A woman troubleshooting her Whirlpool dishwasher's cycle.

Why Won’t My Whirlpool Dishwasher Run a Cycle?

It can be incredibly frustrating when your dishwasher won’t run its wash cycle properly. If your Whirlpool dishwasher is not starting or completing cycles, don’t panic. In many cases, the issue can be easily identified and fixed yourself without having to call an appliance repair technician.

This article will walk through some of the top reasons a Whirlpool dishwasher won’t run, from door latch problems to control board failures. We’ll also provide tips to try yourself to get the appliance back up and running. Follow along to troubleshoot and resolve the problem with your uncooperative dishwasher.

Ensure the Door Latch is Working Properly

One of the most common reasons a Whirlpool dishwasher won’t run is because the door latch is not engaging properly. Here are a few key points on inspecting the door latch:

  • The door latch is a small but important part that keeps the dishwasher door securely closed during operation.
  • Over time, latches can become misaligned or fail to catch when you close the door. This prevents the dishwasher from starting wash cycles.
  • When closed, the dishwasher door should be completely flush with no gaps. Press firmly on the door and listen for a distinct “click” sound indicating the latch has engaged.
  • If the latch seems loose or doesn’t “click,” the door switch likely needs adjusting or replacing. This is fairly simple DIY fix detailed below.

Adjust and Test Door Latch

  1. Open dishwasher door and inspect the door latch inside the tub rim. Look for any broken or loose parts.
  2. Adjust latch striker as needed so it aligns correctly with the door hook.
  3. Test by closing the door completely and pushing firmly. If needed, gently bend the latch hook in or out so it catches properly.
  4. Run a short test cycle to confirm the door latch engages and dishwasher runs.

Check for Power and Display Lights

Obviously the dishwasher needs power to run. Start troubleshooting by verifying:

  • The dishwasher is plugged in fully and the outlet has power. Test with another device if unsure.
  • The dishwasher display is illuminated when powered on. No lights indicate an internal electrical issue.
  • Indicator lights show which wash cycle the dishwasher is in. Make sure the selected cycle light is active after starting a cycle.

If there are no lights at all, the control board, fuse, or other internal part may have failed. Inspect these next.

Inspect the Control Board and Fuse

The control board is the dishwasher’s central computer that regulates operation. If it’s malfunctioning, the appliance won’t start running cycles. Here’s how to test this component:

  • Locate the control board mounting bracket inside the dishwasher tub or on the outer casing. The board will be a plastic box with a panel of switches, buttons, and lights.
  • First check the simple stuff – make sure connectors are snapped in place and wires intact. Look for any loose, broken, or corroded parts.
  • Test functionality by pressing cycle selector buttons and options. The corresponding lights should activate when buttons are pressed.
  • If buttons don’t work, it likely indicatesĀ control board failure. Replace the entire board or have a technician diagnose and repair it.

While inspecting the control board, also check the fuse which provides overload protection:

  • The thin, glass cylinder fuse will be connected to the control board, wires, or power cord.
  • If the fuse appears damaged or burned inside, the fuse has blown and needs replacement. This is an inexpensive part.
  • Be sure to install the exact same fuse style and amperage to avoid electrical issues.

Ensure Water Supply and Drain Lines are Clear

Clogged or kinked supply lines prevent water from properly filling the dishwasher. And backups in the drain hose or clogged filters stop water from exiting. Be sure to:

  • Confirm water supply valve is open fully and supply line filters are clear. Check hoses for cracks or blockages.
  • Disconnect drain hose from disposal/sink and inspect for clogs. Flush hose with water if needed.
  • Remove filters and spray arms and clean out any debris, labels, etc. Rinse under sink faucet if very dirty.

Running a few test cycles with dishwasher empty will help verify water is flowing properly through the appliance.

Replace Defective Motor or Pump

On some heavy-duty or older Whirlpool dishwashers, the motor or drain pump itself can fail and prevent proper wash cycles. Here’s how to evaluate these internal parts:

  • The motor will be mounted underneath the dishwasher tub. Check for loose wiring connections, humming/buzzing sounds from motor, or smoking/burning smells.
  • Test continuity on motor windings using a multimeter. No continuity means the motor needs replaced.
  • Remove the bottom panel to access pump. Check for blockages. Test pump operation by rotating impeller manually. Replace pump if defective.

While complex, motor and pump repairs are possible DIY if you’re handy. Or hire an appliance service company to replace the faulty part.

Reset Dishwasher and Run Diagnostic Cycle

After inspecting all interior components and connections, try resetting the dishwasher:

  • Shut off power supply for 30 seconds to hard reset electronic control boards.
  • Press and hold the heated dry button for 4 seconds to reset. Indicator lights will flash if reset completed.
  • Run a diagnostic or short test cycle with dishwasher empty to verify normal operation before adding dishes.

This simple reset procedure will clear any stuck memory or fault codes and can get your Whirlpool dishwasher running again.

When to Call an Appliance Repair Technician

If you’ve tried all the troubleshooting tips above but your Whirlpool dishwasher still won’t run, it’s best to contact an appliance repair company. A qualified technician can properly diagnose the issue and will have the skills and tools needed for repairs like:

  • Replacing damaged electronic control boards
  • Repairing or replacing broken door latches
  • Servicing faulty motors, pumps, etc.
  • Correcting plumbing/drain backups orĀ leaks

Look for appliance repair experts certified in Whirlpool brands and products. Reputable companies will offer a service warranty on repairs performed by their technicians as well.

Key Takeaways: Getting a Whirlpool Dishwasher to Run Cycles Again

  • Check the door latch catches securely to start wash cycles
  • Confirm the dishwasher has power and control panel lights activate
  • Inspect the control board and replace fuse if defective
  • Ensure water lines are clear and drain hose is free of clogs
  • Test wash motor and drain pump operation
  • Reset dishwasher after inspecting components
  • Call an appliance repair technician for complex component replacements or repairs

With a few simple troubleshooting steps, you can likely get your Whirlpool dishwasher running cycles again. But for any issues requiring major repairs, rely on the expertise of appliance service professionals.