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Troubleshooting Guide: What to Do When Your Whirlpool Dishwasher Won’t Drain
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Are you facing an issue where your Whirlpool dishwasher won’t drain? It’s quite a common problem, but the good news is, with a bit of elbow grease and the right know-how, you can solve it. We’ll walk you through the causes, fixes, and prevention methods when your Whirlpool dishwasher isn’t draining properly.

When Your Whirlpool Dishwasher Won’t Drain: Common Problems

There could be several reasons why your Whirlpool dishwasher won’t drain. Let’s look at a few potential causes and their fixes.

Issue #1: Clogged Dishwasher Filter

What will cause a Whirlpool dishwasher not to drain? The dishwasher filter catches food particles and debris to prevent them from entering the pump and clogging it. But sometimes, the filter itself gets clogged, and water can’t pass through it.

Fix: Remove the bottom dish rack, locate the filter (usually under the bottom spray arm or in the rear corner of the tub), and give it a thorough rinse. If debris is stuck, use a soft-bristle brush to gently scrub it clean. Replace the filter once it’s clean. While you’re at it, consider cleaning your dishwasher as that can lead to better performance.

What will cause a Whirlpool dishwasher not to drain

Issue #2: Clogged Drain Hose

The drain hose transports used water from the drain pump to the sink or disposal drain. However, it can get clogged with debris and food particles, causing water to back up into the dishwasher, and if it’s damaged it can even cause dishwasher leaks!

Fix: You can find most drain hose clogs near their connections at the garbage disposal, sink drain, or dishwasher drain pump. Carefully remove any visible clogs, and inspect for damage. If the clog isn’t reachable or the hose is damaged, the drain hose must be replaced.

Issue #3: Clogged Garbage Disposal or Air Gap

Why is there water in the bottom of my Whirlpool dishwasher? If your dishwasher drains via the garbage disposal, a clog in the disposal can prevent the dishwasher from draining. Also, a clogged air gap, which lets air into the dishwasher for proper drainage, can cause drainage problems.

Fix: Run your garbage disposal to clear away leftover food. Clean the air gap if it’s clogged. If you notice any build-up, clean it out and ensure it’s tightly secured.

Issue #4: Defective Drain Valve

The drain valve opens and closes during a wash cycle, allowing water to exit the dishwasher. If it’s defective or clogged with debris, it can prevent the dishwasher from draining properly.

Fix: Inspect the check valve by removing the drain hose, then ensure that it opens and closes as it should. If the valve fails multimeter testing with a lack of continuity, it must be replaced.

Issue #5: Dishwasher Float Switch

The float switch is part of a plastic assembly at the bottom of the dishwasher’s tub. It’s a backup system to the fill timer, which controls the amount of water entering the dishwasher at the start of each cycle. As water fills the dishwasher, the float rises, triggering the float switch. This shuts off the water intake to prevent overflows in case the fill timer fails. If the float is stuck at its highest or lowest point, it could cause the tub to not fill or to overflow, respectively.

Fix: Check whether something is blocking the float from moving up and down freely. Removing the obstruction, such as a piece of flatware or an undissolved clump of food, might solve the issue. The float switch may also be malfunctioning, which a technician can check for.

Why is there water in the bottom of my Whirlpool dishwasher

Issue #6: Drain Pump or Impeller Failure

The drain pump and impeller in your dishwasher have key roles in the drainage process. The drain pump uses the impeller to force the water through the drain hose. If the drain pump motor doesn’t work or if the impeller is broken, your dishwasher won’t drain properly.

Fix: A technician can run a Whirlpool dishwasher drain pump test by checking the pump motor using a specific tool called a multimeter. If the pump motor doesn’t work when it has power or if it’s not functioning at all, then you’ll need to replace the drain pump. Remember, a broken drain pump can’t be fixed – it must be replaced.

Likewise, the drain impeller, which pushes water through the drain hose, is an essential part of the draining system. If it’s broken, your dishwasher might not drain as it should. Again, a broken impeller cannot be fixed – it needs to be replaced.

How to Prevent Dishwasher Draining Issues

Prevention is better than cure, and that applies to dishwashers too. Here are a few ways you can prevent your dishwasher from clogging:

  • Scrape off food particles from dishes before loading them into the dishwasher.
  • Opt for a hot water cycle.
  • Regularly clean the dishwasher filter.
  • Run the dishwasher often using the correct detergent.

When your Whirlpool dishwasher won’t drain, it doesn’t have to be a permanent problem. With the right techniques, you can fix it and even prevent it from happening in the future.

If your Whirlpool dishwasher won’t drain after trying the fixes above, it’s time to schedule a repair with Moore Appliance Service. We’ll help you pinpoint and solve the issue quickly and efficiently.

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