5 Most Common Whirlpool Dishwasher Problems

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Whirlpool is a popular and recognizable dishwasher manufacturer, but their dishwashers are prone to have some common problems.

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It is important to know how to diagnose and fix these problems to get your dishwasher working in tiptop condition.

To find out about the most common Whirlpool dishwasher problems, keep reading.

Whirlpool Dishwasher Problems :

  • Dishwasher not cleaning dishes
  • Dishwasher not drying dishes
  • Dishwasher panel has no lights or not responding
  • Dishwasher stopped draining
  • Dishwasher not cleaning dishes on the top rack

1.     Dishwasher Not Cleaning Dishes

One of the most common problems with Whirlpool dishwashers is that the dishwasher does not clean dishes.

More specifically, the appliance fills with water, but the wash pump does not circulate the water or run the cycle.

This results in the dishwasher not cleaning the dishes.

The most common reason for this problem is a failed wash pump or motor.

The failed motor prevents the water from being propelled throughout the spray arms.

Thus, the dishwasher does not actually clean the dishes, despite being filled with water.

A motor can fail for a variety of reasons, such as a wiring fault between the control board and the motor or a faulty control board.

If this is the case for you, you will need to replace wash pump, cause this is the most common problem for that.

Worst case scenario, you will need to replace the control board and motor together.

However, sometimes users find that replacing parts is not necessary for this problem. Instead, some users find that removing the motor and cleaning it out will solve the problem.

The reason for this is that junk can build up around the motor over time.

Just make sure if you do this that you replace the motor in the same position as before and connect the wires properly.

2.     Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes

Another common problem of Whirlpool dishwashers is that they do not properly dry the dishes, even after the dry cycle has finished.

This will cause the dishes to feel wet, making it extremely inconvenient to put the dishes on your shelves.

The most common reason that a dishwasher does not properly dry the dishes is that the heating element is burnt out.

Dishwashers use a vent fan assembly and heating element to dry the dishes.

The heating element heats up, allowing the dishes to dry faster.

To replace a faulty heating element, begin by accessing the lower access panels at the bottom of the dishwasher.

Disconnect the connectors that go to the heating element. Then, remove the nuts that secure the heating element to the dishwasher.

After that, open the dishwasher door and pull out the front of the heating element within the dishwasher.

Position the spray arm so that you can remove the heating element. Pull the heating element out of the dishwasher.

Next, you need to install the new heating element. Put the new heating element inside the dishwasher by putting it under the back spray arm.

Feed the heating element into the retaining brackets, which hold it into place. Be sure to avoid the spray arms.

Push the element through the openings at the front of the washer. Then, close the door and begin to reassemble the dishwasher from below.

3.     Dishwasher Has No Lights/Not Responding

Some Whirlpool dishwasher owners find the dishwasher has no lights or does not respond when you try to choose the cycle.

Often, the reason for this problem is due to a burnt thermal fuse on the control board.

If this is the case with your dishwasher, you will need to buy a new thermal fuse and install it in place of the burnt one.

The thermal fuse is located in the console of the dishwasher.

Luckily, replacing a thermal fuse is relatively easy.

Begin by unplugging the dishwasher from the power outlet and turn off the power supply.

Then, remove the screws holding the console in place. You should be able to open the console. Close the door and keep the panel by the door.

Remove the cover on the thermal fuse. With the cover off, you will see the thermal fuse located right on the control board.

Take a small screwdriver to disconnect the connector. Then, cut off the terminal block and remove the electrical tape holding the wires together.

Strip the wires back so that you can put on the new thermal fuse.

Now, put the mounting block on the new thermal fuse. Retape the wires. Then, put the stripped back wires into the terminal block.

Remount the thermal fuse on the control board. Reassemble the dishwasher.

4.     Dishwasher Not Draining

Another common problem with Whirlpool dishwashers is that the dishwasher does not drain correctly.

This is a problem common in many dishwasher types, not just Whirlpool.

Normally, a dishwasher does not drain correctly when the impeller gets jammed by a broken piece of glass or the drain pump fails.

The drain pump allows the dishwater to drain and pump the water out of the appliance.

Similarly, the impeller is what helps the water to circulate.

If the impeller is jammed, the water will not circulate properly, causing the water to not drain from the appliance.

Before installing a new drain pump, check the impeller. If it is clogged or jammed, all you will need to do is remove the jam.

Some people recommend using a turkey baster to get adequate water pressure and flow through the impeller, allowing access to the jam.

If you do not see a jam in the impeller, you will need to change out the drain pump.

To get access to these parts, remove the outer door panel. Then, remove the access panel and sound pad.

Disconnect the wire connector from the drain pump. Remove the drain pump.

Connect the wire connector to the new pump and reassemble the access panel and outer door panel.

5.     Dishwasher Not Cleaning Top Rack

Finally, the last common issue of Whirlpool dishwashers is that the dishwasher fails to clean the top rack fully.

Obviously, this is important to fix since your dishwasher should clean all your dishes, not just the bottom rack dishes.

The most common reason for this problem is that water does not reach the top spinner.

Begin by removing the fasteners on the top, back, and bottom of the dishwasher.

Then, remove the bottom arms and spinning mechanism. Remove the screws from the screen and filter.

Clean it out to remove any junk that may be clogging the dishwasher. Use a turkey baster to remove any water. Use paper towels to blot excess water at the surface.

Clean out the junk around the food chopper assembly. You can clean out the parts fully by scrubbing with dish soap and a toothbrush.

This will ensure that all the gunk is removed. Run the cycle, with the parts removed, using vinegar and a regular cycle.

As the dishwasher is running, clean the dishwasher parts that you have removed. As you clean, make sure that water flows through all of the parts easily and freely.

Clean inside the ports. Once the dishwasher cycle is finished, you can reassemble the dishwasher parts as usual.

Final Thoughts

We hope this article has made it easier to diagnose and fix your Whirlpool dishwasher. Always remember to be safe and smart when working with appliances.

Unplug the dishwasher from the outlets and disconnect the water source before doing any maintenance.

Reader Comments (27)

  1. 4 month old dishwasher, whirlpool, does not dry top rack at all every appliance was professionally installed by licenses plumber and inspected by city inspectors so it is not a pump, poor install, etc!!! is it just a defective dish washer that needs a service call?? thanks

  2. My whirpool dishwasher makes a horrible noise when it changes cycles and
    sometimes does not drain. Does this mean I need a new One. It is 20 years old.

    • I dont know… it depends what kind of noise its making. Maybe it require just a simple cleaning or wash pump motor bearing worn out

  3. I am having a problem getting the rinse aid in. There is tab that goes from left to right but does not seem to open enough for the rinse aid to fill. It just sits in the opening. What am I missing?

    • Do you have sufficient water pressure providing by the wash pump? If not, then soap will be sitting in the dispenser. It does not always fall down by itself, it needs to be wash out

  4. My new whirlpool Type 583-0 since the day it was installed, has not cleaned properly and the soap pod does not dissolve. It is always laying on the bottom of the dishwasher…Help..

  5. We have a fairly hardly used whirlpool dishwasher we used it last fall and it worked good we went away for the winter and forgot to drain the water valve and it got damaged from water freezing inside the valve. I replaced the valve and now it works until the rinse cycle comes on but not enough water comes into dishwasher before the rinse cycle starts we have to add water for it to rinse properly also when it drains after the rinse cycle the pump continues to run these problems started right after we came back for the spring season. When on wash cycle it fills with the needed water. Please help with any suggestions

    • This is odd. Usually filling time at the beginning is equal to filling time during rinse cycle. Thus, it should fill with the same amount of water every time, unless your dishwasher has a flow meter that measuring amount of water coming in.

  6. My top rack is not cleaning on whirlpool. I have cleaned and checked the spray arms. I have cleaned the filters. I don’t think it has a chopper assembly. Different model. I had a repair man come and he said I have low water pressure but the pressure has not changed that I can tell and has washer has always worked before. I have heard some clunking in the last few months. Could there be any other reason or is my next step to call the plumber? We have hard water but I always use lemon shine with every load.

    • Does it spray at all? Did you open a door quickly during wash cycle, to see if it sprays water? You dont need to call plumber, he will not fix your problem. Low water pressure where? In the water line connected to the dishwasher or low pressure when its spraying water inside the dishwasher?

  7. A older friend of mine has had some problems with her dishwasher. The water isn’t draining correctly. It going through the overflow spout on the top of her sink insteaqd of through the garbage disposal. Any idea’s?

  8. My Mother in Michigan just informed me that her 10
    year old dishwasher has never worked and has only been used one time. She tried to run a cycle as a trial but found it didn’t reach the bottom or top level even though water filled the bottom. Does this sound like the wash motor to you? Thanks.

  9. My drinking glasses come out of my new Whirlpool dishwasher very cloudy. How do I fix this problem? The cloudy glasses look dirty and unappealing to use, even after a second or third time in the machine. What do I do?

    • A new dishwasher? Hmmm…Seems like the water entering dishwasher is not hot enough. This is what you can do for the sake of experiment: Dont open hot water faucet before using a dishwasher. let dishwasher start and when it will start washing, open the door and check temperature by hand in the dishwasher. Does it feel hot?


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