain and troubleshoot your appliance effectively.

Identify Problems Early

Diagnostic mode allows you to identify issues before they become major problems. By running a diagnostic cycle, you can detect errors in various components, such as the control board, motor, or sensors. This early detection can save you from costly repairs down the line.

Precise Error Codes

Whirlpool dishwasher showing error code

When your dishwasher enters diagnostic mode, it generates specific error codes that pinpoint the exact issue. This precision helps you or a technician quickly identify and address the problem, reducing downtime and ensuring your dishwasher runs smoothly.

Save Time and Money

By using diagnostic mode, you can save time and money on service calls. Instead of guessing what might be wrong, the diagnostic mode provides clear indicators of the malfunction. This allows for targeted repairs, avoiding unnecessary part replacements and labor costs.

Improve Efficiency

Running diagnostic tests can help improve the efficiency of your dishwasher. If there are issues with the water inlet, heating element, or draining system, identifying and fixing these problems ensures your dishwasher operates at peak performance, providing cleaner dishes and using resources more efficiently.

Extended Appliance Lifespan

Regular use of diagnostic mode helps maintain your dishwasher in optimal condition. By addressing issues promptly, you prevent further damage, extending the lifespan of your appliance. This proactive approach keeps your dishwasher functioning well for years to come.


Diagnostic mode is designed to be user-friendly, making it accessible for homeowners. With simple button sequences, you can initiate diagnostic tests without needing specialized knowledge or tools.

Comprehensive Checks

The diagnostic mode runs comprehensive checks on all key components of your dishwasher. This thorough examination ensures that no part is overlooked, providing a complete assessment of your appliance’s health.

Advanced Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting the dishwasher

For technicians, the diagnostic mode offers advanced troubleshooting capabilities. The error codes and detailed feedback help technicians diagnose and fix issues more accurately and efficiently.

By using diagnostic mode regularly, you can ensure your Whirlpool dishwasher remains in top condition, providing reliable and efficient performance.

What Are the Common Mistakes to Avoid When Entering Diagnostic Mode?

Here are the common mistakes you should avoid when entering diagnostic modeon Whirlpool dishwasher:

Not Following the Correct Button Sequence

One common mistake is not pressing the correct buttons in the right sequence. Ensure you know the exact combination, such as pressing and holding the “Rinse” and “Start” buttons simultaneously, to successfully enter diagnostic mode.

Skipping the Power Reset

Before entering diagnostic mode, make sure to reset the power by unplugging the dishwasher for a few seconds and then plugging it back in. Skipping this step can prevent the diagnostic mode from activating correctly.

Ignoring LED Indicators

Another mistake is ignoring the LED indicators on the control panel. These lights provide crucial feedback about whether you have successfully entered diagnostic mode. Pay attention to ensure all LEDs light up as expected.

Not Closing the Door

Unclosed dishwasher door

After initiating diagnostic mode, always close the dishwasher door. Leaving it open can interrupt the diagnostic cycle, leading to incomplete or inaccurate diagnostics.

Interrupting the Diagnostic Cycle

Do not interrupt the diagnostic cycle once it has started. Allow the dishwasher to complete the entire cycle, which usually takes about 25 minutes. Interrupting the cycle can result in incomplete diagnostics and missed error codes.

Misinterpreting Error Codes

A common mistake is misinterpreting the error codes generated during diagnostic mode. Ensure you have a reference guide to accurately decode and understand the error messages displayed.

Skipping Regular Diagnostics

Regularly using diagnostic mode helps in early detection of issues. Skipping these regular checks can lead to undiagnosed problems, resulting in more significant issues over time.

Relying Solely on Diagnostic Mode

While diagnostic mode is a powerful tool, relying solely on it can be a mistake. Always use it in conjunction with visual inspections and other troubleshooting steps to get a comprehensive understanding of your dishwasher’s condition.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I enter diagnostic mode on my Whirlpool dishwasher without a technician? 

Yes, you can enter diagnostic mode without a technician. Refer to your dishwasher’s manual for specific instructions, which typically involve pressing a sequence of buttons. This mode helps you identify issues, making it easier to troubleshoot and potentially fix problems yourself.

Can I exit diagnostic mode on my Whirlpool dishwasher without restarting the dishwasher?

Yes, you can exit diagnostic mode without restarting the dishwasher. Follow the specific steps in your manual, usually involving pressing certain buttons to exit the mode. This process allows the dishwasher to resume normal operations without needing a complete restart.

Can I use the error code on my Whirlpool dishwasher to diagnose the issue?

Absolutely, error codes are designed to help diagnose issues. Each code corresponds to a specific problem, such as control board errors or motor failures. Refer to your manual or a reliable online resource to interpret these codes and understand the necessary steps to resolve the issue.

How do I clear the error code on my Whirlpool dishwasher?

To clear an error code, turn off the dishwasher, unplug it, and wait a few minutes. Then, plug it back in and run a diagnostic cycle. This process resets the control board, clearing the error code. If the issue persists, consult the manual or seek professional help.


The diagnostic mode is one of the advanced features for troubleshooting Whirlpool dishwasher issues. This mode allows you to read error codes that pinpoint specific problems, like control board errors or motor failures. This feature saves time and helps in troubleshooting.

Understanding and interpreting these codes ensures you can address problems, whether it’s a stuck key on the user interface or a heating issue. Regular use of diagnostic mode can prevent minor issues from becoming major repairs, maintaining your dishwasher’s performance.

This was all about the diagnostic service mode on the Whirlpool dishwasher. If you have any questions, comment below. I would love to assist you.

About Talen Quire

Talen Quire is a seasoned mechanical engineer with 20 years of industry experience. He earned his engineering degree from the University of Michigan and holds certifications in research and prototype development. Talen has collaborated with top brands like KitchenAid, GE, and BOSCH. Currently, he works at a leading research and development company. Passionate about technology, Talen actively shares the latest tech updates online, engaging a community of enthusiasts and professionals. Outside of work, he's an amateur astronomer and enjoys woodworking, creating detailed furniture and gadgets in his workshop.

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