How to Fix a Whirlpool Dishwasher That Will Not Drain

Imagine the frustration of opening your dishwasher after a full cycle, only to find standing water at the bottom. A dishwasher that won’t drain is not only inconvenient but can also lead to unpleasant odors and potential damage. In this guide, we’ll explore the step-by-step process of troubleshooting and fixing a Whirlpool dishwasher that refuses to drain properly.

How to Fix a Whirlpool Dishwasher That Will Not Drain?

Dishwashers have become indispensable in modern kitchens, making daily chores more manageable. However, when a dishwasher encounters issues, it can disrupt the smooth flow of kitchen activities. One common problem users face is a dishwasher that fails to drain after completing a wash cycle. Addressing this issue promptly is crucial to maintaining the optimal performance of your appliance.

If your Whirlpool dishwasher is not draining properly, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can take to try and fix the issue. First, check the drain hose for any clogs or kinks that may be obstructing the flow of water. You can also inspect the drain pump for any blockages or debris that may be preventing it from working properly.

Another common reason for a dishwasher not draining is a faulty drain pump. In this case, you may need to replace the drain pump to resolve the issue. If these steps do not solve the problem, it may be best to contact a professional appliance repair service to diagnose and fix the issue with your Whirlpool dishwasher.

Diagnosing the Problem

Before diving into the solution, it’s essential to understand the potential causes of a dishwasher not draining. The three main culprits are often a clogged drain hose, a blocked garbage disposal, or a malfunctioning drain pump. Identifying the specific issue will guide you in the right direction for an effective fix.

Tools Needed

Gathering the necessary tools for troubleshooting is a vital step. You’ll need a screwdriver, pliers, and a bucket to catch any water that may spill during the process. Additionally, ensure safety by turning off the dishwasher and disconnecting it from the power source.

Step-by-Step Guide

1. Unplugging the Dishwasher

Safety comes first. Start by disconnecting the dishwasher from the power supply. This ensures a secure environment for troubleshooting without the risk of electrical accidents.

2. Inspecting the Drain Hose

Check the drain hose for any obstructions. Disconnect it from the sink or garbage disposal and inspect both ends. Use a wire hanger or pipe cleaner to clear any debris that may be blocking the flow of water.

3. Clearing Debris from the Garbage Disposal

If your dishwasher is connected to a garbage disposal, ensure it’s not clogged. Remove any accumulated debris, and run the garbage disposal to clear the pathway for water drainage.

4. Assessing the Drain Pump

The drain pump plays a crucial role in expelling water from the dishwasher. Remove the dishwasher’s bottom panel to access the pump. Inspect for any foreign objects and ensure the pump’s impeller can move freely.

Additional Tips

To prevent future drainage issues, consider using a mixture of vinegar and baking soda for monthly maintenance. Pouring this solution into the dishwasher and running a short cycle helps eliminate residue and keeps the drain system clear. Regularly cleaning the dishwasher’s filter also contributes to optimal performance.

When to Seek Professional Help

While DIY methods are effective in many cases, there are instances where professional assistance is necessary. If the problem persists despite your efforts, contact Whirlpool customer support or a certified technician for expert guidance.

Common Misconceptions

Addressing common myths about dishwasher maintenance is essential. For example, using too much detergent doesn’t necessarily lead to cleaner dishes; in fact, it can contribute to clogs and drainage issues. Providing accurate information helps users make informed decisions about their dishwasher care.

Importance of Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance not only fixes immediate issues but also extends the lifespan of your dishwasher. Simple practices, such as cleaning filters and checking for debris, can save you money on potential repairs in the long run.

Troubleshooting Other Dishwasher Problems

While this guide focuses on drainage issues, it’s worth noting that dishwashers may encounter various problems. For a comprehensive troubleshooting guide, refer to the manufacturer’s manual or visit their official website.


In conclusion, a Whirlpool dishwasher that won’t drain is a common issue with practical solutions. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can identify and rectify the problem efficiently. Remember, proactive maintenance is key to ensuring your dishwasher operates smoothly for years to come.


Why is regular maintenance important for my dishwasher?

Regular maintenance prevents issues like clogs and drainage problems, extending the lifespan of your dishwasher.

Can I use any type of cleaner for my dishwasher?

It’s recommended to use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda for monthly maintenance. Avoid abrasive cleaners that may damage the appliance.

What should I do if the problem persists after following the guide?

If the issue continues, contact Whirlpool customer support or a certified technician for professional assistance.

Are dishwasher drainage issues covered under warranty?

Check your appliance’s warranty documentation. Some drainage issues may be covered, while others may require additional maintenance.

Can using too much detergent cause drainage problems?

Yes, excess detergent can lead to clogs and affect the dishwasher’s drainage system. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for detergent usage.

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