Whirlpool Dishwasher Fills With Water Then Stops? (here’s why & what to do)

If you own a Whirlpool dishwasher and you’ve noticed that it fills with water and then stops, keep reading. Because in this article we look at the reasons why your Whirlpool dishwasher fills with water and then stops working and offer some easy fixes to solve this problem.

Why Does My Whirlpool Dishwasher Fill With Water And Then Stop?

If you’re experiencing this issue with your Whirlpool dishwasher it’s probably caused by one of the following;

  1. Faulty Detergent Dispenser
  2. Clogged Spray Arms
  3. Faulty Circulation Pump
open dishwasher

Faulty Detergent Dispenser

The easiest of the 3 problems to solve if your Whirlpool dishwasher fills with water and then stops working is a faulty detergent dispenser.  

What’s probably happening is the detergent dispenser fails to open correctly when the dishwasher starts up. This will stop the dishwasher from working even though it has sufficient power.

You can check if the dispenser is working correctly by starting a wash cycle and pausing it after around 15 minutes. You should then open the door and check if the detergent dispenser is open.

If it is then this is not the issue. However, if the detergent dispenser is still closed then it’s faulty. You should start by cleaning the dispenser and checking that the spring operates correctly.

In some cases this is all that’s needed especially if you have used an inferior quality detergent in your dishwasher. 

If cleaning the dispenser doesn’t solve the problem, you’ll need to replace the detergent dispenser.

Clogged Spray Arms

The spray arm is an important component on any dishwasher. It sprays water through tiny holes at the end of the arm as it spins inside the unit to clean your dishes. 

Over time food particles and mineral deposits can clog these holes and prevent or slow the flow of water. This is easy to resolve and can be done with the spray arms still in situ but is best done once the spray arm has been removed.

Once the spray arm is removed from the dishwasher (they just lift off) you can easily get to the holes and using a toothpick or similar ensure that the holes are free from any blockages.

Then soak the spray arm in a warm water and white vinegar solution to remove any mineral deposits that are stuck firm. Then replace the spray arm firmly back into the unit and give it a gentle spin to ensure it moves freely.

Faulty Circulation Pump

Whirlpool dishwashers all have a circulation pump (motor) that has to work for the appliance to work properly. If your Whirlpool dishwasher fills with water and then stops, it could be because the circulation pump (motor) has developed a fault.

If you can hear a clicking noise emanating from the motor, it’s a good indicator that the motor is faulty and will almost certainly need to be replaced.

Before replacing the motor, you should perform a continuity test using a multimeter.

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This entails disconnecting the dishwasher from the mains power supply by removing the plug from the wall socket. You will then need to locate the motor which is usually found behind the access panel or the bottom kick plate.

Disconnect the wires attached to the motor and place the multimeter’s probe to the wire terminals with the multimeter set to Rx1. If the motor is OK you should get a reading of zero or very close to zero.

You then need to check the earth connection by placing one probe on each terminal at a time while the other probe is touching the motor’s metal housing. You should also get a zero or close to zero reading from these as well.

If you get any different readings from any of these tests, you’ll need to replace the motor.

How To Replace The Motor On A Whirlpool Dishwasher

If you are a confident DIYer and feel safe to replace the motor yourself all you need to do is;

  1. Remove The Appliance From The Electrical Supply
    The first step is to remove the plug from the wall socket to ensure there is no power running to the unit.
  2. Remove The Motor
    To remove the motor you will need to unscrew the screws that hold it in place and then remove the lower rack, the spray tower, lower spray arm assembly, the filter assembly, the drain hose and the pump and motor assembly from the base.
  3. Replace The Motor
    Install the new motor and replace all of the components that had to be removed to access the old motor.
  4. Check For Leaks
    Ensure there are no leaks visible beneath the appliance.
  5. Reconnect The Power
    Once you’re satisfied that everything is as it should be, replace the plug and turn the socket on and run a cycle to ensure it is all working correctly.

SEE ALSO: How To Clean The Filter On An Old Whirlpool Dishwasher

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my Whirlpool dishwasher shut off after a few seconds?

If your Whirlpool dishwasher shuts off after a few seconds it’s likely to be because of a faulty water inlet valve. If the appliance cannot fill with water it will shut off because it would not be safe to move onto the next part of the cycle.

What is the most common problem with a Whirlpool dishwasher?

The most common problem with a Whirlpool dishwasher is either a lack of water or a clogged drain. More often than not this is caused by a twisted or kinked hose, a faulty water inlet valve or a faulty pump motor.

What is the expected life of a Whirlpool dishwasher?

The expected lifespan of a Whirlpool dishwasher is around 10 to 13 years. The appliance will last longer if it is regularly maintained, the filter is cleaned regularly and you scrape excess food stuff from the dishes.

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