Kenmore Dishwasher Not Washing/Cleaning – 3 Easy Solutions

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When your Kenmore dishwasher is not washing as expected, it can be a real bummer. But hold on, let’s not throw in the towel just yet! Often, the issue boils down to a couple of common culprits – a dodgy water inlet valve, a cranky circulation pump, or maybe just clogged filters and spray arms.

In this guide, we’ll roll up our sleeves and dive deep into why your Kenmore dishwasher might be slacking off and how you can get it back up to speed. Buckle up, and let’s get our hands dirty!

Why Is My Kenmore Dishwasher Not Washing?

A Kenmore dishwasher that’s slacking on the job? The usual suspects are a faulty water inlet valve, a failed circulation pump, and a clogged filter. Let’s break them down:

1. Faulty Water Inlet Valve

The Lowdown: Think of the water inlet valve as the bouncer of your dishwasher’s club, controlling who gets in – in this case, water. If it’s faulty, your dishwasher gets the water to wash those dishes when they sparkle.

The Problem: An electrically failed valve won’t respond when the dishwasher gives it the green light to open up. On the other hand, a mechanically failed valve might be gummed up with mineral build-ups or rust, keeping it stuck shut.

The Fix: Bad news – a faulty valve can’t be fixed or cleaned. The good news is, replacing it is a walk in the park. You’ll find it at the bottom of the dishwasher. Lay the machine on its back, remove the mounting screws, water, and electrical connectors, and put in a new valve. Easy as pie!

2. Failed Circulation Pump

The Lowdown: Your dishwasher is a master of recycling. It filters out food bits and debris from the water, then uses the same water to continue cleaning. The circulation pump is the heart of this operation.

The Problem: If the pump fails, no water is circulated. This leads to a domino effect – no water for the spray arms or clean dishes.

The Fix:

  1. Access the pump from the bottom of the dishwasher.
  2. Disconnect its wire connector and unthread its mounting screws, then slide the old pump off and a new one on.
  3. Secure it in place and reconnect the wire connector.

3. Clogged Filter

The Lowdown: Nestled in the bottom of your dishwasher, the filter is the unsung hero, keeping food bits and debris out of the recycled water.

The Problem: Water can’t flow through when the filter gets overloaded. With no water to recycle, the dishes stay dirty.

The Fix:

  1. Remove and wash the clogged filter.
  2. Take out the lower rack and unscrew the filter to remove it.
  3. After a good wash, screw it back in place.

Common Kenmore Dishwasher Issues and Quick Fixes

Ready to troubleshoot your Kenmore dishwasher? Where to start? No worries! We’ve compiled a comprehensive guide highlighting the most common issues experienced by Kenmore dishwasher owners and their quick solutions. Our table below covers everything from water inlet valves to clogged sump filters.

So don’t throw in the towel just yet. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get your dishwasher back to doing what it does best – leaving your dishes spotless!

Issue Part Required Description
Water Inlet Valve Clogged or Defective Dishwasher Water Inlet Valve Prevents enough water from entering the dishwasher to clean dishes properly.
Improper Loading Could obstruct water flow and cleaning process.
Water Supply Temperature The water may not be hot enough to clean the dishes.
Center Wash Arm Clogged Dishwasher Center Wash Arm Assembly Food particles may block the tiny holes, affecting the cleaning process.
Lower Wash Arm Clogged Dishwasher Lower Wash Arm Assembly Food particles can block the water flow and affect cleaning.
Upper Wash Arm Clogged Dishwasher Upper Wash Arm Assembly Food particles can block the water flow and affect cleaning.
Clogged Sump Filters Can reduce water flow and overall washability.
Failed Heating Element Dishwasher Heating Element Can prevent the dishwasher from heating during both washing and drying cycles.
Faulty Control Board Dishwasher Control Board May prevent the water inlet valve from opening and filling the tank.
Defective Circulation Pump Dishwasher Circulation Pump May prevent the dishes from being cleaned properly.
Pump and Motor Assembly Issues Dishwasher Pump and Motor Assembly May prevent the pump impeller from forcing water up through the wash arms.
Damaged Wash Impeller Dishwasher Wash Impeller Can cause inadequate pressure to force the water up through the wash arms.
Main Control Board Issues Dishwasher Main Control Board Can prevent the water inlet valve from opening and filling the tank.
Oversudsing from Excessive Detergent Can lead to poor cleaning results.
Upper Wash Arm Spinner Clogged Dishwasher Upper Wash Arm Spinner Can prevent the water from flowing properly through the arm.
Faulty Detergent Dispenser Dishwasher Detergent Dispenser Can impact the cleaning efficiency of the dishwasher.
Faulty Drain Pump Dishwasher Drain Pump Could impact the draining process, causing inefficiencies.
Clogged Filter Assembly Dishwasher Filter Assembly Can affect water flow and overall washability.
Clogged Screen Filter Dishwasher Screen Filter Can affect water flow and overall washability.
Clogged Strainer Dishwasher Strainer Can affect water flow and overall washability.


Q: Why Isn’t The Top Rack Washing?

A: If your dishes on the top rack are dirty, the top or middle wash arms might be clogged or damaged. Or, tall items in the bottom rack might be blocking the middle wash arm.

Q: Why Isn’t The Bottom Rack Washing?

A: A clogged or damaged lower wash arm could be to blame. Overloading or incorrect loading of the bottom rack could also be the culprit.

Q: How To Reset A Kenmore Dishwasher?

A: Try switching off the dishwasher at the power source for five minutes, then turn it back on. Alternatively, you could enter its diagnostic mode to reset the machine and troubleshoot errors.

Q: How To Force A Kenmore Dishwasher To Drain?

A: Press the Cancel/Drain button and close the door. This cancels the current wash cycle and triggers a 2-minute drain cycle.

So, next time your Kenmore dishwasher takes a break from washing, don’t sweat it. With this guide, you’ll have it back in tip-top shape in no time flat!

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Ubaid Hassan
Ubaid Hassan

Introducing Ubaid Hassan – the expert who knows all about fixing dishwashers. Ubaid understands how dishwashers work and is really good at finding and solving problems. Ubaid is the person to ask for helpful advice and solutions. Loving both dishwashers and taking care of the environment, Ubaid can share smart ideas to help you use your dishwasher well and be kind to nature.

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