Does Your Dishwasher Keep Restarting? Try These 4 Fixes

Dishwasher keeps restarting

Stuck trying to stop your dishwasher from restarting?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. In fact, thousands of people are struggling with the same annoying problem.

But, the good news is that if you have a spare 15 minutes and aren’t afraid to roll up your sleeves, then you’ve come to the right place to get it fixed.

Common reasons for a restarting dishwasher can include failed control boards. If resetting the control board does not resolve a failed control board, replace it if needed.

If your dishwasher keeps restarting, please clean the buttons, and check the timer motor. You can also try resetting your dishwasher or replacing the control panel to solve the issue.

Keep reading to learn more about these fixes!

Solving A Restarting Dishwasher

There’s nothing more annoying than not being able to use your dishwasher because it keeps restarting by itself.

After all, dishwashers should make our lives easier, not the opposite.

Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. Below, I’ve prepared a list of the things you must check to stop your dishwasher from restarting.

#1 Clean the Buttons

Before doing anything else, I’d like us to check the buttons located in the control panel.

You see, they can get easily stuck due to grease, food, and oil build-up. When this happens, the buttons may malfunction and cause your dishwasher to restart.

Don’t worry, though. Cleaning them is very simple, you’ll just need to buy an ammonia-based cleaner or use rubbing alcohol to remove any food debris or oil that could be causing the issue. These cleaners are great because they leave no residue, evaporate quickly, and don’t damage electronics – just be careful as they can damage the finish of the appliance.

I recommend using a soft brush or sponge. If you have touch buttons, try using a wet cloth. Don’t forget to dry the buttons once you’ve finished cleaning them to prevent mold.

Clean your dishwasher's buttons
Clean your dishwasher’s buttons at least once a month

Ammonia-based cleaners are very effective at breaking down grime, cooking grease, and other stains.

Bear in mind that you should never mix ammonia with bleach, as this produces toxic gases that can cause shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing, and other health issues.

I recommend making sure that your kitchen is well-ventilated (open the windows), and don’t forget to use gloves and goggles while using the ammonia cleaning product.

But, if the tip above didn’t do the trick, chances are your buttons are acting as if they’ve been touched due to an electrical wiring problem.

To check if that’s the case, I recommend calling a professional because messing with the wiring can be dangerous, and you may impact the validity of your dishwasher’s warranty.

Most dishwasher manuals have a service repair phone number.

#2 Check the Timer Motor

Depending on the age of your dishwasher, it will either have a mechanical timer or an electronic control board which acts as the timer.

This section is for older models with mechanical timer motors. For newer models, skip this section and read on!

Your dishwasher’s timer motor is in charge of letting your appliance know when it’s time to start, stop, or switch to the next cycle. 

Having a dirty or faulty timer motor could explain why your dishwasher keeps restarting.

Luckily, checking if that’s the case is really simple, you’ll just need to follow these simple instructions:

  1. Unplug your dishwasher from the wall outlet or reset its breaker in the circuit breaker panel. If you do the latter, press your dishwasher’s ON/Start button to confirm the power is off.
  2. Locate the timer. It’s usually located on the kick plate at the bottom of the appliance, or in the control panel at the top of the door. Please check your manual for detailed instructions.
  3. You may have to remove some screws that are holding the kick plate or control panel in place. Then, remove the wires connected to the timer motor.
  4. Remove the timer motor.
  5. Set your multimeter to the ohms setting x 1000. Then, touch each probe with one wire. Your multimeter should display a number between 2000 and 3500 ohms, but please check your manual to see the proper resistance reading for your timer motor.
  6. If your multimeter is showing a different number, please replace the timer motor. 

Once you’ve completed the steps above, please reassemble your dishwasher and check if the issue was solved.

If you don’t feel comfortable checking the timer motor on your own, please call a professional, so they can help you.

#3 Reset Your Dishwasher

Sometimes the easiest and most effective way to get rid of any glitches that were causing your dishwasher to restart by itself is by performing a reset.

Doing this is very simple, you’ll just need to press some buttons on the control panel.

For example, if you own a Whirlpool dishwasher, you can reset it by pressing the Start/Reset button for 10 seconds.

How to reset your dishwasher
By resetting your dishwasher, you’ll be able to get rid of different performance issues.

However, this process may vary if you have a different dishwasher. This is why I recommend checking your manual.

Or, you can also perform a hard reset. To do it, you’ll just need to unplug your dishwasher from the wall outlet, wait for 10 minutes, and plug it back in. Then check if that solved the issue.

#4 Fix or Replace the Control Panel

As you may already know, the control panel manages the functions of your dishwasher. It is in charge of controlling the washing, drying, and draining cycle.

So, if there’s an issue with your control panel, your dishwasher may not work correctly, and it can restart by itself.

This is why, if you’ve tried the three fixes above but the issue persists, I recommend replacing your control panel.

How to replace dishwasher control panel
Replacing your control panel may stop your dishwasher from restarting.

This may sound like a difficult thing to do, and it can be. If you’re not confident, this is a great time to consider hiring a professional or even a new dishwasher. If you’d like to continue, then let’s get to it.

If you believe the restart issue is from your control panel, there are times where a shorted or faulty component can cause a board to act incorrectly due to a short circuit.

One tip is to unplug each circuit independently to see if removing the shorted component resolves the short circuit and causes the board to act as expected again.

Follow these quick steps to replace your dishwasher’s control panel:

  1. Check your dishwasher’s model number (this label is usually located on the side of the door).
  2. Search on Google for a control panel that works with your dishwasher. For example, if you own a Bosch dishwasher, type “Bosch [model] Dishwasher Control Panel”.
  3. Buy the new control panel.
  4. Disconnect your dishwasher from the wall outlet or flip the house circuit breaker switch to the Off position.
  5. Access the control panel following the instructions in the user or tech manual. The location and access varies per model – GE is under the dishwasher, Whirlpool is behind the front panel, Bosch is in the lower right rear of the dishwasher.
  6. Position the control panel to face downwards. You’ll be able to see all the wires attached to it.
  7. Carefully disconnect the wire harness and all other wires attached to the control panel.
  8. Remove all protective covers from the replacement. Then, connect all the wires to the new control panel.
  9. Screw the control panel in place.

Once you’ve completed the steps above, turn the power back on. Your dishwasher should be working correctly.

Finding Your Dishwasher’s Manual

As you probably noticed, to stop your dishwasher from restarting, you may need to reset it or replace some components.

I strongly recommend following the given instructions and double-checking them with your dishwasher’s manual because every process may vary depending on the brand or model you own.

If you can’t find your manual, please check for your dishwasher’s model number. This label is normally located on the door.

Then, go to Google and search for the brand and model number. For example, if you own a Samsung dishwasher, please search for “Samsung [model] Dishwasher Manual PDF”.

If you’re going to replace the timer motor or control panel, don’t forget to check for the components that work for your dishwasher by simply searching on Google for the piece, brand, and model. For example, “Samsung [model] dishwasher timer motor”.


That about covers it! I hope that this article has helped give you some more confidence in stopping your dishwasher from restarting.

If you take anything away, don’t forget to check your dishwasher’s buttons and clean them to keep them from accidentally starting a washing cycle.

Don’t forget that checking the timer motor, resetting your dishwasher, or replacing the control panel can also solve the issue.

Thank you so much for taking the time to try the four fixes above. If you found them helpful, please read our related content below.

Have a wonderful rest of the day!

Hi there! I’m Craig, and I’m the founder of Appliance Analysts. When it comes to appliances and anything electrical, I’ve always loved opening things up, figuring out how they work, and fixing them. This website is where I share free advice from myself and our experts to help our readers solve their appliance/HVAC problems and save money. Read more