Whirlpool Dishwasher Not Draining at End of Cycle? This May be the Problem…


Dirty dishwater and clean dishes just don’t go together. So if you have a Whirlpool dishwasher not draining at end of cycle, you need to know why. With a few simple troubleshooting steps, you can determine if your dishwasher needs some TLC or more serious repair.

Causes of a Whirlpool Dishwasher Not Draining at End of Cycle


Clogged Filter

The most common reason for a Whirlpool dishwasher not draining is a clogged filter. Food particles and other debris can become stuck on the filter, preventing the water from draining. Luckily, unclogging a dishwasher filter isn’t hard.

How to Unclog a Whirlpool Dishwasher Filter

For specific instructions for your dishwasher model, please refer to the Owner’s Manual.
1. Empty and unplug your dishwasher. Remove all dishes from your dishwasher and disconnect it from power before proceeding.

2. Remove standing water. Before you begin removing the water, surround the base of your dishwasher with towels to prevent water from spilling onto your floor. Next, use a cup to scoop out the standing water.

3. Locate the filter. To access the filter, remove the bottom dish rack. The filter may be in the corner or near closer to the spray arm. Refer to your Owner’s Manual for the exact location of your filter.

4. Remove the filter. Once you’ve located the filter, you can remove it. Some filters may be held in place with a grille, and others require a screwdriver to remove it. Remove the covering and lift the filter out. Refer to your Owner’s Manual for specific instructions.

5. Rinse the filter. Rinse the filter under water and use a soft brush to scrub away tougher particles.
6. Replace the filter, cover, and lower rack.

If you’ve cleaned the filter and are still having issues with your Whirlpool dishwasher not draining, you’ll need to check the drain pump next.

Drain Pump Isn’t Working

You could have a Whirlpool dishwasher drain pump not working if you have standing water in your dishwasher. The drain pump uses an impeller to shoot water through the drain hose. If the pump fails, that water’s not going anywhere.

First, check the drain pump for debris, such as broken glass. Remove the drain pump and use a vacuum to remove any debris. If clearing debris doesn’t help, you’ll want to test the pump for continuity.

Check the pump for continuity using a multimeter to determine if it is working properly. If there is no continuity, or if the power is fine but it still won’t work, then it needs to be replaced.

Without a functioning drain pump, you will continue to have a Whirlpool dishwasher not draining at end of cycle.

Drain Impeller is Broken

If you have a Whirlpool dishwasher not draining at end of cycle and the drain pump is not to blame, the drain impeller could be broken. The impeller forces water through the drain hose. If the impeller is broken, the dirty water will remain in the bottom of the dishwasher.

If the drain impeller is broken, replace the impeller.

Drain Valve is Clogged

A common reason why a dishwasher doesn’t drain is a clogged drain valve. When we use our dishwasher, especially if we don’t always scrape food particles off, the debris gets left behind and eventually begins to accumulate around the drain valve. Once the drain valve is clogged with debris, the dishwater can’t filter through the valve and out through the drain hose.

The best way to boost dishwasher performance and make sure the dishwater can flow out through the drain hose is to keep the drain valve clean.

Completely clear out all debris from the drain valve. If the drain valve is free of debris and still won’t actuate, then it’s probably defective. Drain valves are not repairable, if it is defective, replace it.

Garbage Disposal is clogged

A clogged garbage disposal is an all too common cause for a Whirlpool dishwasher not draining at end of cycle, We see this a lot around the holidays when people hastily throw scraps into the disposal that should be thrown in the garbage. Don’t let this be you!

If your dishwasher has standing water after cycle completion and you suspect the disposal is clogged, there is hope! Make sure the disposal is off and clear out any debris in the disposal opening in the sink.

Under the sink, unplug the disposal and use an Allen wrench to manually turn and break up the debris inside the disposal. This will usually loosen things up enough to get them moving again. You may also need to disconnect the drain hose and clean out the fittings on the end of the hose and the disposer.

Image from Intrepidos

Blocked Air Gap

A blocked sink air gap is another common issue for a Whirlpool dishwasher not draining. The air gap is responsible for allowing the dishwasher to drain without creating a vacuum. A clogged air gap may prevent waste water from draining. Locate the air gap on the top of the sink and inspect it for buildup. If you notice build-up, clean it out and make sure it’s properly secured.

If the Whirlpool dishwasher not draining at end of cycle is impeding your routine, it’s time to call in the big guns. Schedule one of Action Appliance Repair’s friendly technicians to provide quality dishwasher repair and get you back in business.

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