5 Most Common Whirlpool Dishwasher Problems

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

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.

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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 (58)

  1. After wash cycle the lights blink and it doesn’t seem to to complete the dry cycle as before. Could this be an issue with hearing element?

    Whirlpool model: WDF330PAHS3

  2. May 9,2022
    Whirlpool Dishwasher – my question is why is the front panel now has spots all over it that look like the panel is starting to rust. I use the Steel Spray to clean it, looks a little better then comes right back within a minute.
    Why does it do this and how can I stop it from getting worse? Is there a cure?
    If you need a picture let me know and I will take one and send it to whatever appropriate email address you provide. It is 6 yrs. old.
    Thanks, Nancy

  3. whirlpool dishwasher GU2400XTPB6. Blinking clean light. Manual states most likely a problem with heating element and/or high limit thermostat.
    Replaced both . Clean light still blinking. Can you help me?

  4. Thanks for posting for consumers! I learned a good bit, unfortunately it’s not fixing my kitchenAid dishwasher that’s only 1.6 years old. So disappointed in this brand!

  5. Hi Eugene
    My Whirlpool dishwasher works well other than lately when the cycles done and I go to put the dish’s away there’s still water in the bottom of the washer and I have to hit the drain button again sometimes 2x. I tried different cycles. We took the hoses off and blew them out. The pump sounds like to works fine. It seems to drain at least some of the time. The most water I’ve had left in it is just bottom of the washer. Close to we’re the door and bottom meet.

  6. When I tried to start my Kitchenaide dishwasher. The Normal light and Cancel light flash. We tried turning power off for a few minutes. No help.
    It’s aKitchenade model number…
    KUDK03lTBT0. Any help/suggestions is greatly appreciated!! Thank you for your efforts!

  7. We have a model KDFE104DWH2 that isn’t drying properly. An appliance tech was out and said the control panel was bad. He installed a new one and it was bad. 3rd time installed another new one but it still didn’t solve the problem. The heating element has continuity so obviously it’s fine. Then he said something about the pump motor not operating properly and missed diagnosed the problem and it needs replacement. Does the pump motor have anything to do with drying?? Sorry to be so long winded but I’m at a loss. Is there a way to run a diagnostic check on this particular model?? The unit is about 5 years old.

    • 1. I would run diagnostic mode and check “heating circuit” for proper functioning (service manual located behind kickplate)
      2. Did you see steam coming out from the vent at the end of the cycle? If yes, most likely heating element is ok and was on
      3. Drain pump is not related to the drying cycle

  8. I have a black stain on my door and bottom. Seems to be under the “sombrero “ in the bottom of the dishwasher thingy even worse? Seems to clean ok?

  9. Can’t even make the bloody thing start! It makes great encouraging noises and you think ! Wow! All systems go. But then it just peeps….

  10. Lower wash arm rubbing will not clean the dishes because it get stuck on side wall this is a whirlpool gold model # gu980scsgc53 serial # fk4103852

  11. The soap door opens and the machine runs but when it is finished, I open the door and the soap is just all over the door and laying in the bottom of the machine. I have no idea what causes this…please advise. Thanks


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