Whirlpool dishwasher troubleshooting guide [Fix your dishwasher now!]

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This Whirlpool dishwasher troubleshooting guide looks at various Whirlpool dishwasher issues and their potential solutions.

Use it to try and fix your Whirlpool dishwasher if it is acting up.

Let’s dive in:

Whirlpool dishwasher troubleshooting guide –common Whirlpool dishwasher problems and recommended solutions

Note that this Whirlpool dishwasher troubleshooting guide focuses on the most common problems of Whirlpool brand dishwashers.

Let’s get into it:


Whirlpool Dishwasher won’t start or is not operating /Whirlpool dishwasher won’t run /Whirlpool dishwasher won’t work at all

If your Whirlpool dishwasher won’t turn on or operate, it could be due to the following reasons:

  • The control lock is active(ON).

Whirlpool dishwasher troubleshooting

  • You are trying to operate the dishwasher while it’s in sleep mode. 
  • You have selected delayed wash option (often this is why your whirlpool dishwasher wont start cycle).
  • The door is not closed completely (and latched). 
  • You may not have turned water supply on.  
  • The dishwasher needs to be reset.

So, how do you resolve the issue of your whirlpool dishwasher not turning on?

Well, we have a full guide here (Go through it and try the suggested fixes)


Whirlpool dishwasher won’t drain at end of cycle

If your Whirlpool dishwasher won’t drain (or excess water is left in the unit),  there are issues you should check for (correct as indicated):

Check for obstructed drain hose/path


  1. Unplug the dishwasher/disconnect power.
  2. Check for blockages starting from the sump check valve all the way to the plumbing.

Items/issues you will be on the lookout for:

  • Plugged garbage disposer (the plug was not knocked out).
  • Blocked/stuck sump (or stuck/blocked drain loop check valve).
  • Plugged hoses.

Fix, as necessary.


Check for open winding on the drain pump motor (or open/loose connection in the drain motor circuit)


  1. Unplug the dishwasher/disconnect power.
  2. Check the resistance of the drain motor windings plus all the connections in the drain circuit.

Fix/replace, as necessary.


Check for a fractured drain pump impeller


  1. Unplug the dishwasher/disconnect power.
  2. Remove the drain pump and inspect the impeller – try to pull and rotate it. If it pulls off effortlessly/turns freely, it is probably stripped (normally there should be some uneven resistance).



Check the diameter of the drain hose (it could be too small)

Here the fix is straightforward- install a proper drain hose.


Check if the drain loop check valve is sealing AND if the disposer/waste line is partially or completely plugged


  1. Disconnect the drain hose at the plumbing connection.
  2. Elevate the hose above your dishwasher then fill with water. Now, if water will flow into the dishwasher, the entire drain loop needs to be replaced

Check for defective drain motor drive circuit (on control)

What to do:

Run diagnostics and check the operation of the drain motor during the procedure.

Read our Whirlpool dishwasher diagnostic mode guide to learn how to run diagnostics on your dishwasher.


Whirlpool dishwasher wash pump won’t pump

If the wash pump is no longer pumping, below are the likely causes and what you can try:

Excessive foam in the pump because of using wrong/too much detergent (or rinse aid)

What to do:

  • Repeatedly fill & cancel/drain to clear foam.
  • Check the dispenser operation (and ensure that it is running properly and proper setting is used)


The pump motor is seized up (so it will not turn)

What to do:

  1. Unplug dishwasher/disconnect power.
  2. Access the chopper system and check the rotation of the impeller by simply rotating the chopper blade (Rotation should only require moderate force so replace the entire pump & motor assembly if you find it difficult/impossible).


Pump motor windings could be open or there is a loose/open connection (in the wash pump circuit)

What to do:

  1. Unplug dishwasher/disconnect power.
  2. Check the resistance of the pump motor windings (and every other connection in the unit’s wash circuit – including pump motor starting capacitor). Fix/replace the culprit, depending on your findings.


The door switch is not making proper contact consistently

What to do:

Here you need to be aware that a faulty/sloppy door latch assembly can be the root cause of the issue.

The other likely culprit is a faulty door switch itself (test for resistance and replace if you find high resistance).

You can need to check if the switches are loose from the assembly.

Again fix/replace, as necessary.


Dead motor start capacitor

What to do:

  1. Unplug the dishwasher/disconnect power.
  2. Disconnect the capacitor leads and confirm the capacitance is as indicated on the label on the part or check the resistance (for open circuit) across the terminals. Be sure to replace, if open.


Defective wash pump drive circuit(on the control)

What to do:

Run diagnostics and check the operation of the wash pump motor during the procedure.

Replace if not operating properly.


Whirlpool dishwasher detergent not dispensing

Now, this could be due to the following issues:

Dispenser lid blocked

First, check if an item in the lower rack is blocking the lid.

Improperly loaded dishes could also be blocking the spray of water (to the dispenser).

Of course, you need to reload the dishes the right way.


Mechanical binding of the dispenser lid

To fix this:

  1. Unplug the dishwasher/disconnect power.
  2. Check the mechanical functionality of the lid –replace the entire dispenser if it is having problems.


Lid latch binding because of use of excess detergent (in the mechanism)

If the dispenser cover latch is binding due to persistent application of excess detergent, try to clear the excess soap (refill the dispenser properly and retry running it).


Open coil on the dispenser solenoid ( or open/ loose connection in the dispenser circuit)

To confirm if this is the case:

  1. Unplug dishwasher/disconnect power.
  2. Check resistance of the dispenser coil (and all the connections in the dispenser circuit).


Defective dispenser drive circuit (on control)

Run diagnostics and check operation of the dispenser drive circuit.


Whirlpool dishwasher having long cycles and/or getting stuck in a certain part of the cycle / Whirlpool dishwasher won’t complete cycle

If your appliance stuck on one cycle (or is having excessively long cycles or it is struggling to advance beyond a certain part of the cycle), several things need to be checked:

  • The heating element– Problems with its water heating cycle are likely to occur if the heating element is burned causing the wash cycle to not stop.
  • The thermostat– If faulty, water won’t heat up as needed hence the cycle won’t advance.
  • The float switch– A problem with the float switch functioning will cause issues in regulating water flow into the dishwasher hence the wash cycle may be prevented from ending.
  • Temperature sensor– A bad temp sensor can cause the machine to get stuck in wash cycle.


Check for low inlet water temp (or cold water) -verify temperature at the sink (recommended temp is 49°C/120°F).  To prevent low temp issue in the future, always run water at the sink before running your dishwasher.


Whirlpool dishwasher won’t wash

Below are the potential reasons why it won’t wash or washes poorly and suggested troubleshooting procedures:

Sump check valve is stuck open (leaky)

What to do:

  1. Unplug the dishwasher/disconnect power.
  2. Access the unit’s chopper system then verify whether the check valve is opening and closing freely- here you can use a bent wire(and a flashlight).


The wrong cycle for dish load selected

What to do:

Try the “High Temp” option (it results in wash performance boost).


Chopper fractured

What to do:

  1. Unplug the dishwasher/disconnect power.
  2. Access the machine’s chopper system and proceed to replace the part if broken.


Spray arms not actually rotating

What to do:

Check for proper arm rotation

You can do this by operating the dishwasher then opening the door to see whether the arms remain still.

If your Whirlpool dishwasher won’t spin , clear any dish item that could be blocking the arms.

Also, check if the machine’s upper spray arm water-delivery-system is properly aligned.


Damaged/plugged screens

What to do:

Inspect (for foreign objects) the chopper assembly screens (you must access the chopper system here) and accumulator cover screen (Remove the lower spray arm assembly first).

Clean/replace as necessary.


OWI soil sensor is picking low soil cycle extremely often

What to do:

Check the operation of the OWI soil sensor by running service diagnostics and try to force a calibration to take place during your next regular/standard wash cycle.

NOTE: If you replace the OWI soil sensor, run the diagnostics (after installing the new OWI) to force calibration (on next cycle).


Other possible causes of the issue

  • The wash pump is not pumping
  • Drainage/leakage problems
  • The detergent is not dispensing properly.
  • Long cycles and/or getting stuck in a certain part of the cycle.

We have already looked at how to fix the above issues in this whirlpool dishwasher troubleshooting guide so check them out and see if the machine will start washing again properly.

Please note if the machine just washes for 30 seconds then shuts off, it might because it is in sales/demo mode.

Press High Temp⇒ Heated Dry⇒ Heated Dry⇒High Temp⇒ Heated Dry⇒ Heated Dry to exit demo mode (the needed button sequence could be different for your model so check the tech sheet)

NOTE: Another way of canceling the Demo mode is by running diagnostics.


Whirlpool dishwasher won’t fill with water

If the machine won’t fill with water (and sometimes making more noise), here is what to check (Fix as necessary).

  • Verify water supply has been turned on and if the supply line is sufficient/adequate (turn water supply on and change the supply line.
  • Check if water could be siphoning out of the dishwasher (due to a drain loop/improper drain connection and troubleshoot as explained earlier).
  • Check for debris (and clear it) both in the water line and the fill-valve inlet screen.
  • Check if the float switch is operating properly (replace if necessary).

If all this does not bring change, the problem could be due to:

  • The harness between fill valve and control being broken or loose.
  • A defective fill valve (it may even be overheating)
  • A faulty control board.

Fix or replace as necessary.

For replacement, you can go for the following parts:



Whirlpool dishwasher won’t dry

Below are the likely reasons why your appliance is not drying:

You are not using rinse aid and/or heated-dry

The issue may be because you are not using rinse aid and/or heated-dry.

Try to use rinse aid and heated dry and see how it goes (Be sure to properly fill and monitor rinse aid).


Rinse Aid dispenser is not dispensing

To troubleshoot this, follow the last 3 (three) points under “detergent not dispensing” section.


A heating problem has occurred

The appliance is also unlikely to dry sufficiently if the water is not heating as it should due to problems such as a bad heater (check resistance of the heater and replace, if necessary).

A water heating issue can also be caused by bad connections in the unit’s water heating circuit/heat dry circuit (check for bad connections and fix appropriately).


Whirlpool dishwasher won’t close

If the door won’t close, verify the following:

·        The unit’s door spring tension is correct

Confirm if it was set correctly prior to the installation.


·        The unit is level

The door might not close properly if the dishwasher is not level.

That being so, make sure the leveling legs (and the rear wheels where applicable) are all flat (on the floor). 

In addition, the dishwasher must be square (in the cabinet) as the door won’t seal properly when tub opening isn’t square.


·        There are no items between door seal (on the dishwasher’s door) and the tub (of the dishwasher)

All stuck/protruding items on the racks must be removed.

Also, inspect around the aforementioned door seal and remove any large food particles as they could be the culprits.


·        The dishwasher’s door latch is not broken or damaged

Finally, check if the door latch is damaged.

A damaged/ broken door latch can make the dishwasher door to fail to close properly. 


Whirlpool dishwasher lights not working

The cause of Whirlpool dishwasher lights suddenly stopping working (when you are certain it is not a power issue) can be one of the following:

  • Some buttons are pressed in by accident.
  • A defective control panel (test then replace, if necessary)
  • A faulty control board (test then replace, if necessary)


Whirlpool dishwasher start light blinking during a cycle (or at start-up)

If the start light starts to blink during a cycle or when trying to run it, it indicates that the cycle has been interrupted (or the door is open- if at startup)

Try to restart the dishwasher and be sure to close the door to the appliance properly within 3 secs of pressing “Start/Resume”.


Whirlpool dishwasher drain pump not working

Now, if your dishwasher won’t drain properly anymore, the most common culprit is usually the drain pump.

And the best solution is replacing it.

Learn how to test the drain pump in your whirlpool dishwasher in this guide (You will also learn how to troubleshoot other components that can cause the problem)


Whirlpool dishwasher troubleshooting guide -How to reset Whirlpool dishwasher

A trick that can be really helpful when repairing a dishwasher is resetting the unit (it resolves a range of simple issues)

To reset the unit, simply unplug it from power for about 1 minute then plug the machine back in.

You can alternatively trip the circuit breaker (to the machine) for 1 minute.


Troubleshooting Whirlpool dishwasher control board problems

If you suspect that the cause of the machine’s malfunction is the control board, try the fixes in our Whirlpool dishwasher control board problems troubleshooting guide and see how it goes.


Wrap up

So, that is how to troubleshoot a whirlpool dishwasher depending on the problem you are experiencing when you try to wash your dishes.

Hope this detailed whirlpool dishwasher troubleshooting guide will help you restore your dishwasher to a functional state.


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