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Techdesk, Field Service Engineer
Category: UK Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 16409
Experience:  Whitegoods engineer working for a multibranded national company in the UK.
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Hi, I have a Whirlpool dishwasher (ADP 4501 / 5 wh) which

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I have a Whirlpool dishwasher (ADP 4501 / 5 wh) which will start it's cycle, then pauses with the start light flashing 2 times. It drains, fills, heats the water so I imagine that all the basic functions are working OK, but it does not complete the full cycle.

I understand that this signifies that there is a leak detected. There is no leak and in fact there is no float switch fitted on this unit.

Initially it went into error with 4 flashes (draining problem). There was a blockage in the vanes of the drain pump OK. Once this was resolved the 2 flash problem started.

My service guy was lost, he suggested replacing the controller board which I have done but the problem still persists. Now he won't come back and is suggesting I just buy a new one. It is only 2 years old, so I don't want to scrap it just yet.

Any ideas??

Thanks a lot in advance,
Brendan in Ireland.


Refit your original control board.

The most likely cause of this problem is the water indicator.

Take out the bottom basket, take out the filters and look into the sump.

There should be black grid on the right side of the sump.

Clean this out, pour a kettle of boiling water into the sump getting as much as possible into this grid.


Immediately reset the dishwasher and start it on it's hottest wash.


If this doesn't sort it you you'll have to replace the water indicator.


Hope this helps

Let me know how it goes or if you need more help.


Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I have inspected the level switch and ensured that it is not clogged. I can hear it clicking when I apply some pressure to it.

I will get my wife to put in some boiling water and run a hot cycle, I will let you know how she gets on.

I am an automation engineer and thus are confident that the controller is installed correctly, the part number of the replacement was identical etc. I suspected that the firmware was corrupted.

I think you are on to something about the boiling water OK. It sat idle aftere the draining problem for a while as I am working away from home. It is like 'something' needs to free up again, the hot water should shift it OK.

Have you come across a phantom error before?, ie. there is no leak detecter actually installed in the unit.

Thanks for the quick response,


It doesn't take much for the water indicator to not work. It's one of the most common faults on these dishwashers.


It's not uncommon for the machine to misreport the fault. It seems more likely to happen on the updated software, hence the reason I suggested putting the original board back in.


I've also come across machines where the new board won't work but the old one does (once the actual fault is cleared).


The machine detects a leak if the water indicator reports a loss of water during use.

It will also report a leak if the water is known to be coming in (flow meter sends impulses) yet the water indicator doesn't send a signal to say 2 litres have entered.


If the drain hose is into a stand pipe, ensure the hose isn't too far down the pipe causing the water to syphon out as quickly as it comes in.


If the boiling water trick doesn't work, I'd suggest replacing the water indicator on a "fit and see what happens" basis. Unfortunately parts aren't inexpensive but this is one occassion I'd suggest risking the money.


Hope this helps

Let me know how it goes.


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