KitchenAid Refrigerator Modes [Detailed Guide]

KitchenAid refrigerator modes allow you to use different functions in the refrigerator. This article helps you use these modes and service the refrigerator.

KitchenAid refrigerator modes
Photo Credit: Goedeker’s, Flickr.com (under license)

KitchenAid Refrigerator Diagnostic Mode

The steps to put your KitchenAid refrigerator into the diagnostic mode depend on the refrigerator model. But if your model has the Light and Ice Mode buttons, press both of them simultaneously for about three seconds. Release the buttons when you hear the refrigerator chime. Some models do not have these buttons labeled clearly, so you can check the tech sheet for the specific button combination to enter the diagnostic mode for your model. Most manuals read the buttons as Software button 1 and Software button 2 (SW1 and SW2).

Once the refrigerator enters the diagnostic mode, the first test that comes up is test 01, which is the freezer thermistor test. Some codes allow you to determine the functionality of the component. If the display shows 01, the part is in good shape. 02 means there is an open circuit, and 03 means there is a short. For the freezer thermistor test, the display should show 01 if it is working well.

If it is, go to the next test by pressing the + sign on the control panel. It takes you to the refrigerator thermistor test, and the code for the test, which is 02, briefly flashes on the screen. The display should show 01 if the thermistor is in good working condition. The next test is the evaporator fan motor/air baffle motor test. Control the fan motors by pressing the Software 3 (SW3) button, which is the temperature button on the control panel. 01 means the fan motors are off, and 02 means the evaporator fan motor alone is off.

Test 4 runs and checks the evaporator and condenser fan motors, and it also checks the compressor. You may notice a 3-second delay before the test starts. With this test, you can check how well the compressor and fan motors work. If there are noticeable functionality issues, this test can help you determine which is faulty and make the necessary repairs. Test 5 checks the compressor’s operation and speed, and test 24 checks the water filter reset status.

Test 26 checks the main control software version, although this test is hardly necessary. However, on rare occasions, you may need to run this service test if there are software issues with the refrigerator. Not every model has this feature. The next service test, 27, is also a software version check, but this time, for the dispenser control user interface or dispenser control UI. Like the previous one, it is not a common service test, so you may never have to use it. The same applies to service tests 29 and 31, which check the low voltage IDI software version and touch input module software, respectively.

Service tests 33 and 34 check the humidity sensor UI control and vertical mullion heater mode. Tests 35 and 36 check the vertical mullion heater status and ice box fan, respectively. The next tests, 37 and 38, check the ice box thermistor and the forced defrost mode. Test 39 checks the RC or refrigerator evaporator thermistor, while test 42 checks the UI EEPROM control software version. The latter test is not common, so you may never have to use it. Service test 43 checks the UI flash control software version, which is a rare test. Test 45 is an ice maker water fill test, checking how well water fills the ice mold from the inlet valve and fill tube.

The next test, which is test 46, is a water dispensing test. This test checks the dispense valve’s status. Press the dispenser lever or pad and check the screen; 00 means the valve is off, and 01 means the valve is open. Test 60 is the pantry UI software version. Not every KitchenAid refrigerator model has a pantry drawer, so the test does not apply to all models. Moreover, it is not a regular test, so you may not have to use it even if you have the correct model.

Service test 61 checks the pantry touch input module software, and much like test 60, it does not require regular use. Test 62 checks the pantry lighting and only applies to some models. Service test 63 checks all the pantry UI indicators, and test 64 checks the pantry UI button. Every test on this list does not apply to all KitchenAid refrigerator models. You must check the user manual for your specific model for service test instructions.

How to Turn On Sabbath Mode on a KitchenAid Refrigerator

Consult the user manual for your refrigerator to determine the steps to turn on the Sabbath mode. Some models have a dedicated button marked Sabbath Mode on the control panel, making it easy to use the feature. If you see the button, press it to activate the feature. But if your refrigerator does not have the button, there are button combinations that allow you to use the feature, as the user manual instructs.

The Sabbath mode is designed to accommodate Jewish or other religious observances requiring turning lights, ice maker, and dispenser functions off. You can also use it if you travel a lot and your refrigerator does not have a Vacation or Holiday mode. 

The set temperature and deli drawer setting remain the same, and the ice maker turns off. The interior lights also go off, and the control panel lights are disabled. The mode helps to conserve energy, but it may not be best to use it if you have frozen perishable foods. The set temperature may not sustain it for the number of days the feature remains active.

Note: To turn off the Sabbath mode, press the Sabbath mode button for models with a dedicated button. Press it again to turn it off. For other models, follow the instructions in the user manual to turn it off; it is the same method used to activate the feature.

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KitchenAid Refrigerator Stuck in Sabbath Mode – Quick Fix

If your refrigerator is stuck in Sabbath mode or automatically entered the mode, check for the Sabbath mode button. If your model has this button, press and hold it to see if the refrigerator exits the mode. But if there is no button, press the Options and Light buttons simultaneously for about three seconds. You may have to hold it for up to ten minutes for the control board to respond if there is no initial response. Your refrigerator’s user manual should have details to follow if these buttons are not on the control panel.

However, if holding the buttons for up to ten seconds or more does not deactivate the feature, disconnect the refrigerator from electric power. Unplug the unit from electric power for about two minutes and plug it back. Try the Sabbath Mode button or the button combinations that apply to your refrigerator model. The refrigerator should exit the mode at this point, but if not, unplug the refrigerator again for five minutes and plug it back.

If the refrigerator responds partly, there may be a problem with the dispenser user interface control board or the main control board. It may be best to hire a technician to check the control panel, dispenser, and control board to determine the cause of the problem and fix or replace the faulty part.

KitchenAid Refrigerator Modes – Demo Mode

The demo or showroom mode allows the refrigerator’s interior lights to turn on, but other functions are disabled. The cooling function is off, meaning the freezer and refrigerator do not cool. The dispenser is inactive, and the ice maker does not work. Retailers use this mode to display the refrigerators in their stores. You can see what the refrigerator you want looks like with the lights, but that is all its function at that point.

So, if your refrigerator at home is in demo or showroom mode, it will not cool or perform other functions. Different models have various methods of entering or exiting the mode, and you will find the methods for different models below:

Models  KRFF507E KRFF707E KRSF505E

Locate the Lock and Light buttons, press them, and hold them for about three seconds. While holding the buttons, the display should show a countdown from three to one. And once it gets to one, the refrigerator enters demo mode. Press the same button combinations to exit the demo or showroom mode.

Models  KRSC500E KRSC503E

The control panel on these models looks slightly different from the control panel of the models above, but they all have the Lock and Light buttons. Locate the buttons on the control panel of these models and press both of them at the same time. Hold them for about three seconds and wait for the display to count down. The refrigerator enters the demo mode after the countdown. Exit the demo mode on these models by pressing the same buttons and holding them for about three seconds.

Models  KRMF606E KRMF706E

Like the models above, locate the Lock and Light buttons on the control panel. They may look slightly different from the models already mentioned but achieve the same purpose. Press both buttons and hold them for three seconds until the display counts down. The refrigerator enters the demo mode once the countdown is done, and you can exit the mode by using the same button combination.

Models  KRFC604F KRFC704F

Find the button combinations for entering or exiting the demo mode on these KitchenAid refrigerator models. Simultaneously hold the F/C and Drawer buttons for about three seconds; you will find these buttons on the door edge, where one door meets the other door. The display should show ‘Showroom’ once it counts down from three to one. That means the refrigerator is in demo mode. Exit the mode by pressing the same buttons for three seconds.

Models KRFC300E KRFC302E KRFF302E KRFF305E

The refrigerator panel has temperature buttons for the refrigerator and freezer sections. Press either the temperature button for the refrigerator or that for the freezer section to lower it until the display shows horizontal lines. This indicates that the refrigerator’s cooling function is off. And when the cooling function goes off, the refrigerator goes into demo mode. Press the same buttons to exit the mode.

Model  KRFF300E

This model has a button to control the moisture and a Max Cool button. Locate these buttons, marked Max Cool and Moisture Control, and press them simultaneously. Hold both buttons until Cooling Off lights up. The icon is above the Max Cool button, and once it is lit, the refrigerator is in demo mode. To exit the showroom mode, press the Max Cool and Moisture Control buttons for three seconds until the Cooling Off icon is no longer lit.

Models  KRBR102E KRBL102E KRBL109E KRBX109E KRBR109E

These models have temperature control buttons for the freezer and refrigerator sections. Select one of these buttons for the freezer or refrigerator, and press it to turn down the temperature. The display should show horizontal lines when the temperature is all the way down and the cooling function goes off. The refrigerator enters the demo mode at this point. Deactivate or exit the mode following the same steps.

Models  KBBL206E KBBR206E KBBL306E KBBR306E KBFN402E KBFN406E KBFN502E KBFN506E

Check the LED screen on the top console inside the refrigerator. The freezer and refrigerator buttons are on the screen, so simultaneously press both buttons and hold them as the control panel counts down from three to one. The refrigerator enters the demo mode once the countdown stops. Follow the same steps to exit the demo or showroom mode.

Models  KBSN602E KBSD602E KBSD606E KBSN608E KBSD608E KBSD612E KBSD618E

These models have a dedicated Cooling On/Off button to turn on the cooling function or turn it off. Press this button on the control panel until the cooling function goes off. Once it is off, the refrigerator enters the demo or showroom mode. Press the button again until the cooling function comes on again.

This list covers many KitchenAid refrigerator models, but you may not find yours here. If that is the case, check your user manual for instructions to enter or exit the demo or showroom mode. If the manual is no longer available, contact the KitchenAid Service Center for assistance.

KitchenAid Refrigerator Doesn’t Cool When Changed from Store Mode to Freezer Mode

If you have a new KitchenAid refrigerator installation and exiting the showroom or demo mode does not get it to cool, ensure the cooling function is active. The refrigerator cannot cool without this function being active. Also, check the power cord to ensure it is fully connected to the wall outlet and that you set the correct temperature for the freezer and refrigerator. 

Typically, the refrigerator comes with default temperature settings, which are ideal for the refrigerator. In other words, you may not have to adjust the settings unless you have other needs to require lower or higher temperature settings. Do not push the refrigerator too close to the wall to encourage proper air circulation around it. Otherwise, the condenser coils and compressor may overheat and compromise the unit’s cooling capacity.

However, you may other issues within the refrigerator if these fixes do not work. If the cooling function is on, the temperature is set to the correct point, and there are no overheating issues with the refrigerator, there may be a design problem or faulty internal component. Contact the KitchenAid Service Center to report the issue and request service, especially if the unit has an active warranty. You may also want to run the diagnostic mode following the instructions in this article to fix the problem yourself.

How to Force a KitchenAid Refrigerator into a Defrost Mode

You must open the refrigerator door to use the forced defrost mode in a KitchenAid refrigerator. This article explains which buttons to press to get the unit into the forced defrost mode. Follow the instructions to use the feature and exit it afterward.

KitchenAid Refrigerator Stuck in Defrost Mode

If you find that your refrigerator is stuck in defrost mode, try resetting it. Disconnect it from electric power by unplugging it from the wall outlet. If that is not possible (for built-in models), use the refrigerator’s breaker. Wait for five minutes and reconnect the unit to electric power. Give it time to run and check the defrost function. If it starts cooling, the problem is solved. But if it remains in defrost mode, there may be issues with components of the defrost system.

The defrost timer is the first component to check because it advances the system in and out of defrosting cycles. Locate the timer; check the user manual for its location on the refrigerator. Use a small flat-head screwdriver to turn it counterclockwise or to the left to advance it. If the timer clicks and the system begins to function, the timer is faulty and needs a replacement.

But if the timer is in good working condition, the defrost heater may be faulty. You will find the heater attached to the evaporator coils. Get a multimeter and run a continuity test on the heater. Replace it if you find no continuity. The defrost thermostat may also be defective and can affect the heater because it closes contacts so that voltage can flow to the heater. Afterward, it opens again to stop the voltage flow. If it becomes defective, it cannot close or open contacts, which affects how the heater functions.

KitchenAid Refrigerator Vacation Mode

The Vacation Mode on a KitchenAid refrigerator comes in handy when you want to take a vacation but do not want to turn off the refrigerator. The steps to enter the mode depend on the model, but some will require pressing the Options and Temperature buttons simultaneously. Hold both buttons for three seconds; VAC should appear on the dispenser’s display, indicating that the unit is in Vacation mode. Others have a dedicated Vacation Mode button; press it to enter or exit the mode.

Follow the same steps to exit the mode; VAC should disappear from the display and return to the settings before activating the mode. If your refrigerator model does not have a Vacation Mode button, consult the user manual for specific instructions to activate the mode if available for your model.

This mode helps you conserve energy by ensuring the defrost function does not run often. It also helps preserve the food in the freezer by limiting the defrost cycles. However, turning on the Sabbath Mode or using the Max Cool or Max Ice feature cancels the Vacation Mode. Furthermore, opening the refrigerator door within one hour of entering the mode does not cancel it, but opening it after one hour of Vacation mode being active causes the refrigerator to exit the mode.

Note: Some KitchenAid refrigerator models have a Holiday Mode instead of a Vacation Mode. Both modes perform the same function but have different names for various models. Models with Holiday Mode have a dedicated button for it. The manual for each refrigerator shows how to operate and use the modes and what each one does to the refrigerator when active.

KitchenAid Refrigerator Stuck in Holiday Mode

The control board may malfunction, and since it governs all the functions of the refrigerator, it may cause the unit to enter Holiday mode all the time. That means the ice maker and lights go off. If you suspect this is the case, replace the control board and see if it fixed the problem. Use the refrigerator model number to purchase a replacement part from an authorized seller.

However, if the control board is in good working condition, there may be a problem with the door sensor or switches. There are switches on the door that the top refrigerator door hinges push into place once you close the door. This activates the switches, and the sensor reads the door as closed. 

But if the hinge brackets become loose, the hinge may become unable to push the switches into place. The same thing happens if dirt finds its way into the bracket, so the hinge is loose. Consequently, the sensor reads the door as open, and after ten minutes, it automatically goes into Holiday mode or a mode similar to it. The ice maker stops working, and the lights go off. 

Remove the top service panel and check the top hinge beneath it; if loose or worn out, it no longer properly pushes the door switch to activate it. You may have to replace it because there may be no other way of being sure it is the source of the problem since it is an intermittent occurrence. Otherwise, check the sensor on the top hinge and replace it if you are unsure about the hinge bracket.

Cooling Mode On KitchenAid Refrigerator

The Cooling mode keeps the freezer and refrigerator sections cold. If the mode is inactive, the sections will not cool. You must manually activate the mode whenever there is a power outage; it usually goes off and must be turned on for the refrigerator to cool. Some models have a Cooling On/Off button for turning the feature on or off. However, others use button combinations to control it.

You will see Cooling Off on the refrigerator’s display if the cooling function is inactive. On some models, a Cooling Off icon lights up if the cooling function is off. If your model has a dedicated Cooling On/Off button, follow the instructions in the user manual to activate it. But if there is no button for it, use the Lock and Measured Fill buttons. 

Press both buttons simultaneously and hold them for three seconds. Ensure you press the buttons at exactly the same time; otherwise, you risk changing the refrigerator settings or locking the dispenser. The Cooling Off icon should no longer be lit when the cooling function turns on; Cooling off should disappear from the display for models that display it on the screen.

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