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How to Fix Kitchenaid Dishwasher Not Starting and Chiming Code 8 - 4

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How to Fix a Kitchenaid Dishwasher That Won't Start and Is Making a Chiming Noise

If your Kitchenaid dishwasher won't start and is only making a "dinging" or chime noise, it may be due to a stuck float switch or one that has sensed water underneath the appliance.

Step 1. Take Note of the Code Being Displayed

Your Kitchenaid dishwasher will display a series of codes by means of a flashing "clean" light. Note the number of flashes from the LED to determine which error code the machine is reporting.

For a stuck float switch, the code will be 8 - 4 or eight flashes followed by four flashes. If this is the code that you're seeing, your dishwasher's float switch has either sensed water under the unit or is possibly defective.

Press on the two small plastic tabs and lift the float valve out of the tray.

Press on the two small plastic tabs and lift the float valve out of the tray.

Inspecting the Float Switch

Step 2. Turn Off Power at Breaker

The first step you need to perform is to determine which breaker controls your dishwasher and turn it off. Many dishwashers also are controlled by a wall switch; however, it's much safer to turn the appliance off at the breaker box.

Step 3. Remove Bottom Cover Plate and Inspect Float Switch

At the base of your dishwasher is a long black or chrome "toe kick" or cover plate. Most of these are made to easily snap off; however, some may require a Phillips head screwdriver to remove. Carefully remove this piece and set it aside.

Next, locate the white plastic tray that's located just under the front part of your dishwasher. There are two small tabs that you can press to release it. Press these two tabs and carefully pull the tray towards you a few inches.

In the photo above, you can see the Kitchenaid dishwasher's float switch being removed. Press on the two tabs on each side of the float valve and lift it out of the white plastic tray.

Determine if the Float Switch Needs Replacing or Just Drying Out

If there is no water in the tray and the base of the float switch is dry, it may be faulty and in need of replacement. If this is the case, some homeowners will need to call Kitchenaid customer service at 1-800-253-1301 and schedule a home repair; however, most people with basic skills can save money and replace the float switch themselves.

Step 4. Replace the Float Switch

Replacing your Kitchenaid dishwasher's float switch is as simple as removing it from the tray and then removing the electrical connection by squeezing on a small plastic tab to disengage it from the float switch. We have replaced most Kitchenaid dishwasher float switches with aftermarket parts that fit Whirlpool models AP7017824, PS16555330, and W11545764.

If, however, there's evidence of water in the plastic tray or moisture under the float switch, all you need to do is dry it off with a paper towel, along with removing any water that may have collected in the plastic tray.

Once you've dried off the float switch, you can snap it back into the white plastic tray and replace the tray to its original position. Once you've done this, you can turn on the breaker.

If your dishwasher comes on as normal and is able to start a new cleaning cycle without making a chime noise, you've fixed the problem yourself and saved a costly repair.

If this does not solve the problem, turn off the breaker and call a professional to repair your unit.

One More Step to Perform

There's is one more thing you need to do before replacing the bottom "toe kick" cover piece, though, and that's to try and find out where the water that triggered the float valve came from.

Step 5. Determine Where the Water Came From

If your Kitchenaid dishwasher's 8 - 4 error code and chime (unit not starting) problem was indeed a wet float switch, your next step should be to find out where the water came from. Sometimes even water that's been spilled while mopping the kitchen floor can be enough to fill the small tray and cause the float switch to send out an error code.

Other causes of water in a Kitchenaid float switch can be a leaking hot water inlet connection (it looks like a garden hose fitting turned 90 degrees). Make sure your dishwasher's water inlet valve isn't dripping, and if so, tighten using a pair of adjustable pliers.

Another cause of water in your Kitchenaid dishwasher's float switch may be a leaking door gasket. Visually inspect the rubber gasket around the door for any tears or cracks.

If all looks good at this point and no leaks are found, go ahead and replace the toe kick or bottom cover piece and begin using the dishwasher as normal again.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Nolen Hart