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Whirlpool Dishwasher Not Working

I’ve been using my Whirlpool dishwasher without any issues for quite a while but all of a sudden it stopped working. I read through the manual, and did some research about what could be causing the issue and how to fix it. Here’s what I found.

When a Whirlpool dishwasher is not working, one common issue is a tripped circuit breaker or blown fuse. If the dishwasher fails to start or stops suddenly, check your home’s electrical panel. Reset any tripped circuit breaker or replace any blown fuse and ensure the dishwasher’s plug is firmly inserted into the outlet. This restores power and often resolves the issue, allowing normal operation to resume.

Female pressing dishwasher buttons

If the dishwasher still does not work after checking the electrical supply, the door switch may be at fault. The dishwasher will not operate unless it detects that the door is securely closed and latched. A faulty door switch prevents the start of any cycle. To address this, inspect the switch for damage and test it with a multimeter for functionality. Replace the switch if it shows no continuity or signs of damage.

You should also verify the fuse for your dishwasher isn’t blown by checking the fuse box for your home. When the fuse is blown the switch for it will be flicked to off.

After that, you can apply the appropriate fix depending on what the specific issue is. However, sometimes it can be the control panel itself that doesn’t work, and therefore, you might not be able to put it in diagnostic mode.

That requires a different fix. So below, I will explain exactly how to put your Whirlpool dishwasher in compatibility mode, how to fix it when the buttons aren’t working, what to do when the lights aren’t working, as well as, when the spinning arms aren’t working and/or it isn’t spraying any water.

Whirlpool Dishwasher Buttons Not Working

Repairman fixing dishwasher

When the dishwasher buttons aren’t working it’s impossible to start your Whirlpool dishwasher. However, it can still light up and display error messages which can enable you to see what the issue is. So, to fix your Whirlpool dishwasher when the buttons aren’t working, here’s what you want to do.

Generally, you want to put your Whirlpool dishwasher in diagnostic mode if it can. To do that press any three buttons other than the power button one after another. Then press the same three buttons in the same sequence another 2 times in a row.

That will put it in diagnostic mode and after it has run a check all the components it will display an error message. Even though the individual buttons don’t work, it may still be able to be put in diagnostic mode.

It can take around 20 minutes for the diagnostic mode to run. So, a good first thing to try is to reset your Whirlpool dishwasher by turning it on and off again by pressing the power button.

After you try turning it on and off again, run diagnostic mode if the buttons still aren’t working. Sometimes after running it through diagnostics mode it will start working again once you clear the error message.

However, if it doesn’t it usually indicates your control panel is faulty, and it needs to be replaced. It is fairly easy to replace the control panel yourself. Especially, if you have experience working with tools.

So, it can be a matter of ordering in a new control panel, and repairing it yourself. However, if you prefer you can get a repair technician in. They also can order the new part or may have it on hand to replace it.


To reset a Whirlpool dishwasher, start by pressing the “Cancel” or “Drain” button to clear the current cycle. Then, disconnect the appliance from the power source by unplugging it or turning off the power at the circuit breaker for at least one minute. Reconnect the power, and select a new wash cycle. Press “Start” to begin the cycle and see if the dishwasher operates correctly after the reset.

Whirlpool Dishwasher Lights Not Working

Hand pressing dishwasher buttons

A Whirlpool can still work when you press the buttons even when the lights aren’t displaying. However, it is more difficult to use. So, here’s what to do to get it working again.

One the whole, you should attempt to put it into diagnostic mode. Once you do that it will check each of the components and display an error message. Depending on what error message it says will indicate what to do.

If you get no lights and the screen doesn’t display then you likely need to replace the control panel. The part of a Whirlpool dishwasher where the control panel is, is one big component that includes the buttons, and the display. Therefore, you can unscrew it and remove it in a few minutes.

Replacing the control panel

Before you replace it, you’ll need to order a replacement one for your specific unit. With your Whirlpool dishwasher closed you should on the bottom of your dishwasher there’s a thin panel.

You can pry it open with your hands. Once, you remove the panel a piece of paper should be there, which is your user manual the the Whirlpool dishwasher.

It will display what model Whirlpool dishwasher you have, so you can get a replacement control panel for it. Sometimes, it can be easier to get a technician to do the repair for you. And they may be able to order the replacement part as well.

However, if you do it yourself you may save $100 to $200 for the labor cost. I suggest watching the short video above that shows the procedure for how to replace it and then, decide if it’s easy enough that you can do it yourself.

Whirlpool Dishwasher Not Spraying

Dishwasher water spray on dishes

A Whirlpool dishwasher can start up, and begin the wash cycle, however, as it gets to the first rinse it might not spray at all. Sometimes this can be an issue with one of the components or the spray arms and it can have a blockage caused by rogue pieces of food. Here’s how to see what the issue is and how to fix it.

If your Whirlpool dishwasher is not spraying you should first put it into diagnostic mode and let it complete the diagnostic cycle. Once it finishes it will display an error message to indicate what the issue is. From there, you will know what component needs to be repaired/replaced.

Unlike if the buttons or display aren’t working, when your Whirlpool dishwasher isn’t spraying it can be caused by a range of many different components.

They are the:

  • water inlet valve
  • water pump belt
  • center wash assembly arm
  • lower wash arm
  • lower wash arm assembly
  • upper wash assembly arm
  • circulation pump
  • circulation and drain pump motor
  • pump and motor assembly
  • wash impeller

But, as a first step it’s a good idea to visually inspect the spray arm. The spray arm has small holes along the side where the water is sprayed out. Food can be lodged in the holes and stop the water from coming out.

How To Clean/Remove the Spray Arm

You can completely remove the spray arm to have a look at it very easily. First turn off your dishwasher, and turn it off at the fuse box. Then pull out the bottom drawer of your dishwasher and set it aside so it’s out of the way.

Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on July 2, 2021.

After that unscrew the spray arm by holding it firmly and rotating it counter clockwise. Then gently pull it up and it will come off. You shouldn’t need to force it, if it is unscrewed correctly.

Once you’ve removed the spray arm try to scoop out any blockages rather than poking it into the spray arm. Otherwise, it can get stuck again as it gets forced out of the hole when the water sprays out of the hole again. Once you’ve cleared it, clip and screw the spray arm back in, and try to run your dishwasher again.

If it’s not that, then it could be any one of the components listed above, and there’s no way to know for sure if you don’t get an error message when you run it in diagnostic mode. If that’s the case it’s best to get a technician to have a look at it.

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