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Why is the "CLEAN" light blinking and then turns red when I hit the "START" button on my Kenmore Dishwasher, model 665.17039401?

I have a Kenmore dishwasher Model 665.17039401 and the "CLEAN" light keeps blinking. When I hit the "START" button, the cycle will not start, instead a red light will blink.

How can I fix this myself? If it is the Heating element, how do I check that? where is it located? and how to I replace it myself.. I am very handy and can handle most anything around the house.. I would like to avoid a service call. THANK YOU!

Dishwashers , Kenmore , Appliances , Washers
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Manage My Life
Why is the "CLEAN" light blinking and then turns red when I hit the "START" button on my Kenmore Dishwasher, model 665.17039401?

If the clean light is flashing then most likely there is a heater fault of some kind. The clean light error says the control doesn't think it is. This may mean a problem with the hi-limit thermostat, element or even the control. You can reset the blinking clean light but if you don't fix the cause of the error then it may repeat.

A clamp on meter is the best way to start troubleshooting this problem. The key question is does the element heat up.

Put the clamps around the black wire at the dishwasher junction box.

Run a diagnostic cycle by pressing- heated dry, normal, heated dry, normal

During the test you should see about 8-10 amps if the element is working. The heater is cycled on and off for 3 minutes during this test.


:Water is circulating over it so don't open the door to look for a red hot element. Touching it to feel if it is hot is not a good idea. You might hear the water dripping on the element by a sizzling noise.

If you don't have a meter and can't get one then this is a difficult problem to pin down.

Another cause to this problem is the water's ability to drain out during the cycle. The drain hose must have an air gap and be routed properly with a loop. You can check this by referring to the installation guide at the following link:

Installation Guide


Excessive suds can cause this problem also. Make sure you always use the correct amount of detergent.

I hope this information is helpful to you. This can be a tricky problem to pin down but with patience and maybe a question or two more you should be able to correct this problem yourself.

Make these checks and submit another question with any additional information you find so we can continue to help you.
by Manage My Life
December 23rd, 2009
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