Whirlpool Dishwasher Troubleshooting (DIY Repairs!)

How to Fix Whirlpool Dishwasher

Keeping your kitchen clean is easy when you’ve got your trusty Whirlpool dishwasher to take care of your dishes. However, things may slow down if your dishwasher suddenly stops working appropriately.

Though Whirlpool appliances are widely known as durable and high-quality products, they aren’t immune to problems that hinder them from performing properly. But not to worry as you can easily resolve these issues from the comforts of your home!

We’ve compiled most of the reasons why your dishwasher malfunctioned, so get your toolbox ready as we get to the bottom of your dilemma.

What are the most common problems of a Whirlpool dishwasher?

Now, let’s take a closer look at each of these issues, find out why they occur, and finally solve them!

How To Troubleshoot Your Whirlpool Dishwasher

Fixing your trusty dishwasher’s problems can be as easy as rinsing out the dishes or as complex as checking and possibly replacing some parts of the washer to get it in top shape again.

We’ve compiled a list of the usual issues and how you can easily fix them with the help of a few tools and the fool-proof instructions we’ve provided:

Clogged Filters

The dishwasher’s filters trap food scraps and other debris during the washing cycle. While the filters rely on a self-cleaning routine, you may need to check on them occasionally to maintain their optimal performance.

Solution: Locate the filters at the bottom of your dishwasher. The filters can be situated at either the back corner of the dishwasher tub or around the base of the bottom spray arm.

Most filters in your Whirlpool dishwasher have two parts: the upper and the lower assembly. Remove the filters by turning the upper filter clockwise at a 90-degree angle to detach it. 

Gently raise the lower assembly before pulling it forward for disconnection.

Once extracted, visually assess the filters for any form of breakage. Replace them with new ones if you find any defects.

If otherwise, you can clean the filters instead. Place the filters under running warm water and clean them using a soft-bristle brush, preferably a toothbrush, and a bit of dishwashing soap.

Gently pat the filters dry using a dry washcloth or a kitchen napkin. Once patted down, re-install the filters by putting the bottom filter in the tub first before the upper assembly.

Turn the upper filter clockwise until it slides in its proper position. The upper filter is securely locked if its arrow is perfectly lined up with the bottom filter’s arrow.

To maintain the integrity of your dishwasher’s filters, you need to clean them regularly. The frequency of checking your dishwasher’s filters depends on how often you use the dishwasher and how clean the dishes are during the cycles.

Here’s a guide to help you schedule your next dishwasher clean-up:

Leaking Water Supply Line

A few faulty parts typically cause a dishwasher’s leakage. Your appliance needs an immediate checkup if it starts to spew out water regardless if it’s being used or not.

Check your dishwasher’s water supply line as it’s the most common cause of leakage. It’s located in the unit’s front left corner.

Remove the lower kick panel by unfastening it from the unit, followed by the sound insulation. Dismantle the supply line by unclasping it from the dishwasher’s drain port using pliers, and disconnecting the other end from the sink. 

Once extracted, assess the supply line for any kinks or breaks, and immediately replace it if there is any damage to the material. 

On the other hand, you can opt to clean the line if there is no breakage. Do this by submerging it in a container of warm water, detergent, white vinegar, and a bit of baking soda for a few hours and rinse it afterward.

Re-install the water supply line by putting each end on the dishwasher’s drain port and the sink’s water supply gauge. Secure both ends with a clamp using pliers.

Do a test run on the dishwasher once both ends are fastened.

Faulty Drainage System

A consistent presence of water inside the washing tub after a cycle indicates clogged drainage. The dishwasher must be checked before running another cycle to prevent further water buildup and damage to the unit.

Solution: Clear the washing tub of dishes and unplug the dishwasher from the electrical source. Prepare a few washcloths and a small bucket before removing the appliance from its water supply as there may be spillage in the process.

If there is water inside the tub, remove it by using washcloths or by scooping it into a container, preferably a bucket, before wiping the tub dry. 

Remove the access panel at the bottom of the dishwasher using a flathead screwdriver. Reach inside and press down on the drain pump retaining tab.

Rotate the retaining tab counterclockwise for detachment.

Unhook the wire connector from the tab to fully assess the drain pump. The pump needs to be replaced if there are cracks and missing parts.

Moreover, do a continuity test on the drain pump using a multimeter. Set the tool to the lowest setting for resistance and place the two prongs in the pump’s wire terminals.

A functional drain pump will have a result of 15 to 40 ohms. However, the pump must be replaced if the reading is lower than 15 ohms.

It’s also important to know that a closed and complete circuit can only produce a good drain pump reading. This means that other types of circuits will not let the pump run.

Replace the faulty pump by connecting the new drain pump to the pump connector. Insert the new pump into the sump housing and rotate it clockwise to secure the piece.

Re-attach the exterior panels using their designated screws using a flathead screwdriver. Conduct a test run on the appliance afterward.

Here’s a more detailed article on checking and replacing your Whirlpool dishwasher’s drain pump

Faulty Dish Soap Dispenser

Faulty Dish Soap Dispenser

Using the appropriate detergent for your Whirlpool dishwasher is important as not only will it efficiently clean your dishes, but will also prevent any damage to your appliance.

Clean the dispenser by leaving it in warm water mixed with baking soda and white vinegar for at least 15 minutes before rinsing. Pat the dispenser dry and inspect it for any damages so you can replace it with a new dispenser.

This can be done by putting the new aid dispenser in the old one’s terminal.

There are also various reasons why your dishwasher won’t dispense the soap. Check them out!

Broken Dispenser Door Spring

Your Whirlpool dishwasher’s door must remain locked for the wash cycle so as not to spill water. A broken door spring may cause delays and spillage if not fixed soon.

Use a flathead screwdriver to separate the lid and the spring. If there are no damages on the spring, clean it by rinsing it in warm water and white vinegar. 

However, you must replace the spring if it’s bent or broken. Remove the faulty spring from the lid pin and insert the new one. 

Ensure that the spring’s ends face the bottom side of the coil and that its center is aligned with the lid’s middle part. Press the lid tabs on the pin, clicking them into position.

Dysfunctional Wax Motor

The wax motor is responsible for releasing the soap dispenser’s door latch and works alongside the dishwasher’s timer in dispatching the suds during the wash cycle. A dysfunctional wax motor will not dispense soap suds during the wash course.

This will result in unclean, but wet dishes after the supposed wash sequence.

Open the dishwasher’s door and unscrew the internal or external panel. This will depend on what kind of Whirlpool dishwasher you have.

Disconnect the wires in the wax motor to remove it from its position and to visually assess it. The motor needs to be replaced if the device has visible cracks and worn-out portions.

Run a continuity test on the wax motor using a multimeter. Set the tool to its x 1-ohm setting and put its prongs on the wire terminals of the motor to start the reading.

The wax motor needs to be replaced if the reading is infinity. Replace the wax motor by connecting the wires to the new wax motor and putting it in its proper position.

Secure the rest of the dishwasher parts with their designated tabs and screws. Do another test run afterward.

Faulty Bi-Metal Switch

If you have an older Whirlpool dishwasher model, the bi-metal switch may need some check-up. A faulty bi-metal switch may not trigger the detergent door to open during the wash cycle.

Once the switch is accessed, check if it’s properly aligned to the detergent cup door and adjust accordingly.

The switch must be tested for continuity if the problems persist.

Disconnect the wires from the bi-metal switch to remove it from its position by slowly pulling on their slip-on connectors using needle-nosed pliers. Once the wires are removed, proceed to unscrew the switch from the detergent cup door.

Once the switch is separated from the panel, get a multimeter and set it to x 1-ohm settings. Put the tool’s probes into the switch’s wire terminals to start the continuity test.

The switch is faulty if it gets an infinity reading and will need a replacement. Install the new bi-metal switch by connecting the wires in its wire terminals and then screwing it into the detergent cup door.

Screw the panels back into position. Run another test once all dishwasher parts are secured in their positions.

Broken Door Latch

A broken door latch in your dishwasher is a huge problem because it can cause leakage. Other dishwasher models won’t even start a wash cycle if the door is still open.

Once the latch is accessible, assess it to see if it’s still in the proper position. Fix its stature using a screwdriver.

However, the latch needs to be replaced if it’s bent. This can be done by disconnecting it from the wire connector.

Once disconnected, remove the faulty door latch from its position and replace it with the new switch. Align the panels and secure both sides using their designated screws.

Corroded Dishwasher Gasket

Gaskets, otherwise known as seals, are essential in keeping the dishwasher leakproof as they also withstand pressure from the wash cycles. However, gaskets may wear out due to constant usage and cause other problems because of the leakage.

If the gasket appears to be dirty, you can use a washcloth, a toothbrush, or a sponge dipped in warm water, soap, and white vinegar mixture to decontaminate the gasket.

If there are molds in the gasket, use a small amount of 3% hydrogen peroxide to eliminate them.

However, you need to replace the gasket if there are visible cracks and tears. To do this, simply peel it off its corresponding channels in the washing tub.

Clean out the gasket’s area using your preferred cleaning tools such as a washcloth or sponge dipped in a cleaning mixture. Get your next gasket and find its center.

Once found, stick it in the centermost portion of the channel and start installing the new gasket from there. Be careful not to stretch it to avoid any more leakage as you make sure that the gasket is properly installed in its corresponding channels. 

Ensure that the new gasket is properly installed. Run another diagnostic test.

Faulty Water Heater

Warm water is more efficient in cleaning dishes as it breaks down grease faster than cold water. Your dishwasher needs to be checked if the water in the unit is cold despite enabling the warm water option for the wash cycle.

Unscrew the lower panels and proceed to remove the water supply line. Remove the terminal cover plate and take note of the wire placements.

Once the wires are removed, use a flathead screwdriver to remove the relief nut to release the junction box. Next, find the drain hose and disconnect it from the trash disposer.

Proceed to unscrew the mounting bracket screws and front leveling legs. Finally, carefully pull the dishwasher away from its position.

Get a towel and lay the washer on its back to have full access to its bottom. Move forward to disconnecting the wires of the faulty heating element.

Use a wrench to unbolt the element mounting nuts. Once done, put the dishwasher upright and remove the heating element from the washing tub’s bracket.

Install the new heating element by aligning it in the washing tub’s bracket until it’s flush against the bracket. Lie the washer back down to reconnect the wires and thread the bolts back in their proper positions.

Make sure to return the junction box and the lower access panel to their designated spots. Re-install the dishwasher to its location afterward.

Impaired Control Board

Your dishwasher’s control board controls the appliance. It needs to be thoroughly checked if the dishwasher isn’t working.

If the electrical inputs are not the problem, examine if the control lock is enabled. It’s indicated by a lit-up lock button. 

Disable the control lock by pushing down the lock button for four seconds, which should turn the indicator light off.

Move forward with assessing the delay wash option once you confirm that the control lock is in good condition. The wash option is enabled if the cycle-selected indicator lights are continuously flashing. 

Disable the option by pressing the cancel or drain button.

If none of the above fixes work, reset the dishwasher. Start the process by unplugging your dishwasher and opening the dishwasher door.

Unthread the door panels using the required screwdriver. Open the control board console and disconnect the keypad ribbon connection.

Inspect if other wirings are out of place and reconnect them as well. 

Return the console to its terminal and plug the dishwasher back into the electrical source. Wait for at least five seconds before running a diagnostic test. 

The control board is still usable if its LEDs have stopped blinking and if the buttons are registering the commands. However, the control board needs replacement if the console isn’t working.

To replace the control board, unplug the dishwasher from the electrical source and open the dishwasher door. Use a t15 torx bit to unthread the screws that hold the door panels together.

After separating the door panels, use a flathead screwdriver to remove the control board housing. Depress the tabs to release the small wire cover and long wire cover tabs.

Disconnect the wires from the control board, and take note of their arrangements beforehand. Install the new control board by connecting the wires to their indicated terminals. 

Realign the long wire cover and small wire cover and gently press them into place. Snap the new control board housing in its proper station and thread the door panels back in position.

Once done, reconnect the dishwasher to the electrical source and do another test run.

Whirlpool appliances are known as high-quality and durable appliances. However, they are not immune to worn-out parts, clogged drainage systems, and malfunctioning control units.

On the bright side, fixing the problems doesn’t require much as you can do it yourself from the comfort of your home. These problems require the replacement of certain parts, cleaning the drainage system, and even resetting the dishwasher itself.

However, it’s best to contact your trusted technician if you want a more thorough inspection of your dishwasher and avoid more problems in the future.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *