Whirlpool Dishwasher Not Draining – Easy Repair Guide

Discovering your Whirlpool dishwasher won’t drain can be frustrating. It’s a problem many faces, and while it might signal a technical glitch, often the fix is simpler than you’d think.

Before you call in the professionals for your Whirlpool dishwasher repair, let’s walk through some troubleshooting steps that could get your dishwasher back to its best.

The common reasons your Whirlpool dishwasher is not draining are clogged filters, blocked hoses, faulty valves, or a defective drain pump.

How to Fix Whirlpool Dishwasher Not Draining?

Whirlpool Dishwasher Not Draining

If you’re faced with water pooling at the bottom of your dishwasher after a cycle, you’re rightly concerned.

A Whirlpool dishwasher stopped draining is a symptom of several potential issues, from clogs to part malfunctions. But don’t worry; I’ve got you covered with step-by-step fixes.

1. Clogged Filter

A primary reason for a Whirlpool dishwasher’s inefficient draining could be a clogged filter.

This is where food particles and debris are caught, and over time, can lead to a significant blockage that prevents water from draining out of the dishwasher effectively, resulting in water stagnation.

How to Fix:

To address this, first, remove the lower dish rack to uncover the filter. Twist the upper filter counterclockwise and lift it with the lower filter.

Rinse them thoroughly under running water, using a soft brush to remove any stubborn residue.

Once clean, place the lower filter back, ensuring it aligns with the housing, and secure the upper filter by turning it clockwise until it snaps into place.

2. Defective Drain Valve

A malfunctioning drain valve can cause your dishwasher not to drain.

The valve is supposed to open to allow water out during the drain cycle, but if it’s stuck closed or clogged, it will prevent water from exiting.

How to Fix:

Find the valve located near the dishwasher motor behind the kickplate.

Check for any debris causing a blockage and ensure the valve can move freely. If the valve is defective, it may need to be replaced by a professional.

3. Blocked Drain Hose

A clogged drain hose is another common reason a Whirlpool dishwasher won’t drain properly.

Food particles, grease, soap scum, and other debris can build up over time and obstruct the drain hose.

This prevents water from flowing out of the dishwasher during the drain cycle.

Symptoms of a blocked drain hose include standing water in the bottom of the tub after a wash cycle completes.

You may also notice water pooling around the hose connection point under the sink.

A blocked hose can also be the reason for the Whirlpool dishwasher leaving dishes dirty.

Fixing Whirlpool dishwasher stopped draining

How to Fix:

Fixing a clogged Whirlpool dishwasher drain hose involves inspecting the hose and clearing any obstructions. Here are the steps:

First, turn off the power to the dishwasher at the breaker and turn off the water supply.

Pull the dishwasher away from the wall to access the drain hose. Detach the hose from the sink drain or garbage disposal.

Inspect the hose for any kinks, crimps, or food clogs. Run water through the hose to flush out debris. Use a wire coat hanger to push out any stubborn clogs.

Check where the hose connects to the drain for built-up gunk. Remove and clean the drain connector if needed.

4. Troubles with the Garbage Disposal

If your dishwasher drains through the garbage disposal, a blockage here can lead to draining issues.

When the garbage disposal is clogged, it can prevent water from draining out of the dishwasher.

How to Fix:

Run the garbage disposal to clear any existing clogs. Start fixing the Whirlpool dishwasher not draining by checking for foreign objects or buildup that could impede its operation.

Clearing the disposal can often resolve drainage problems with your dishwasher.

5. Faulty Drain Pump

The drain pump is responsible for pumping water out of the dishwasher tub during the drain cycle.

 If the Whirlpool dishwasher drain pump stops working properly, water can’t exit the tub, resulting in standing water after the wash cycle completes.

A jammed impeller, failed pump motor, clogged impeller housing, or burned-out pump motor winding can prevent the pump from functioning correctly.

You’ll notice the dishwasher fails to drain and water pools in the bottom.

Whirlpool dishwasher won't drain

How to Fix:

If the drain pump is not pumping water out, the pump may need to be serviced or replaced. Here are troubleshooting tips:

First, unplug the dishwasher or turn off the power at the breaker. Remove the access panel to inspect the drain pump housing.

Check for clogs or debris blocking the pump impeller. Use a screwdriver to turn the impeller and dislodge any obstructions.

Remove the drain pump cover and access the impeller. If cracked or damaged, the impeller will need replacing.

Inspect the drain pump motor for burned-out windings. Test for motor continuity with a multimeter. If defective, replace the entire pump assembly.

Check for a jammed impeller caused by broken glass, plastic, or metal items that made it into the pump. If the impeller won’t budge, the pump must be replaced.

Once any repairs are made, reattach all hoses and covers. Restore power to the dishwasher and test a short cycle. The dishwasher should now drain fully without issue.

Catching drain pump problems quickly can prevent water damage and mold growth.

If the Whirlpool dishwasher won’t drain due to pump failure, take the steps to inspect the pump and make necessary repairs.

In many cases, replacing a defective drain pump will get the appliance draining properly again. However, since it is a complex job, I would recommend calling a professional to do this job.

Smart Tips to Prevent Dishwasher Draining Problems

Maintaining a clog-free Whirlpool dishwasher involves regular upkeep and mindful usage. Here’s a simple list of preventative measures:

  • Rinse Before Loading: Quick pre-rinses can remove the larger food bits that cause clogs.
  • Proper Detergent Use: Stick to the recommended detergent amount to avoid residue buildup.
  • Monthly Cleanings: Clean your dishwasher’s filter and check the spray arms regularly to prevent blockages.
  • Check for Obstructions: Ensure nothing prevents the spray arms from rotating fully for optimal cleaning.
  • Use Hot Water: Select the hot water cycle to dissolve detergent and grease better.
  • Clear the Garbage Disposal:¬†Ensure your garbage disposal is clear before running the dishwasher to maintain proper drainage.


With some basic troubleshooting, you can fix the Whirlpool dishwasher not draining properly. Inspect the filter, drain hose, and drain pump to clear any clogs.

Check the drain valve for obstructions, too. If needed, replace defective parts like the drain pump. And don’t forget to check the garbage disposal if connected.

If the water still pools and the dishes remain wet, it’s time to call a professional who can ensure your dishwasher gets back to work.

So roll up your sleeves, and let’s get your dishwasher draining and performing at its peak once again.

Christopher Evans is a Mechanical Engineer and is a distinguished expert in tire and electronic appliance testing with over 15 years of experience. Holding certifications like Automotive Tire Service (TIA) and Certified Appliance Professional (CAP). He is also a member of the the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and has significantly contributed to safety standards and testing protocols in both industries. Evans is a respected speaker and award recipient.

Leave a Comment