KitchenAid Dishwasher Not Spraying Water? (here’s why & what to do)

If your dishwasher isn’t spraying water it is a huge problem. Obviously if the water isn’t spraying there’s no chance of the dishes getting cleaned.

In this article we’ll look into the most likely causes why a KitchenAid dishwasher fails to spray water. As well as offering solutions to those problems.

Keep reading to find out how to fix the problem of a KitchenAid dishwasher failing to spray water without calling in an engineer or spending a fortune. So this article will offer solutions that can easily be carried out without any technical know-how at all.

Why Is My KitchenAid Dishwasher Not Spraying Water?

There are several reasons why your KitchenAid dishwasher might not be spraying water which include;

Probable CauseSolution
Dishes Stacked IncorrectlyEnsure the dishes are stacked in such a way as to not prevent the spray arms from turning
Twisted Or Kinked Inlet HoseInspect the inlet hose and straighten any twists or kinks
Defective Water Inlet ValveInspect the water inlet valve and remove any blockage or replace the inlet valve if necessary
Clogged Spray ArmsInspect and remove the spray arms and clear any blockages
Defective Float SwitchCheck and replace the float switch if necessary
Clogged FilterRemove and clean the filter
Clogged Chopper BladesInspect and clean the chopper blades if necessary
Defective Circulation PumpInspect the circulation pump, remove any blockages or replace the circulation pump if necessary

Let’s take a closer look at each of these issues;

Dishes Stacked Incorrectly

loading a dishwasher

If the dishes are stacked incorrectly in your dishwasher, they can prevent the spray arms from rotating properly. This can cause your dishes to not clean or get rinsed.

Make sure that you stack the dishes in a way that doesn’t prevent the spray arms from spinning freely. Once you have stacked the dishes, give the spray arms a quick turn to ensure they turn freely.

Twisted Or Kinked Inlet Hose

The first place to check if your KitchenAid dishwasher fails to spray any water is the water inlet hose. Look at the back of the appliance and locate the inlet hose which is typically attached to a tap and runs into the top of the dishwasher.

If you have recently installed the dishwasher or have moved it for cleaning, the inlet hose could have become twisted or kinked. This is all it takes to restrict the flow of water into the appliance and prevent the dishwasher from spraying water.

If the inlet hose is twisted or kinked, straightening it out will usually solve the problem.

Defective Water Inlet Valve

person closing the dishwasher door

The water inlet valve controls the flow of water into the dishwasher after receiving commands from the control board. It opens and closes at certain times during the cleaning process to allow sufficient water into the dishwasher to wash and rinse the dishes.

It closes to prevent excessive water buildup which would cause leaks and other issues. In some cases, the inlet valve can become clogged with grit or limescale which are present in the water supply.

Or, sometimes, the inlet valve shorts out or just reaches the end of its lifespan. You can investigate this by doing the following;

  • Disconnect the dishwasher from the power supply 
  • Remove the inlet hose
  • Check the thin screen inside the inlet hose for any blockages (you might be able to remove the blockage but as the screen is thin and easily damaged, you might be better off replacing the screen)
  • If the screen is OK you will need to check the inlet valve for continuity using a multimeter
  • If it fails the continuity test, you will need to replace the inlet valve.

Clogged Spray Arms

Your KitchenAid dishwasher will have a spray arm to wash and rinse the top rack and another spray arm to wash the lower rack. These spray arms rotate to ensure that all items in the dishwasher get washed and rinsed.

At the ends of these spray arms are nozzles that spray jets of water mixed with detergent to wash the dishes followed by clean water mixed with rinse aid to rinse the items. Over time those nozzles can become clogged with detergent residue, grease and fat or limescale.

You will need to remove each spray arm and use a soft bristled brush like a toothbrush to gently remove any blockages in the nozzles. If the blockage proves difficult to remove, you can use a toothpick or cocktail stick to gently prise the offending blockage free.

If the blockage is caused by limescale which is quite common especially if you live in a hard water area, you can soak the nozzles in a solution of distilled white vinegar and warm water for around 10 to 15 minutes.

The limescale plug should then be easier to remove using a soft bristled brush or toothpick.

Defective Float Switch


The float switch in a KitchenAid dishwasher is designed to prevent too much water from entering the appliance which would lead to your kitchen becoming flooded. The switch is designed to switch off once sufficient water has entered the appliance.

If the float switch develops a fault, the control board will assume that there is sufficient water and cause the inlet valve to close. You will find the float switch at the bottom right-hand side of the appliance behind an access panel.

You may need to open the plastic grill that covers the float switch if your model has this feature. You will then need to check the float switch for continuity using a multimeter.

If it fails the continuity test or the float switch looks worn or damaged, it will need to be replaced.

Clogged Filter

The filter on your dishwasher is designed to trap any food particles or other debris and prevent them from clogging the circulation pump or spray arm nozzles. You should be cleaning the filter on a regular basis to prevent any debris from building up. 

Failure to do this will lead to the filter becoming clogged which will trigger the sensor to send a message to the control board to stop allowing water into the appliance.

Consult your user manual for the correct way to remove the filter on your appliance. Once removed wash the filter under fast running water or soak in a distilled white vinegar/warm water solution.

You should then make cleaning your dishwasher’s filter a regular part of your cleaning regime.

Clogged Chopper Blades

The chopper blades on your KitchenAid dishwasher cuts food waste and other debris into small easy to remove pieces. Over time, the chopper blades can become worn, blunt or jammed when trying to cut through particularly large or hard items.

This will prevent the circulation pump from turning which will affect every function of the dishwasher including the spraying of water. To access and check the chopper blades, you should first disconnect the power and water supply to the appliance.

You can then access the chopper blades by removing the bottom dish rack, then disconnecting the lower spray arm before removing the spray tower.

You can then remove the screws that hold the chopper cover in place. Once the cover has been removed, you will be able to inspect the chopper blades. 

If they are damaged or broken, they will need to be replaced but if they are simply blocked by food particles and other debris, you can remove it and free the blades up allowing them to rotate as normal again.

Defective Circulation Pump

The circulation pump circulates water all through the dishwasher. It forces water through the spray arms, as well as forcing wastewater from the appliance.

Over time, the circulation pump can become clogged by food and other debris which will eventually stop the pump from working. The dishwasher’s filter is supposed to prevent the circulation pump from getting clogged.

But if the filter becomes clogged, it can let objects get past it and those objects will eventually cause the circulation pump to become clogged. If not cleared, these particles will eventually cause the circulation pump to fail.

Once the pump fails, your dishwasher will not be able to wash or rinse any items because the pump won’t be spreading the water through the appliance. If you suspect that the circulation pump has failed, you will need to contact a technician to check and replace the pump if it proves to be faulty.

SEE ALSO: How Much Salt Do I Put In A Dishwasher? (the true answer)

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my KitchenAid dishwasher not spraying?

There are several reasons why your KitchenAid dishwasher might not be spraying water which include; dishes stacked incorrectly, the water inlet hose is twisted or kinked, the inlet valve is defective, the nozzles on the spray arms are clogged, the float switch is defective, the filter is clogged, the chopper blades are clogged or the circulation pump is defective.

How can I unclog my dishwasher’s spray arms?

You can unclog your dishwasher’s spray arms by gently prising any blockage out using a toothpick or cocktail stick. If that doesn’t work, you can soak the nozzles in a distilled white vinegar/warm water solution for 10 to 15 minutes.

What turns the spray arms in a dishwasher?

The spray arms in a dishwasher turn due to the water pressure as the water flows through the nozzles. They rely on the water pressure provided by the circulation pump.

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