Whirlpool Dishwasher Not Washing? (here’s what to do)

Whirlpool is a well known and trusted manufacturer of household appliances. They have been making dishwashers for many years which are a popular choice in many homes.

However, even well known, popular appliances can go wrong occasionally. If you own a Whirlpool dishwasher and it’s not washing, keep reading.

In this article we take a close look at all of the reasons why your Whirlpool dishwasher is not washing. As well as offering the best solutions to these issues.

Why Is My Whirlpool Dishwasher Not Washing?

There are several reasons why your Whirlpool dishwasher might not be washing, which include;

Probable CauseSolution
No Power SupplyCheck that the dishwasher is receiving power
Dishwasher Door Not Closed ProperlyEnsure the door is fully closed
Incorrectly Loaded DishesEnsure dishes are stacked in the dishwasher correctly
Lack Of Rinse AidEnsure the rinse aid dispenser is topped up regularly
Clogged FilterRemove and clean the filter
No WaterCheck the water supply
Low Water PressureContact your local water authority
Wash Cycle Not Hot EnoughSelect a more suitable cycle
Defective Water Inlet ValveContact a technician
Faulty Float SwitchCheck and replace the float switch if necessary
Defective PumpContact a technician

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

No Power Supply

person pressing a button on dishwasher control panel

This might seem obvious, but it’s amazing just how many times the cause of the dishwasher not washing is no power. If the LED lights on the front of your Whirlpool dishwasher are not on, and don’t come on when you press them, it’s a sure sign that your dishwasher isn’t getting any power.

You will need to check; 

  • The power cord for any signs of fraying or other damage 
  • The plug is fully connected to the wall socket
  • The wall socket works (this can be checked by plugging something else in the same socket)
  • The circuit breaker is in the on position
  • There is power being supplied to your home

Dishwasher Door Not Closed Properly

The door on your Whirlpool dishwasher latches securely to prevent any water from escaping from the appliance and flooding your kitchen. The door latch sends a signal to the control board via the door sensor. The control board then knows it’s safe to allow water to enter the dishwasher and the wash cycle to commence.

In some cases, the door latch or sensor can fail which means the closed door signal doesn’t reach the control board and the dishwasher will not start washing for safety reasons.

The first thing you need to do is check for any pots, dishes or utensils protruding into the door area and preventing the door from closing properly.

If the door area is clear of any obstructions, you will need to get the door latch and sensor checked out. This can be done by a confident DIYer using a multimeter, but we recommend getting a technician to carry out these tests and replace any faulty components.

Incorrectly Loaded Dishes

loading a dishwasher

If the dishes have been incorrectly loaded into the dishwasher, it can appear that the dishwasher hasn’t washed them.

You should always allow enough space between dishes to allow the water to cover each one. Plates should be placed on the lower rack facing inwards with one plate to each slot in the rack. Saucepans and cookware should also be placed on the lower rack face down to facilitate washing, rinsing and drying.

The upper rack is for cups, glassware and bowls which should be placed face down. Large utensils should also be placed on the top rack laying flat.

The cutlery basket is just for knives, forks and spoons and each item should be placed in such a way as to not allow nesting. The cutlery should be placed upright and not allowed to slope in the rack.

Any dishes that overlap will not get cleaned properly so take care when loading the dishwasher.

Lack Of Rinse Aid

If your dishes are coming out of your dishwasher with dirty looking streaks all over them, it could be due to a lack of rinse aid. Rinse aid is essential in cleaning dishes properly in a dishwasher.

The rinse aid breaks down the surface tension of the water droplets and decreases the buildup of mineral deposits found in tap water. To ensure your dishes are as clean as possible, always ensure the rinse aid dispenser is topped up.

Clogged Filter

The filter on your dishwasher is designed to trap all of the food particles and other debris that is washed from your dishes. This prevents the dishes getting dirty again as well as preventing any dirt or food from clogging any of the working parts of the dishwasher.

The filter should be removed and cleaned at least once per month to prevent it getting clogged with a buildup of food waste. Consult your user manual on the location and removal of your dishwasher’s filter.

No Water

Dishwashers need water to clean dishes and your dishwasher relies on your home’s water supply. If you suspect a lack of water is the reason why your dishes are not getting washed, you will need to check;

  • The inlet hose for any twists or kinks
  • The inlet tap to ensure it is fully opened
  • The stopcock in your home to ensure there is water
  • The main water supply in case there are works outside of your home causing a lack of water

If you are sure there is adequate water entering your home and dishwasher, you can move onto the next possible cause.

Low Water Pressure


Your dishwasher needs at least 20 psi water pressure to function properly. In most cases, a UK home will be supplied with water at an adequate pressure.

You can check the water pressure entering your home by filling a 1 gallon (4.5 litre) bucket with water from the cold tap in your kitchen. If it takes 30 seconds or less to fill, the water pressure is good enough.

If it takes longer than 30 seconds, you will need to check that the stopcock is fully opened. If it is, then you’ll need to contact your local water authority.

Wash Cycle Not Hot Enough

If you have heavily soiled dishes and select a short cool wash cycle, they will still have remnants of food and stains left after the cycle has completed.

Heavily soiled dishes need a long, hot wash cycle to clean and this could be the cause of your dishwasher not washing problem.

Always ensure you select the correct wash cycle and temperature for the level of dirt you are trying to clean.

Defective Water Inlet Valve

All of the water that enters the dishwasher does so via the inlet valve. If the inlet valve is defective or has developed a fault, it could impede the flow of water into the appliance and cause the dishes to not clean properly.

We recommend getting a technician to check and replace the inlet valve if necessary.

Faulty Float Switch


The float switch is a device that is found on the bottom of the dishwasher’s tub. As the dishwasher fills with water, the float rises until it reaches a predetermined level at which point it sends a message to the control board which shuts off the water inlet valve.

If the float switch is faulty, it might send the water full message before there is enough (or any) water in the tub. This will prevent the dishwasher from washing.

If you know how to use a multimeter, it is possible to check the float switch yourself. You will need to test it for continuity and if it has none, it will need to be replaced. Float switches are relatively inexpensive parts and are also quite easy to fit.

However, if this is a step too far, we recommend contacting a technician to check and replace the float switch for you.

Defective Pump

The pump forces the water through the spray arms and onto the dishes to get them clean. If the pump develops a fault the water will not have sufficient pressure and the dishes won’t get clean.

If you suspect the pump is defective, we recommend contacting a technician to check and replace it for you.

SEE ALSO: Whirlpool Dishwasher Diagnostic Mode Explained

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my Whirlpool dishwasher not washing my dishes?

If your Whirlpool dishwasher isn’t washing your dishes it could be because; there’s no power, the dishwasher door isn’t closed properly, the dishes are loaded incorrectly, there’s no rinse aid, the filter is clogged, the water supply is off, there is low water pressure, you have selected a wash cycle that’s not hot enough, the inlet valve is faulty, the float switch is faulty or the pump is faulty.

Why is my Whirlpool dishwasher filling and draining but not washing?

If your Whirlpool dishwasher is filling and draining but not washing, there is a problem with the pump. You will need to get the pump checked out and most likely replaced.

Does a Whirlpool dishwasher have a reset button?

Whirlpool dishwashers don’t have dedicated reset buttons as such. To reset a Whirlpool dishwasher you need to press the heated dry button followed by the normal button and then repeat in quick succession. This should cause it to reset.

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