A Whirlpool dishwasher that fills with water but then stops without completing its cycle can be frustrating. However, this issue can often be resolved with some troubleshooting steps. In this guide, we will walk you through the possible causes and solutions for a Whirlpool dishwasher that fills with water but fails to continue its cycle.
1. Check for Basic Issues:
Before delving into more complex troubleshooting, it’s important to rule out some basic problems that could be causing the dishwasher to stop after filling with water:
a. Power Supply: Ensure that the dishwasher is properly plugged in and that there are no issues with the power supply. Check the circuit breaker to make sure it hasn’t tripped.
b. Door Latch: Make sure the dishwasher door is securely closed and latched. Some models won’t start unless the door is properly sealed.
c. Water Supply: Confirm that the water supply valve to the dishwasher is fully open and that there are no kinks or blockages in the water inlet hose.
2. Assess the Control Panel:
If the basic checks don’t resolve the issue, consider problems related to the control panel and settings:
a. Control Lock: Some dishwashers have a control lock feature that can accidentally be activated. Check your user manual to see how to deactivate it.
b. Cycle Selection: Verify that you have selected the correct cycle and options. Sometimes, a different cycle than the one intended can cause the dishwasher to stop unexpectedly.
c. Delay Start: Ensure that the delay start function is not activated, as this can make the dishwasher start later than expected.
3. Examine the Float Switch:
A common reason for a dishwasher to stop filling with water is a malfunctioning float switch. The float switch is a small device located at the base of the dishwasher tub, and it detects the water level. If it’s stuck or faulty, it can prevent the dishwasher from continuing its cycle. Here’s how to check it:
a. Access the Float Switch: Depending on your model, you may need to remove the lower access panel or the dishwasher’s kick plate to access the float switch.
b. Inspect for Debris: Check for any debris, such as food particles or foreign objects, that might be obstructing the movement of the float.
c. Test the Switch: Gently lift and lower the float by hand. You should hear a clicking sound as it moves. If there’s no clicking sound or if it’s stuck, the float switch may need to be replaced.
4. Check the Water Inlet Valve:
The water inlet valve controls the flow of water into the dishwasher. If it’s malfunctioning, it can prevent the dishwasher from filling with water. Here’s how to inspect it:
a. Locate the Inlet Valve: The water inlet valve is typically located at the bottom of the dishwasher, behind the access panel.
b. Check for Clogs: Inspect the valve for any clogs or obstructions. Sometimes, debris can prevent it from opening fully.
c. Test the Valve: You can use a multimeter to test if the valve is receiving power when the dishwasher is supposed to be filling. If it’s not receiving power, it may be a control board issue. If it’s receiving power but not opening, the valve may need to be replaced.
5. Assess the Control Board:
If none of the above steps resolve the issue, it’s possible that there’s a problem with the dishwasher’s control board. This is a more complex and costly repair, and it may require professional assistance. Common control board issues include burnt-out relays or damaged circuitry.
6. Inspect the Drain Pump:
Another potential culprit for a dishwasher filling with water but not advancing in the cycle is a malfunctioning drain pump. If the drain pump is not working correctly, the dishwasher may stop to prevent overfilling. Here’s what you can do:
a. Access the Drain Pump: Locate the drain pump, typically at the base of the dishwasher. You might need to remove the lower access panel or the dishwasher’s kick plate to reach it.
b. Check for Clogs: Inspect the pump and the pump impeller for any debris or foreign objects that may be obstructing its operation.
c. Test the Pump: If you suspect the pump is faulty, you can use a multimeter to check if it’s receiving power when the dishwasher should be draining. If it’s not receiving power, it could be a control board issue. If it’s receiving power but not running, the pump may need to be replaced.
7. Examine the Water Pressure:
In some cases, low water pressure can prevent the dishwasher from filling adequately. Here’s how to assess the water pressure:
a. Water Supply Valve: Ensure that the water supply valve leading to the dishwasher is fully open. Sometimes, a partially closed valve can limit water flow.
b. Water Inlet Screen: Check the water inlet screen on the dishwasher. This screen can become clogged with debris over time, restricting water flow. Clean it if necessary.
c. Check Water Pressure in Your Home: Insufficient water pressure in your home’s plumbing system can affect the dishwasher’s performance. Consult a plumber to assess and potentially adjust the water pressure if it’s consistently low.
8. Verify the Drain Hose:
A kinked or blocked drain hose can also cause issues. Make sure to inspect the dishwasher’s drain hose:
a. Hose Inspection: Examine the drain hose for any kinks or bends that might be restricting water flow. Ensure it’s properly connected to both the dishwasher and the drain.
b. Drain Air Gap: If your dishwasher has an air gap installed on the countertop or sink, check it for clogs. Clear any debris or obstructions that may be preventing proper drainage.
9. Run Diagnostic Mode (If Available):
Some Whirlpool dishwashers have a diagnostic mode that can help identify specific issues. Refer to your dishwasher’s user manual for instructions on how to initiate the diagnostic mode. This can provide error codes or information that can pinpoint the problem.
10. Seek Professional Assistance:
If you’ve followed all the above steps and the dishwasher still won’t proceed past the water-filling stage, it may be time to seek professional assistance. At this point, the problem could be a more complex issue involving the control board, sensors, or other internal components. A certified appliance technician will have the tools and expertise to diagnose and repair these advanced problems.
Common Causes of Whirlpool Dishwasher Filling and Stopping
|Cause||Description||Potential Solution||Cost of Repair||Difficulty Level|
|Clogged Water Inlet||Inlet valve is obstructed, preventing water flow.||Clean or replace inlet valve.||$20-$50||Moderate|
|Faulty Float Switch||Float switch may be stuck or malfunctioning.||Check and replace float switch.||$15-$30||Easy|
|Water Supply Issue||Insufficient water pressure or supply problems.||Ensure proper water supply.||Varies||Easy|
|Timer or Control Board||Timer or control board issues can interrupt cycles.||Replace timer or control board.||$50-$150||Moderate|
|Overloaded Dishwasher||Overloading can lead to imbalance and shutdown.||Load dishes according to manual.||N/A||Easy|
|Drainage Problem||Poor drainage can trigger a halt in the cycle.||Clear drain and check hose.||$10-$40||Moderate|
|Dirty Filters||Filters may be clogged, restricting water flow.||Clean or replace filters.||$10-$30||Easy|
|Door Latch Issue||Faulty door latch may not engage properly.||Repair or replace door latch.||$20-$40||Moderate|
|High Temp Thermostat||Overheating can cause the dishwasher to stop.||Replace high temp thermostat.||$15-$30||Moderate|
|Water Inlet Valve||Valve failure can lead to improper water filling.||Replace the water inlet valve.||$20-$50||Moderate|
Troubleshooting Steps for Whirlpool Dishwasher Filling and Stopping Issue
|Problem Description||Troubleshooting Steps|
|Dishwasher Doesn’t Fill||1. Check water supply and pressure.|
|2. Inspect the inlet valve for clogs or damage.|
|3. Ensure the float switch moves freely.|
|4. Clean or replace filters if they are dirty.|
|Dishwasher Stops Mid-Cycle||1. Verify the dishwasher isn’t overloaded.|
|2. Check for any debris or clogs in the drain.|
|3. Examine the timer or control board for issues.|
|4. Inspect the high temp thermostat for problems.|
|5. Examine the door latch for proper functioning.|
DIY Repair Tips for Whirlpool Dishwasher Water Filling Issue
|Problem||DIY Repair Tips|
|Clogged Water Inlet||Clean the inlet valve screen. Replace if necessary.|
|Faulty Float Switch||Lubricate or replace the float switch as needed.|
|Water Supply Issue||Ensure adequate water pressure and correct supply.|
|Overloaded Dishwasher||Follow the dishwasher loading guidelines.|
|Dirty Filters||Clean filters regularly or replace if damaged.|
Professional Repair Cost Estimates for Whirlpool Dishwasher Issue
|Repair Description||Estimated Cost Range|
|Inlet Valve Replacement||$20 – $50|
|Float Switch Replacement||$15 – $30|
|Control Board Replacement||$50 – $150|
|Door Latch Repair/Replacement||$20 – $40|
|High Temp Thermostat Replacement||$15 – $30|
|Water Inlet Valve Replacement||$20 – $50|
|Drainage System Repair||$10 – $40|
Difficulty Levels for Whirlpool Dishwasher Repairs
|Repair Description||Difficulty Level|
|Inlet Valve Replacement||Moderate|
|Float Switch Replacement||Easy|
|Control Board Replacement||Moderate|
|Door Latch Repair/Replacement||Moderate|
|High Temp Thermostat Replacement||Moderate|
|Water Inlet Valve Replacement||Moderate|
|Drainage System Repair||Moderate|
Troubleshooting a Whirlpool dishwasher that fills with water but doesn’t continue its cycle can be a systematic process. By methodically checking various components like the float switch, water inlet valve, drain pump, and water pressure, you can often identify and resolve the issue. If the problem persists or if you’re unsure about any of the steps, consulting Whirlpool customer service or a qualified appliance repair technician is advisable for a more thorough diagnosis and repair. Remember to prioritize safety when working with electrical appliances and always disconnect power before inspecting or repairing your dishwasher.