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Whirlpool Dishwasher Not Draining

I’ve been loving using my Whirlpool dishwasher and it works great, but all of sudden it stopped draining. I’m curious about how to fix it, and looked at what experts had to say about how to fix it.

As a general rule, you should clean the filter. It is very easy to do. You simply unscrew the filter and then rinse it out under the faucet. There can also be food debris on the inside of where the dishwasher filter sits. Remove any of that as well.

Male peeking into the inside of a dishwasher

If that still doesn’t work then you should put your Whirlpool dishwasher in diagnostic mode. In this article, I will explain in more detail about how to put your Whirlpool dishwasher in diagnostic mode, as well as, what steps you should take if the filter is clear but it your dishwasher still won’t drain.

Whirlpool Dishwasher Drain Pump Not Working

Full dishwasher rack open door

The drain pump is responsible for sucking water from the bottom of the dishwasher into the waste water pipes. However, there are some telltale signs that your drain pump is faulty. So, then how do you replace it, and how do you know if it needs replacing?

Generally, replacing it is as simple as pulling out the drain pump from underneath the dishwasher. First ensure, you turn off the electricity to the dishwasher by unplugging it at the wall, or turning off the fuse at the switchboard.

After that you disconnect the power cable to the drain pump, and plug in the new one. To access the drain pump you need to remove the front panel.

Use a Phillips head screwdriver to remove the screws on either side of the bottom panel. In some Whirlpool dishwashers you can pry it open with your hands. Underneath is a space. And you can access the drain pump by reaching underneath with your hand.

How To Know if Your Drain Pump Needs Replacing

The method to have a good idea whether your drain pump needs replacing is to listen to your drain pump as it’s running. If you hear the drain pump turn on after the wash cycle but the water doesn’t drain then it’s a good indication that your drain pump needs replacing.

Whirlpool Dishwasher Not Draining All the Way/Completely

Dishwasher spray arm

One issue I had was that it wouldn’t overflow but there would be a pool of water in the bay at the very bottom of the dishwasher.

To fix that you should first clean the filter. It can be done very easily on your own. Simply unscrew it by turning it counter clockwise. It’s easiest if you first pull out the bottom tray all the way and set it on the counter top or somewhere similar. Rinse it out, and remove any food debris.

Once you have cleaned it so that the filter screen is completely clear of debris, then screw it back into place. Before screwing it back into place you should visually inspect the inside of the space where the filter goes. Oftentimes, there can be scraps of food sitting in there blocking the water flow.

Following that do a full cycle to see if it now drains all the water. If it does not then put your Whirlpool dishwasher into diagnostic mode.

Put It in Diagnostic Mode

To put your Whirlpool dishwasher in diagnostic mode follow the steps below. It will take less than 1 minute.

  1. Press three buttons on the control panel. But, don’t press the power button as it will turn it off. Press three separate buttons in a row, one after the other.
  2. Next, press the same three buttons using the same sequence you did in step one.
  3. Repeat step 2.

After that your Whirlpool dishwasher will show some different lights, and it will begin to test the different components of your Whirlpool dishwasher. It can take as long as 20 minutes to perform it’s different tests.

Maybe a good time to grab a cup of coffee or tea. Now, if it has identified a problem it will display an error message. The error message has a unique solution. Use this document by Whirlpool that describes how to fix each of the individual issues.

Whirlpool Dishwasher Not Draining at End of Cycle

Bottom of dishwasher drain

If your dishwasher is not draining correctly at the end of the cycle there can be water pooled up at the bottom of the dishwasher. Here’s what causes it and how to fix it:

There is a hose that goes from the dishwasher to the waste water lines. It is very commonly the cause of water not draining. It is fairly easy to replace, however, there are a lot of steps involved. It’s difficult because you need to pull the entire dishwasher out from where it’s sitting.

To do that you need to disconnect a lot of different connections such as the water inlet, and the terminal box.

The main reasons why a Whirlpool dishwasher won’t drain are because:

  • The filter is blocked
  • The waste water lines are blocked
  • The drain pump is faulty.

However, people have reported that the waste water line being blocked is more common, and that the drain pump typically won’t fail for around 5 years.

A good first step though is to put it in diagnostic mode, as it may identify a separate issue first. The full step by step instructions for how to put your Whirlpool dishwasher into diagnostic mode so that it can attempt to identify what the error is, read the section above titled: ‘Put It in Diagnostic Mode’.

Your Whirlpool Dishwasher still Not Working?

Troubleshooting Whirlpool Dishwasher is Not Turning On?

If you have a different brand dishwasher please check out our dishwasher not draining article for other brands.

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