Here Is Why Whirlpool Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes

While it’s not essential, a dishwasher is one of the most convenient appliances in your home. It makes washing dishes much easier and is an overall nice thing to have.

Modern dishwashers not only clean the dishes, but also dry them too.

However, sometimes this function begins to not work properly.

If you have a Whirlpool dishwasher and have noticed that your dishes are not coming out dry, even though you have the option turned on, there may be a problem with the heating element, damaged vent assembly, defective vent fan motor or burnt Hi-Limit Thermostat.

Today, we will discuss what to do when your Whirlpool dishwasher is not drying the dishes as it should and how to fix it.

Whirlpool Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes Due To:

Heating Element Burnt Out

Many Whirlpool dishwasher models use a heating element to dry the dishes. Over time the element can fail.

If you suspect this may be the issue, you can use a multimeter to test for continuity. If you find there is none going through the part, it must be replaced.

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Here’s how to change a heating element in a Whirlpool dishwasher:

  1. Disconnect the power to the dishwasher and switch off the breaker
  2. Turn off the water supply valve
  3. Remove the lower dish rack
  4. Remove the screws holding the lower access panel in place
  5. Disconnect the water supply line from the inlet valve; be prepared for water to spill
  6. Remove the screw to release the terminal block cover plate – note the location of the wires
  7. Untwist the wire nut to remove the wires
  8. Loosen the screw for the grounding wire
  9. Use a flat head screwdriver to help remove the straight relief nut
  10. Pull the wires from the junction box
  11. Disconnect the drain hose from the sink or garbage disposal and feed through the cabinet
  12. Remove the mounting bracket screws
  13. Screw in the front leveling legs to make moving the unit easier
  14. Carefully pull the dishwasher away from the cabinet
  15. Once removed, carefully tilt the dishwasher back so the rear panel is resting on a towel
  16. Disconnect the wires to the heating element
  17. Use a wrench to help remove the mounting nuts
  18. Carefully set the dishwasher upright to detach the old element from the brackets
  19. Pull the old element out
  20. Install the new element by aligning with the brackets
  21. Insert the terminals through the bottom of the tank until the element is flush against it
  22. Tip the appliance back up and begin reassembling the unit

Damaged Vent Assembly

Many dishwasher models use a vent assembly with a motorized door to release the hot, steamy air that’s generated by the rinse cycle.

If the vent doesn’t open all the way, the moisture will not be able to escape and will be left on your dishes.

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A warped or damaged vent assembly will need to be replaced. So, visually inspect the one on your Whirlpool dishwasher. If you find damage, replace the part.

Here’s how to replace a damaged vent assembly on a Whirlpool dishwasher:

  1. Disconnect the power source for your dishwasher
  2. Open the dishwasher door
  3. Remove all screws from the door
  4. Lift on the door until it’s easy to separate the two halves of the dishwasher door
  5. Disconnect the wiring harness coming from the control board, so you can completely remove the front portion
  6. Looking at the inside of the door you will see the vent assembly
  7. Use a flat head screwdriver to rotate the vent grill counterclockwise and remove the part
  8. Close the dishwasher door
  9. Pull the front part of the vent off
  10. Remove the air vent gasket from this assembly
  11. Replace with a new vent assembly, and use the old gasket by simply pushing it into place on the new part
  12. Work backward through the steps above to reassembly your Whirlpool dishwasher

Defective Vent Fan Motor

Some models use a vent fan motor to blow the heated air out through the vent after the rinse cycle has completed.

If the vent fan blade is damaged or the motor is defective, your dishes will not dry properly.

Much like the heating element, the vent fan motor can be checked with a multimeter. If you find there is no continuity going through the part, you will have to replace it.

If you find this is the problem, here’s how to replace the vent fan motor:

  1. Disconnect the power source from your dishwasher
  2. Use a nut driver to unthread the mounting screws from the lower access panels
  3. Remove the outer panel and the inner panel, and the attached insulation
  4. Reach under the dishwasher and disconnect the vent fan motor wire connector
  5. Detach the frill from the motor
  6. Use a socket to unthread the two mounting screws that secure the vent fan motor to the frame
  7. Depress the locking tab to fully detach the motor
  8. You may also need to release the water inlet valve from the frame to make it easier to remove the old motor
  9. Install the new motor and then move backward through these steps to reassemble the unit

Defective Hi-Limit Thermostat or Thermal Fuse

Models that use a heating element also feature a thermal fuse that will shut off power to the element when the temperature inside the dishwasher gets too hot.

If this thermal fuse burnt out, the element will not get any power, thus your dishes will not dry.

This part can also be checked for continuity using a multimeter. When no continuity is found, the limit switch will need to be replaced before the Whirlpool dishwasher will function properly.

Here’s how to replace the thermal fuse on your dishwasher:

  1. Disconnect the power going to your dishwasher
  2. Turn off the water supply
  3. Use a nut driver to remove the screws holding the lower access panel in place
  4. You should now have access to the thermal fuse
  5. Reach under the unit to detach the mounting bracket
  6. Reach down from the bottom, behind the bracket and pull down
  7. The assembly will now come out from underneath the dishwasher
  8. Remove the two wires that connect to the thermal fuse – remember where they go
  9. Take the thermal fuse off it’s mounting bracket
  10. Replace with a new switch
  11. Move backward to reassemble the unit

Do you have a Whirlpool dishwasher that’s not drying the dishes, and still have questions? Or have you dealt with this problem in the past? Comment below and let’s discuss!

Reader Comments (3)

  1. I have a Whirlpool dishwasher modelWDF760SADT2. I can’t get the dishes to dry. The element and thermostat check out OK. It does not have a vent. What else could be causing this? When you open the door there isn’t hot steam coming out like there use to be.


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