The problem of your Whirlpool dishwasher not draining is a serious cause of concern. This is especially true when your sink is already full of dishes. You see a pool of water at the bottom of the dishwasher and find no way to get it out of the appliance. Normally, dishwashers have drainage pumps and valves to flush the water out of the system. But, continuous use causes malfunctioning and blocks outgoing water.

If your dishwasher also doesn’t drain properly, you need to check it from the inside and find the root cause. Here, you will get all the potential reasons why your Whirlpool dishwasher is not draining. You will also get practical solutions to fix the problem at home. You don’t need any fancy tools and can do it yourself.

So, without any further delay, let’ start.

Clogged Drain Hose

Man fixing Whirlpool Dishwasher not draining
Man fixing Whirlpool Dishwasher not draining

One of the main reasons for the Whirlpool dishwasher not draining problem is a clogged drain hose.

A drain hose is a thin pipe that carries waste water out of the appliance and is one of the main parts of the dishwasher drainage system. Sometimes, leftover food, bones, or other meal chunks find no way to escape and obstruct the water flow.

Similarly, dishwashers installed in a small space can have bends in the drain hose. These bends or kinks do not allow a smooth water flow, making it clogged.

Clogged Drain HoseInspect, clear obstructions, and straighten hose.
Faulty Drain PumpCheck, clean, and ensure impeller spins freely.
Blocked Drain FilterLocate, remove, clean, and replace filter.
Garbage Disposal IssuesTurn off, remove obstructions, clear drain pipe.
Defective Drain ValveLocate, clean or replace valve.
Improper InstallationCheck leveling, adjust feet, and ensure proper hose slope.

How to fix it:

Fixing a clogged dishwasher drain hose is easy, and you can do it in no time. Before doing anything, ensure the appliance is turned off and the power supply is disconnected to avoid accidents. Locate the drain hose that must be at the back of the machine.

Now, carefully inspect the entire length of the pipe. You can use a flashlight for a clear view of any obstruction to find any blockages. Take a long flexible brush or a pipe cleaner and gently remove obstructed food particles. Just be sure to avoid sharp objects that may damage the hose.

  • On the other hand, if this exercise did not work for you, try disconnecting the drain hose from the dishwasher. You can do it after locating the hose end near the garbage disposal. Use pliers to loosen the clamp that secures the hose to the disposal. Once the clamp is loose, pull the hose off the dishwasher carefully. Now, everything will be clear, and you can manually remove physical obstructions in the pipe.
  • You can also use a garden hose on high pressure to unclog the drain pipe.
  • Minor clogs in the dishwasher are manageable with the baking soda and vinegar solution. Remember, this solution works to remove dirt or grease (not hard objects) in the line. 

Also, ensure the drain hose lies straight without bends or kinks.

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Faulty Drain Pump

If your drain hose is free to pass water, but water is still blocked on the bottom, then there is a chance that the drain pump is the main culprit.

The drain pump is a dishwasher device responsible for pumping water (with its motor) from the washing area to the drain hose. Sometimes grease or soap makes a film over it, affecting its normal functioning. Its motor cannot pump water and your dishwasher fails to drain despite having unclogged drain hose. Similarly, tiny hard objects can also get stuck in the pump, making it hard to work properly.

How to fix it:

Follow these instructions to fix a faulty drain pump:

  • First, locate the drain pump in the dishwasher setting. You can find it on the bottom near the sump area, either covered by a panel or housing.
  • Now carefully inspect it and find the thing that is keeping the pump from working. You can check for any visible signs of damage or blockages. Look for food particles accumulated in its parts and clean the surface without further damaging the pump.
  • Similarly, check the pump impeller. It is a rotating component inside drain pump that helps to move water out of the dishwasher. Make sure the impeller is not blocked and spins freely. You can use your finger or a small tool to gently rotate the impeller. Your pump impeller will be fine if it shows no resistance; otherwise, notice irregularities and consider it the cause of the problem.
  • Now disassemble the pump for in-depth cleaning. Just use a screwdriver to remove the screws at the bottom of dishwasher. Take the panel out and unscrew the pump. Turn the pump counterclockwise to loosen it, and you will have it separated. Just thoroughly clean the pump, remove all obstructions and reattach by reversing all above-mentioned steps.  
  • After all the fixing and cleaning, run a short cycle to check everything is draining smoothly.

Blocked Drain Filter

Clogged drain filters can also cause the problem of the Whirlpool dishwasher not draining.

Filters are there to remove physical objects like food particles, bone pieces or broken cutlery parts in the dishwasher. These filters work to separate out these hard objects that may cause clogging, but in some cases, blockage of these filters results in water accumulation. This is the worst thing you can ever imagine. But like any other problem, it is also curable, and you can do it the way described in the next section.

How to fix it:

If your Whirlpool dishwasher is not draining because of a blocked filter, then its cleaning is mandatory. You can do this after locating the filter’s position. It is mostly present in the tub interior – either under lower spray arm or in the tub back corner. So remove the lower dish rack to access the filter.

Turn the filter clockwise and gently pull. If it does not come out, use a flashlight to check the directional arrows on the filter cover. You will do it in a minute.

 Clean the filter properly when you have successfully removed it. Visually inspect it for any debris or clogs, and also pay special attention to the crevices and filter mesh where particles may be trapped.

Keeping the drain filter in a mixture of warm water and soap significantly helps to get rid of all grease and filth. 

Carefully reinsert the filter back to its original position after cleaning and run a cycle to ensure everything is fine.

Garbage Disposal Issues: Whirlpool Dishwasher

Women Plumber fixing Whirlpool Dishwasher not draining
Plumber Fixing Whirlpool Dishwasher Not Draining

If your Whirlpool dishwasher does not drain despite having a functional drain hose, pump and filter, it is time to check the garbage disposal.

As the name indicates, the garbage disposal is meant to dispose food waste. It grinds food leftovers and prevents its entry to the dishwasher. It is properly connected to the dishwasher with a drain hose, so malfunctioning of garbage disposal can lead to dishwasher drainage issues. Your appliance may get clogged and release no water. Thus, checking garbage disposal can save from many problems.

How to fix i:

Turn the power supply off to the garbage disposal unit and inspect for any obstructions. Remove debris such as food scraps or foreign objects using tongs or long-handled tools. Do not try to put your hand in the garbage disposal unit, as sharp cutting blades can bleed your hand. At the same time, disconnect the drain pipe from garbage disposal unit to the main drain and clear any debris. This will ensure smooth water flow from the garbage disposal unit to the dishwasher and outside.

Defective Drain Valve

The problem “Whirlpool dishwasher not draining” is specifically linked to the drain valve.

The drain valve opens and closes during a wash cycle, allowing waste water to exit the dishwasher. This valve, in normal functioning, keeps the tub free of standing water as it serves as a gateway to the water. Sometimes, this valve stuck at a closed position and does not allow water to expel from the dishwasher. The completely functional dishwasher keeps on doing dishes without knowing that the water outlet is closed. The reason to this defective valve could be the physical damage or simple blockage due to debris accumulation.

How to fix it: Whirlpool Dishwasher

First, locate the drain valve that is behind the dishwasher’s front kick plate, near the motor.

If your dishwasher drain valve is clogged for the debris, the only option is to clean it nicely. Make sure there is no debris build-up. In the second case, replace the defective valve with a new one, and the drainage issue will be resolved in no time.

Improper Installation

Proper installation of dishwasher is the key to a well-draining dishwasher. It save from the trouble of Whirlpool dishwasher not draining. Improperly installed units are not balanced and allow back movement of water.

How to fix it: Whirlpool Dishwasher

The only solution to this problem is the proper installation with proper leveling. Use a bubble level to check the front-to-front and side-to-side levelness of the dishwasher. You can use adjustable feet or shims to increase the dishwasher’s stability.

Similarly, the drain hose must be connected the right way with no bends and kinks. Ensure the drain hose has a gradual slope downward to allow water to flow freely without drainage issues.

Conclusion – Whirlpool Dishwasher not Draining!

Problems in dishwashers are common, but “Whirlpool dishwasher not draining” is a complex one. You still get a pool of soapy water in the dishwasher tub, giving no clue of a defect. If your dishwasher also does the same, just cross check its signs with the causes that are mentioned above. You will find the main causes of a blocked drain in no time. 

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