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Tyler Z.
Tyler Z., Appliance Doc
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 82004
Experience:  9+ years being an appliance technician with factory training.
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My Whirlpool dishwasher, model WDF520PADM3, is not draining.

Customer Question

Hello. My Whirlpool dishwasher, model WDF520PADM3, is not draining. I pulled out and cleaned the screen and filter, removed the pump and verified the impeller moved, and removed the drain hose and ran water through it to make sure there is not blockage. I checked for a check valve or ball, but did not find one on this model. With the drain hose removed I pressed cancel to activate draining and put my finger inside to make sure the impeller was moving, and it was (I can clearly hear the pump engaging when it is supposed to drain). I put everything back together, added a couple bowls of water, and began a draining cycle. Since the dishwasher was still pulled out, I can see the water in the hose moved a little bit, but does not move up the loop of the drain hose (attached to the left side). This began by not draining fully, but then running another drain cycle the water would clear. As time went on, had to do more than one extra drain cycle. Now it does not drain at all. Could it be that, although the impeller turns, the pump is not running full strength? Could it simply be a challenged caused by the drain hose placement?
Thank you,
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 1 year ago.

Hello. My name is ***** ***** I'll be helping you with your appliance question today. Please wait a few moments while I review your question.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Tyler.
Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 1 year ago.

It sounds like you have already done quite a bit of investigating which is good. Now you will want to replace that drain hose that comes directly off the drain pump because there is a back flow preventer inside this hose that failed all the time stopping the dishwasher from draining very well or at all. You can try to stick a flat head screwdriver through that 90 degree angle to get the backflow preventer un-stuck if you wanted to try that as well. Sometimes that will get the flap working again.

If for some reason that drain hose with the 90 degree elbow doesn't fix the problem, then your drain pump is just not producing the pressure needed to drain properly all the time and the drain pump would need to be replaced. This is really not common or likely but just in case the drain hose replacement doesn't fix the issue then that would be your next step.

We are on the honor system here. Please remember to rate my service by selecting a star at the top of the screen before you leave today and reply back here letting me know with a rating of 1-5 stars (5 being the best). If you need anything else, just let me know. You can continue asking follow-up questions at no additional charge after rating my service if you still need assistance.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I just checked the hose, at the 90 degree turn and there is no flap.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I meant back flow preventer...
Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 1 year ago.

It's there, it's not really a flap so much as 2 rubber bubbles that push against each other to prevent the water from flowing backwards. Either way as I stated before you just need to stick a flat head screwdriver as far as it will go through that 90 degree elbow and then try again. If it still doesn't drain just replace that drain hose.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I used a screwdriver and can see it going into the plastic part of the hose, beyond the rubber 90 degree end of the hose and no obstructions. I had already ran water through the removed hose from both sides and the water moved freely either direction. I also put my pinkie finger in the 90, through to the plastic, and nothing in the way...I do not feel any bumps or anything else that may work as a back flow preventer. In regards ***** ***** pump, is it normal for it normal for it to "cycle" as it starts? I hear it going on for about 1 second, then off, then 5 seconds and off, 5 seconds again, and off, then stays on through the end of the drain cycle.
Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 1 year ago.

Yes, that's all normal. It will turn on and off to purge the water in the beginning. So if it's not draining and you're sure it's clear, then I'd replace the pump. It's not common for the pump to fail but I'm not there so I can't confirm it's clear, but if it is then you need to replace the pump.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
when I removed the pump there was nothing physically by the impeller and it moved. When you say clear, are you speaking of debris on and around the propeller, correct? Or is there a way debris could have worked inside and would have to be opened to see and clear the debris?
Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 1 year ago.

No, I'm saying that the drain line from the pump to the bottom of your sink is clear---that is what I'm saying is clear.

If something was hitting the impeller you'd hear it. Nothing inside the pump cavity itself would block the unit from draining.

Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 1 year ago.

Hello again. I'm just following up because I haven't heard back from you and I see this question is still open and unrated. Is there anything else I can help you with?