How to Test Whirlpool Dishwasher Drain Pump Motor: Step-by-Step Guide

Is your whirlpool dishwasher refusing to drain, leaving you with a sink full of standing water after every cycle? Picture this: you’ve just finished a big family dinner, and now you’re stuck with a dishwasher that won’t do its job. Frustrating, right? But don’t worry – we’ve got your back!

Common Causes of a Whirlpool Dishwasher Not Draining

If your Whirlpool dishwasher is not draining properly, it can be frustrating. Identifying the common causes can help you resolve the issue swiftly. Here are some potential culprits for the drainage problem:

  • Clogged Filter: The filter in your dishwasher may be blocked by food particles or debris, hindering proper drainage. Regular cleaning of the filter is essential.
  • Blocked Drain Hose: A kinked or clogged drain hose can prevent water from flowing out. Ensure the hose is free of obstructions and positioned correctly.
  • Garbage Disposal Clog: If your dishwasher is connected to a garbage disposal unit, a clog in the disposal can impact drainage. Check and clear any blockages.
  • Faulty Drain Pump: A malfunctioning drain pump can impede the water from draining effectively. Inspect the pump for any issues.
  • Air Gap Issues: Problems with the air gap, a device preventing backflow, can lead to drainage problems. Verify if the air gap is clear and functioning correctly.

Understanding these common causes of drainage issues in your Whirlpool dishwasher can empower you to troubleshoot and fix the problem efficiently.

Check the Drain Hose for Clogs

When your Whirlpool dishwasher isn’t draining properly, a common culprit is a clogged drain hose. Over time, debris and food particles can accumulate, causing a blockage that prevents water from flowing out efficiently.

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To tackle this issue:

  • Turn off the dishwasher and unplug it from the power source.
  • Locate the drain hose, usually found under the sink or behind the dishwasher.
  • Inspect the hose for any visible clogs or kinks that may be obstructing the flow of water.
  • Use a pipe cleaner or a long, flexible brush to dislodge and remove the blockage.
  • Run water through the hose to ensure it’s clear before reconnecting it.

Regularly checking and clearing the drain hose can help maintain the optimal performance of your dishwasher and prevent drainage problems.

Inspect the Drain Pump for Blockages

When your Whirlpool dishwasher is not draining properly, the drain pump could be a potential culprit. Here’s how you can inspect it for blockages:

  • Remove the Bottom Rack: Start by taking out the bottom rack of the dishwasher for better access.
  • Locate the Drain Pump: Find the drain pump, typically situated at the bottom of the dishwasher.
  • Check for Debris: Look for any debris, food particles, or objects that might be clogging the pump.
  • Clear Blockages: Use a flashlight to inspect the pump thoroughly and remove any obstructions you find.
  • Clean the Pump: If the pump is dirty, wipe it clean with a cloth to ensure optimal performance.
  • Restart the Dishwasher: Once you’ve cleared the pump, restart your dishwasher to see if the drainage issue is resolved.

Remember, a clogged drain pump can often be a simple fix that restores your dishwasher’s drainage functionality.

Clean the Filter System

When your Whirlpool dishwasher isn’t draining properly, it could be due to a clogged filter system. Here’s how you can clean it effectively:

  • Locate the filter: Depending on your model, the filter can be found at the bottom of the dishwasher.
  • Remove the filter: Twist or lift the filter to take it out. Be gentle to avoid damaging the components.
  • Check for debris: Inspect the filter for any food particles, paper, or other debris that may be causing the blockage.
  • Rinse the filter: Wash the filter under running water to remove all dirt and debris. Ensure it’s clean before placing it back.
  • Clean the filter compartment: While the filter is out, cleanse the area where the filter sits to ensure there’s no buildup affecting drainage.

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Regularly inspecting and cleaning the filter system can help prevent future drainage issues in your Whirlpool dishwasher.

Test the Drain Pump Motor

When your Whirlpool dishwasher is not draining, one of the key components to check is the drain pump motor. Here’s how you can Test the Drain Pump Motor on your dishwasher:

  • Access the drain pump: Locate the drain pump inside your dishwasher. It’s typically found near the back of the appliance and may be covered by a panel.
  • Inspect for debris: Before testing, check the drain pump for any obstructions such as food particles, broken glass, or other items that could be blocking it.
  • Manually rotate the motor: Gently rotate the drain pump motor shaft by hand. A functioning motor should turn smoothly without any unusual resistance.
  • Listen for unusual noises: When testing the drain pump motor, listen for any unusual sounds like grinding, humming, or squealing, which could indicate a problem.
  • Check for power: Ensure your dishwasher is unplugged before proceeding. Use a multimeter to test for power going to the drain pump motor.
  • Seek professional help if needed: If you find any issues during the test or if the motor does not function correctly, it may be best to contact a professional technician for further diagnosis and repair.

Regularly testing and maintaining the drain pump motor of your Whirlpool dishwasher can help ensure proper drainage and prevent common issues with your appliance.


Ensuring your Whirlpool dishwasher’s drain pump motor is in optimal condition is key to resolving drainage problems efficiently. By following the step-by-step guide provided in this article, you can easily test the motor for any issues and take necessary actions to maintain its functionality. Regular maintenance of the drain pump motor will not only prevent common drainage issues but also extend the lifespan of your dishwasher. Remember, a well-maintained drain pump motor leads to a smoothly running dishwasher, saving you time and hassle in the long run. Stay proactive in testing and caring for your dishwasher’s components to enjoy uninterrupted performance.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do if my Whirlpool dishwasher is having drainage issues?

To identify and resolve drainage problems in your Whirlpool dishwasher, it is essential to test the drain pump motor. By following a series of steps such as accessing the pump, checking for debris, manually rotating the motor, listening for abnormal sounds, verifying power supply, and consulting a professional if necessary, you can effectively address the issue.

How often should I test the drain pump motor in my dishwasher?

It is advisable to test the drain pump motor of your dishwasher periodically to ensure smooth functioning and prevent drainage issues. Regular testing, along with proper maintenance, can help in early detection of any potential problems with the motor, ensuring efficient drainage performance and prolonging the lifespan of your dishwasher.

Charlie Thomson is Appliance Mastery's expert on laundry appliances. With a degree in mechanical engineering and over 8 years of experience in the appliance repair industry, Charlie is a go-to resource for homeowners who want to tackle common issues with their washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers.

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