Older Whirlpool or Kitchenaid Dishwasher Won’t Wash

Awwite, now listen up: this post applies to the older style Whirlpool / Kitchenaid dishwashers (yes, Kitchenaid is a Whirlpool brand– it’s supposedly Whirlpool’s higher end line) with the motor-pump assembly that looks like this. An example model number is kuds25shwh1. If the motor-pump assembly in your Whirlpool or Kitchenaid dishwasher looks like this, then you’re reading the wrong post; you need this one.

Here’s a typical problem description: the dishwasher will program to wash, it fills, the sensing light comes on, and then just sits there forever. If you hit reset, the motor comes on to pump out. But the motor never turns on to wash.

Since this dishwasher does not have a separate drain pump– it drains by reversing the direction of the motor– you may be seduced into thinking that there’s something wrong with the motor windings, like maybe one of them is burned out. You may even go plunk down some Federal Reserve Notes for a new motor-pump assembly, go through the hassle and pain to install it, and then eat your liver when you discover that, after all that, it didn’t fix the problem. Now perhaps you’re ready to listen to an old Samurai.

Let’s use that swirling muck betwixt our ears for something besides warehousing vaccine neurotoxins. For the motor to run, it needs a valid power supply, in this case, 120vac. So, if the motor isn’t running, your first question should be, “Is the motor getting voltage?”

To check this, you’ll need the wiring diagram (located behind the kickplates in a plastic pouch) and your voltage sensing light stick. When the dishwasher is in wash mode– and should be washing but ain’t– then put your light stick on the wires to the motor. No light, no voltage. Therefore the motor ain’t the problem; you got yourself a control problem.

You can get real anal retentive at this point and check the continuity of the wires going to the motor to make sure they’re all good. Or you can just heed the voice of experience telling you that the problem is almost always the control board (item 19). Easy job, just be sure to cut the breaker to the dishwasher before tearing the control panel apart. Conveniently, you can buy the control board ratcheer!

control board for a whirlpool dishwasher-- come git you one!

To learn more about your dishwasher, or to order parts, click here.


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