Whirlpool Dishwasher Not Draining? 7 Ways To Repair & Unclog

Whirlpool Dishwasher Not Draining? 7 Ways To Repair & Unclog
Table of Contents

Elevate your knowledge of dishwasher repairs with comprehensive articles such as

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1. Check for Clogs in the Drain Hose

When dealing with a Whirlpool dishwasher not draining properly, start by checking for clogs in the drain hose. Debris buildup can block water flow, causing drainage problems. Follow these steps:

  • Turn off and disconnect the dishwasher from power.
  • Locate the drain hose at the back, connecting to the sink’s drain pipe or garbage disposal.
  • Inspect the hose for clogs, using a flashlight if necessary.
  • Remove obstructions by shaking the hose or using a brush or plumbing snake.

Clearing potential clogs often resolves drainage issues, but if not, further troubleshooting may be needed.

2. Inspect the Dishwasher Filter

Inspecting and cleaning the dishwasher filter is crucial for resolving drainage issues in your Whirlpool dishwasher. Here’s how to do it effectively:

  • Locate the filter at the bottom of the dishwasher tub and remove any obstructions.
  • Carefully remove the filter and check for dirt and debris.
  • Rinse the filter under warm water and scrub away any buildup with a soft brush.
  • Thoroughly clean all sides of the filter before reinserting it.
  • Regular maintenance every three to six months ensures optimal performance and prevents future problems.

Regularly clean or replace the filter to maintain proper drainage and avoid common dishwasher issues. If problems persist, explore other troubleshooting methods to identify and address underlying causes effectively.

3. Examine the Garbage Disposal (If Applicable)

When troubleshooting a Whirlpool dishwasher that isn’t draining properly, start by checking the garbage disposal if your dishwasher is connected to one. Safety first – turn off power to both appliances before proceeding. Locate where the dishwasher drain hose connects to the garbage disposal, usually on the side. Inspect for clogs or obstructions at this connection point.

  • Check garbage disposal connection for clogs or obstructions.
  • Remove any visible debris cautiously with gloved hands or pliers.
  • Ensure knockout plug on top of garbage disposal’s connection is removed for proper drainage.

After clearing any blockages and ensuring the knockout plug is removed, reconnect the drain hose securely to both appliances. Verify all connections are tight and leak-free before restoring power. If issues persist, consider seeking professional assistance or contacting customer support.

4. Verify the Air Gap

When your Whirlpool dishwasher isn’t draining properly, check the air gap as it could be causing the issue. This small device prevents drain backflow but can get clogged, leading to water accumulation.

  • Remove the air gap cover and inspect for debris.
  • Use a brush or toothpick to clear any clogs.
  • Clean both sides thoroughly and check hose connections for kinks.

Maintaining proper airflow through the air gap is essential for effective drainage. Regular cleaning prevents future clogs. If issues persist, consult a professional Whirlpool appliance repair technician.

5. Assess the Drain Pump

When your Whirlpool dishwasher isn’t draining properly, the drain pump is a key component to check. It’s responsible for removing water during the drainage cycle. Here’s what to do:

Inspect the Drain Pump

  • Disconnect the dishwasher from power and water.
  • Access the drain pump according to your dishwasher model’s instructions.
  • Look for debris or blockages in the pump.

Clear Any Obstructions

  • Use tweezers or pliers to carefully remove any debris.
  • Be gentle to avoid damaging the pump.

Test the Dishwasher

  • Reassemble the pump and reconnect all connections.
  • Test the dishwasher to see if it drains properly.

If the problem persists, consider contacting a professional Whirlpool appliance repair service for assistance. Taking care of drain pump issues early can prevent costly repairs or replacements and ensure your dishwasher operates smoothly. Always prioritize safety and follow your dishwasher manual’s guidelines.

6. Check Drain Hose Sink Connector

When a Whirlpool dishwasher isn’t draining, inspecting the drain hose sink connector is key. This connector ensures smooth water flow into the sink’s drainage. Debris buildup can lead to blockages, affecting drainage.

  • Disconnect the drain hose from the sink connector and check for clogs.
  • Use a flexible brush to remove any obstructions from the hose and connector.
  • Reconnect the hose securely to prevent leaks.

If cleaning doesn’t solve the issue, consider replacing damaged parts. Refer to the dishwasher manual for specific instructions or seek professional help if needed. Regular maintenance can prevent drainage problems and ensure the dishwasher works efficiently.

7. Run a Maintenance Cycle

Regular maintenance is key to keeping your Whirlpool dishwasher in optimal condition. Running a maintenance cycle is a simple yet effective way to prevent drainage issues and prolong the appliance’s lifespan. Here’s how:

  • Ensure the dishwasher is empty and free from debris.
  • Place a cup of white vinegar on the top rack and run a hot water cycle.
  • Vinegar acts as a natural cleaner, removing buildup and sanitizing the dishwasher.
  • Running this cycle every few months prevents blockages and maintains performance.

Additional maintenance tips:

  • Avoid overloading to prevent water flow issues.
  • Clean filters regularly to remove debris.
  • Inspect the drain hose for kinks or bends.
  • Clear any blockages in the air gap if applicable.

By following these steps and incorporating regular maintenance, you can keep your Whirlpool dishwasher running smoothly for years to come.


Dealing with a Whirlpool dishwasher not draining can be frustrating, but with the right knowledge and tools, you can resolve this issue on your own. By following the steps outlined in this article, you have learned how to troubleshoot common dishwasher drainage problems. From checking for clogs in the drain hose and inspecting the dishwasher filter to examining the garbage disposal (if applicable) and verifying the air gap, you have gained valuable insights into identifying and addressing potential causes of drainage issues.

By utilizing these DIY dishwasher repair techniques and incorporating regular maintenance practices into your routine, you can keep your Whirlpool dishwasher functioning optimally for years to come. Remember to consult your appliance’s manual or seek professional help if needed.

With proper care and attention, you can avoid many common dishwasher issues while ensuring efficient drainage every time. So don’t let a clogged or malfunctioning dishwasher dampen your spirits – take charge of your appliance’s performance today!


What are frequent causes of a Whirlpool dishwasher not draining effectively?

Common causes of a Whirlpool dishwasher not draining effectively include blocked drains, pump malfunctions, or issues with the drain cycle.

Can I troubleshoot and resolve drainage issues in my dishwasher without professional assistance?

Yes, you can troubleshoot and resolve drainage issues in your dishwasher without professional assistance. Start by checking for blockages in the drain hose, garbage disposal, or air gap. Clean these areas to ensure proper drainage.

Are there DIY solutions for problems like blocked drains or pump malfunctions?

Certainly, there are DIY solutions for blocked drains or pump malfunctions. Remove any debris or food particles from the drain, filters, and pump. Run a cleaning cycle with a dishwasher cleaner to clear residues.

How can I address issues when the dishwasher fails to complete the drain cycle?

If the dishwasher fails to complete the drain cycle, check for blockages, kinks, or clogs in the drain hose. Ensure the drain hose is correctly installed and not obstructed. Clean the filters, and if possible, check the pump for any foreign objects.

When should I involve a professional in fixing Whirlpool dishwasher drainage problems?

Involve a professional if DIY troubleshooting doesn’t resolve the drainage problems. Professionals have the tools to inspect the internal components of the dishwasher, including the pump, and can replace parts if necessary. If there’s a suspected electrical or mechanical issue, their expertise is crucial for a proper resolution.

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