Troubleshooting Your Whirlpool Dishwasher A Complete Guide

Troubleshooting Your Whirlpool Dishwasher A Complete Guide

Having trouble with your Whirlpool dishwasher? You're not alone. Dishwashers can develop a variety of problems over time, from draining issues to problems with the wash cycle. The good news is that many dishwasher troubles can be easily fixed with some basic troubleshooting and maintenance.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through the most common Whirlpool dishwasher problems and provide step-by-step instructions for getting your appliance back up and running. We'll cover troubleshooting flashing lights, error codes, draining issues, and more. Read on to learn how to diagnose and repair your Whirlpool dishwasher.

Understanding Whirlpool Dishwasher Error Codes

If your Whirlpool dishwasher is displaying an error code, refer to the owner's manual for additional troubleshooting tips specific to the detected error. Taking note of the codes can help you zero in on the problem.

Troubleshooting Flashing Lights on Your Whirlpool Dishwasher

Some legacy Whirlpool dishwashers use flashing lights rather than error codes to indicate issues. Here are some of the most common blinking light patterns and what they signify:

If you notice flashing or blinking dishwasher lights, refer to your owner's manual for model-specific causes. Also try pressing buttons to reset the control panel and running an empty load to check if the issue persists.

How to Reset a Whirlpool Dishwasher

Resetting your Whirlpool dishwasher can help resolve error codes, blinking lights, and glitchy behavior. Here are the steps to reset Whirlpool dishwashers:

  1. Locate the circuit breaker connected to the dishwasher and turn it OFF.

  2. Wait 30 seconds then turn the breaker back ON.

  3. Wait for 2 minutes as the dishwasher resets.

  4. Press and hold the "Heated Dry" button for 5 seconds until lights flash. This resets the control panel.

  5. Run a test cycle to check if resetting cleared the issues.

Resetting your Whirlpool dishwasher essentially helps reboot the appliance and can clear any stuck buttons, electronic glitches, and error states. However, if problems persist after resetting, further troubleshooting may be needed.

Cleaning a Whirlpool Dishwasher Thoroughly

One of the best ways to keep your Whirlpool dishwasher running smoothly is to give it a deep clean regularly. Here's how to clean your Whirlpool dishwasher properly:

  1. Clean the filter - Locate the filter at the bottom of the tub and remove any debris trapped in it. Give it a rinse or soak if greasy.

  2. Check spray arms - Spin the spray arms and make sure the water jets are clear of any blockages.

  3. Clean the door - Wipe down the rubber gasket with a damp cloth and get rid of any grime buildup.

  4. Disinfect the interior - Mix up an all-purpose cleaner or a vinegar solution and wipe out the dishwasher tub by hand. This removes odors and soap scum.

  5. De-lime if needed - Use a dishwasher cleaning product or run a hot vinegar cycle to de-lime and descale the dishwasher.

  6. Wipe exterior - Use a stainless steel cleaner and cloth to polish and clean the dishwasher exterior. Pay attention to buttons and handles.

  7. Refresh rinse aid - Check the rinse aid reservoir and top it up with more rinse aid regularly.

Giving your Whirlpool dishwasher a deep clean improves performance and can prevent many common problems. Refer to your owner's manual for any model-specific cleaning tips.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Installing a Whirlpool Dishwasher

  1. Prepare the opening - The rough opening for the dishwasher should be 24" to 25" deep and 34" to 35” high. The sides need to be plumb.

  2. Turn off power - Flip the circuit breaker for the dishwasher junction box before installation for safety.

  3. Position the dishwasher - Gently slide the new dishwasher into place ensuring proper alignment. Do not push too forcibly against the door.

  4. Level the appliance - Adjust leveling legs at the base until the dishwasher is evenly balanced. Test with a spirit level.

  5. Secure the dishwasher - Screw bracket hooks into the adjacent cabinet sides to stabilize the dishwasher and prevent tipping.

  6. Connect drains/pipes - Attach the drain hose securely to the sink drain pipe. Connect inlet hoses to hot water supply line.

  7. Connect power - Use wire nuts to connect the dishwasher wires to the junction box wires following the color scheme.

  8. Test and recheck - Run an empty wash cycle to check for leaks and proper functioning before pushing back into the cabinet.

Refer to the installation manual for model-specific instructions. Having an appliance repair technician inspect your new dishwasher is also recommended. Proper installation is key to reliability and performance.

Fixing Common Whirlpool Dishwasher Draining Problems

Clogged drains and draining issues are some of the most reported problems in Whirlpool dishwashers. Here are tips for fixing common Whirlpool dishwasher draining problems:

  1. Check and clean the drain valve - Use a turkey baster to remove debris from the drain valve, which can get clogged over time.

  2. Clean the drain pump filter - Unscrew the drain pump filter and remove any trapped food or gunk. Rinse thoroughly before replacing.

  3. Inspect the drain hose - Make sure the drain hose is properly mounted with no kinks. Clogs can occur in the hose drainage path.

  4. Unclog the garbage disposal - If plumbed through the disposal, switch off power and manually rotate the disposal blades to unclog.

  5. Test functionality - Place a bowl under the drain valve. Open the valve manually with a wrench. If water flows freely, the clog is after the valve point.

  6. Use a dishwasher cleaner - Monthly drain cleaning/de-liming with a dishwasher cleaner can prevent future buildup of deposits.

Continued draining problems may indicate a faulty drain pump needing replacement or issues with the dishwasher circulation assembly. Have an appliance technician inspect the dishwasher if problems persist after cleaning.

DIY Fixes for Common Whirlpool Dishwasher Problems

Many common Whirlpool dishwasher problems can be repaired yourself without a costly service call. Here are some DIY fixes:

Door latch won't latch

The inner door may have debris or needs realignment. Remove any debris, then adjust door alignment screws.

Detergent dispenser won't open

Clean out the soap residue preventing the dispenser from opening. Use tweezers if needed.

Leaking dishwasher

Check door seals for splits. Make sure the dishwasher is properly leveled. Adjust if needed to fix minor leaks.

Noisy dishwasher

Inspect spray arms, soap dispenser, and filter for obstructions. Remove any debris causing noise. Also check motor and circulation pump.

Dishes not drying fully

Clean or replace the vent assembly so moisture can properly vent. Make sure the rinse aid reservoir is full.

Cloudy residue on dishes

Try running a vinegar rinse to remove soap scum buildup. Check water hardness and adjust dishwasher salt as needed.

Water pooling in bottom

Ensure the drain hose is properly elevated off the floor so water can fully drain. The drain pump may also need cleaning.

Clean light keeps flashing

Check the heating element for any obstructions and remove them. Test the continuity of the heating element with a multimeter.

Black or brown spots on dishes

The spray arm jets may have mineral buildup. Remove and soak the arms in white vinegar, then use a toothbrush to clean the jets.

Poor washing performance

Make sure dishes are loaded properly so spray arms can rotate freely. Check spray arm movement and clean off any obstructions.

With some basic troubleshooting, you can repair many minor problems with your Whirlpool dishwasher. But if issues persist, don't hesitate to call in a professional appliance repair technician.

Maintaining Your Whirlpool Dishwasher for Optimal Performance

Like any appliance, proper maintenance keeps your Whirlpool dishwasher running efficiently for years. Follow these maintenance tips:

Following the manufacturer's maintenance guidelines will keep your Whirlpool dishwasher running optimally. Be sure to consult your owner's manual.

When to Call a Whirlpool Dishwasher Repair Professional

While many dishwasher issues can be DIY repaired, some problems require a trained appliance technician. Call a Whirlpool dishwasher repair pro for:

While tempting to keep troubleshooting yourself, safety should be the number one priority. A professional Whirlpool repair technician has the skills, diagnostic tools, and parts to properly diagnose and fix complex mechanical and electrical dishwasher problems.

Whirlpool Dishwasher Recall Information

Like most major appliance brands, some Whirlpool dishwasher models have been subject to consumer product recalls over the years. Two major recalls to be aware of include:

2016 Dishwasher Power Cord Recall

Select models sold between 2013-2016 were recalled due to the risk of power cords overheating and catching fire. A free repair kit is available by contacting Whirlpool support.

2022 Dishwasher Drain Motor Recall

Dishwashers containing certain drain motors can overheat, posing a fire hazard. Check the CPSC recall notice online to verify if your model is impacted.

Always check the CPSC.gov recalls website or Whirlpool's product recall page for the latest dishwasher recall information. Registering your appliance can help ensure you are contacted in case of future product recalls or safety notices on your model.

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