How to Fix Whirlpool Dishwasher not Washing

It can be quite frustrating to fill up your dishwasher with plates, run some cycles and the plates are still unclean. You might have experienced your Whirlpool dishwasher not washing before and you’ve decided to replace the inlet valve or pump. Maybe this is the first time you are experiencing this and you notice your whirlpool dishwasher making a humming sound, or it is making no sound.

Whatever the case might be, all these signals that your whirlpool dishwasher is definitely faulty and needs to be checked.

Usually, you should get an error code which can give you a clue on where the problem is coming from and since you are here, you are likely comfortable disassembling the dishwasher yourself since it saves you $300-$500 for a repairman.

However, some components would be best left to a repairman due to how delicate their connections are.

That said, I will be breaking down some of the reasons why your whirlpool dishwasher will not wash and what you can do to self-diagnose it.

Why is Whirlpool Dishwasher not Washing

why is my Whirlpool Dishwasher not washing

Below are some of the reasons why your whirlpool dishwasher is not washing after running a few cycles with no positive results.

1. The Circulation Pump is Broken

The circulation pump is also one of the components that transfers water inside the dishwasher, however, it uses a motor and an impeller to transfer the water into the dishwasher.

In a scenario where the Circulation pump is faulty, A good pointer to discern the issue is if you hear a humming sound or there is no sound from the moto after the dishwasher is filled.

Each of these two observations is a good pointer that your circulation pump has a problem and needs to be checked

How to Fix

  • First of all, disconnect the dishwasher for the power outlet.
  • Now, open the door of the dishwasher
  • Locate the wire connected to a copper motor housing under the dishwasher.
  •  Get a multimeter and test the motor for continuity
  • After doing that, inspect the pump housing compartment and check if the impeller is rotating and also check for any debris.

If the motor fails the test then it needs to be replaced, however, if the problem is from the impeller, you need to change the pipe.

2. Inappropriate Water Pump Belt

inaaproprite fan belt

If you are using the last version or a newer version of the whirlpool dishwasher, you might want to ignore this step and proceed to the next one. Why?

Water pump belts used to be available in older models of Whirlpool dishwasher., however, it is not in the newest versions. 

But if you are using an old version of a whirlpool dishwasher, what happens is the water pump gets slacked or stretched or sometimes it could get broken.

If this happens the dishwasher won’t wash the plates as it is supposed to

Unluckily, it might be a bit hard to discern this, but you can check the pump belt after going through the troubleshooting steps listed above.

How to fix

  • Turn off your Whirlpool dishwasher
  • Locate the lower panel inside your dishwasher and remove it to access the motor.
  • Just under the motor, you should see the water pump belt.
  • Check if it is broken, or stretched 
  • If it is defective, replace it.

If after doing all these and you are still stuck with your Whirlpool dishwasher not washing check the water inlet valve

3. The Water inlet Valve is Clogged

The water inlet valve has one job which is to allow water to enter the dishwasher. In a scenario where the water inlet valve is blogged with kink or dirt, the water supply into the dishwasher would be stopped causing little to no water to enter into the dishwasher which results in the whirlpool dishwasher not washing.

If you are experiencing this, one of the things you might notice is the washer entering the run cycle but there is no water being sprayed. However, this might not be enough to figure out if the problem is from the water inlet valve until you run a diagnostic.

If you get a 6-2 error code, then the water valve has issues and needs to be replaced.

How to fix

To fix it, you have to replace the water inlet valve. 

But, you need to be aware that cleaning or replacing the water inlet valve is a delicate procedure and it is much safer to request the services of a repairman when the water inlet valve is faulty

If after doing all these and you are still stuck with your Whirlpool dishwasher not washing then you should check the arm assembly.

4. Center Wash Arm Assembly

In your whirlpool dishwasher, there are four different arms whose job is to wash specific racks in the dishwasher. if one arm malfunctions, or more than one, one of the few things you will notice is that some racks have been washed while others have dirty plates in their racks.

What causes the centre wash arm to malfunction? debris and specks of dirt. When any of the four arms are filled with debris or dirt, it can affect the functioning of the centre arm wash.

That said

Here is How to fix it

  • Check the centre arm for any signs of dirt and debris.
  • Clean it off and check the water supply line while ensuring it is fixed and isn’t faulty.

If after doing all these, your whirlpool dishwasher not washing then you should contact whirlpool or request the services of a repairman

5. Lower Wash Arm Assembly

lower wash arm assembly

Among the four arms in the dishwasher, the Lower wash Arm works to clean dishes in the lower ranks inside the dishwasher. A good pointer that can help you discern this is if the lower ranks in your dishwasher have dirty plates after a wash cycle.

The major issue that could be faced with the lower wash arm is if it is filled with dirt or debris.

Here is how to fix it

When the lower racks, dishes are not cleaned or washed properly. There needs to be a problem with the lower wash arm.

Tiny food particles can clog the wash arm from passing water. You can fix this issue by removing all tiny food particles from the dishwasher arms.

If you are still stuck with your Whirlpool dishwasher not washing, check if the wash arm and water supply pipe are correctly aligned or not. 

6. Upper Wash Arm Assembly

Just as similar to the other arms in the dishwasher the upper wash arms are responsible for cleaning plates at the top rack of the dishwasher.

In a scenario where the dishes at the top rack come out unclean, then it is a good pointer that the top arm has been clogged with dirt or debris.

Since that is the most common case for that, here is how you can go about fixing it

How to fix

  • Check the upper wash arm for any signs of dirt and debris.
  • Clean it off and check the water supply line and ensure it is fixed and isn’t faulty.

If after doing all these and you are still stuck with your Whirlpool dishwasher not washing then you should contact whirlpool or request the services of a repairmen

7. Broken or Faulty Wash Impeller

The wash impeller can be located in the water pump compartment. It works along with the pump to transfer water through the motor to different parts of the dishwasher arms.

Now, one of the things you might easily notice is your dishwasher not receiving enough water. In cases like this, you might have a fairly moderate wash or a poor wash.

Since you have confirmed that the four arms are not clogged with debris or dirt then the employer is the major culprit since it can easily get broken. 

To fix this

Locate the pump compartment and check the impeller by rotating it, if it doesn’t roll freely you might need to replace only the impeller or the pump compartment.

NOTE: You should check the whirlpool website to check if the impeller for your model is replaceable under the warranty section.

Whirlpool Dishwasher Humming but not Washing

If Your whirlpool dishwasher gives off a humming sound during a wash cycle or it gives off no sound after it is filled. It is a good pointer that the circulation pump is broken and needs to be checked.

Recommended: How to Fix Garbage Disposal Humming

Whirlpool Dishwasher wash motor not working

If you are faced with this, you are recommended to inspect the door latch t see if it working as it is supposed to. If it isn’t then you should proceed to test the continuity of the connection from the control board to the wash pump motor for continuity.

NOTE: If your Whirlpool dishwasher is not draining, you should check here to learn how you can resolve that quickly.

Whirlpool Dishwasher not Starting

In a scenario where your dishwasher is not starting you should simply power cycle the dishwasher by unplugging the unit for one minute and then plug the unit back in.

However, if the dishwasher is hard-wired to the power supply, simply trip off the breaker for one minute and then power it on back.

Whirlpool Dishwasher troubleshooting reset

If you are looking to reset your whirlpool dishwasher there are three ways you can do that, you can either reset the control board or activate the diagnostic mode.

That said, let’s break down how you can do that

How to Reset the Control Board

If you are having power-related issues, maybe it is not starting after a sudden power surge here is how you can reset the dishwasher

  • Press the “Off” button on the dishwasher.
  • Now, remove its power cable and wait for about 5 minutes
  • After waiting, plug the cable back.
  • Now, turn on your dishwasher and select the “Pots & Pans” or “High” setting from the control panel.
  • After doing this, choose any “Heat” cycle to dry the dishes you’re washing.
  • Wait for 2 minutes and repeat the cycle selection one more time

How to Activate Diagnostic Mode

In scenarios where your Dishwasher is continuously blinking its light here is a simple way to reset it by activating a diagnostic mode

  • Press the “Heated Dry” button and then press the “Normal” button.
  • Now repeat step one again
  • After doing this, your dishwasher will go into diagnostic mode and eventually reset.


by now you should have figured out the reason behind your Whirlpool dishwasher not washing. That said, one of the things you should take note of is this. Tinkering with some parts of the whirlpool’s inner components requires caution.

It is always recommended to request the services of a repairman, however, there are still some issues that you can self-diagnose while some are better left alone by the pros.

Leave a Comment