Whirlpool dishwasher problem

I don’t usually post things like dishwasher repair fixes, but it took me forever to finally figure out how to get our Whirlpool Gold Series model #WDT710PAYM3 working so I hope that this may be of benefit to others with the problem.

The issue that we had is that when you’d press a button, any button, to start a dishwashing cycle, nothing would happen but the button with the lock symbol on it would flash three times. We learned that this was called a Control Lock, a safety feature that you can invoke on purpose to keep children from starting a cycle.

However we did not initiate this Control Lock, and were not sure how the dishwasher got into that state. The owner’s manual explains that pressing and holding the Lock button for three seconds initiates Control Lock and repeating that three second press disengages it too. But when we tried that, it didn’t “unlock” and allow us to operate the dishwasher.

There are many posts on the interweb regarding this Control Lock issue and multiple Whirlpool models, but none of the solutions provided any remedy. I continued to dig and then ran across an article describing how to cause the controller to go into a diagostic mode and generate codes that could be used to identify problems. This process can get pretty technical and fortunately for us we didn’t need to.

The fix for us was just causing the control to go into diagnostic mode which clears out errors and apparently also  “unlocks” the system. The way that you do that is to open the dishwasher door and press any 3 keys in the sequence 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3 with no more than 1 second between key presses. When we got out of dignostic mode, the dishwasher was unlocked. This article has more details on diagnostics if you need to go deeper into that. We may never know how our unit got locked in the first place, but at least if at happens again we’ll have a solution.