I tested the thermistor. It read about 65K at ambient ( about 65º) and decreased to about 20K as hot water was introduced. This seems about normal per the chart I found. I guess I need to change the ATC switch.
For now, I reversed the connectors on the hot and cold water valves, and things are more or less normal.
I checked once again....I have my cold water hose going to the upper fitting, which had the white connector, and hot water hose going to the lower connection, valve with red connector. And I double checked that in fact cold water is coming from the cold hose, etc. The problem must be in the machine
On the + side, I am getting really good at getting the top off! You have to pull it back a certain distance, twist if just so counterclockwise, and work it up. Reverse for putting it back on. The left side clip is interfered with by the side outlet vent discharge, but you can wiggle it "just so" to get it on!
Will whirlpool provide free parts to a homeowner doing his own repair? The machine is only a few months old, so I assume it would be covered by warranty if I called for service, but I just like to do it. Already, when he machine was just 2 weeks old, I had to replace the high limit temp switch on the dryer. All the exhaust is brand new free flowing, no issue with that. Maybe I just got a lemon!