Why Does My Whirlpool Dishwasher Stop Mid-Cycle? (Find Out Now!)

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

Whirlpool dishwashers are famous for being reliable, but that doesn’t mean they’re without issues. A common issue among certain Whirlpool models is having a dishwasher that suddenly stops mid-cycle. This leaves dishes partially cleaned and can even leave a wet mess in your kitchen. If this happened to you, you’re right to be upset. Thankfully, a fix is just around the corner…

There are several reasons why a Whirlpool dishwasher would suddenly quit in the middle of its cycle. Most people who have this problem will be able to fix it by looking at the following items:

  • The Door Latch
  • The Water Supply
  • The Control Board
  • The Control Panel

This is one of those issues that can either be a quick fix or a costly endeavor. Our guide will explain what you will need to expect…

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Before You Begin: Troubleshoot Other Issues

Like with any other issue that comes with an appliance, it’s important to make sure that your dishwasher is actually broken. Start your fixing session by making sure to do all these things below:

  • Check to see if your power is on. Sometimes dishwashers will trip a circuit breaker mid-cycle. Switch the breaker if it tripped, and you should be able to get it fixed.
  • Open the door to see if the dishes are clean. It could actually just be a matter of having the dishwasher skip the drying cycle. This isn’t that bad, but it may require you to replace the fan or check the control panel.
  • Double-check to see if the door is closed. It should be. If it got knocked open, then the machine will stop. It’s a safety mechanism.
  • Make sure you didn’t overload the dishwasher. Whirlpool dishwashers have a maximum load they can wash. If you really jam-packed things in, the machine might’ve stopped as a result of it being overburdened.
  • Finally, make sure that nothing is blocking the door too much. This can actually trigger an error in the door latch, which will cause your machine to stop mid-cycle.

Doing A Visual Check Of Your Machine

Sometimes, it’s not just a matter of having the dishwasher quit halfway through a cycle. In many situations, you will notice other symptoms alongside the sudden stop. If you notice that your dishwasher is leaking, if it’s making a strange noise, or if it’s not getting power, then take note of that. In most cases, you can narrow down what is going on from that alone.

When we wrote this article, we tried to focus on causes that would cause the washer to stop mid-cycle but wouldn’t have very noticeable problems outside of that symptom. Should you notice other problems alongside this, do a troubleshoot for the bigger symptoms instead. This will likely fix the “sudden quit” problem your machine has.

Troubleshooting A Whirlpool Dishwasher That Stops Mid-Cycle

Now that you know that your dishwasher really is the cause of the problem, it’s time to start troubleshooting. Here’s what you will need to do…

  • Check to see if your door latch is closed, or if the door latch signals that it’s closed. You can usually see if the latch got broken manually, but it’s also important to look at the microswitch that helps indicate whether or not it’s closed. If your latch won’t close, it’s a busted latch that needs replacement.
  • Get a voltmeter and run a test on the microswitch. This is part of the assembly, and may actually need to be removed in order to be tested. If your voltmeter reads zero on the switch, you may need to replace the latch assembly and the microswitch as a pair.
  • Then, you’re going to have to check the water supply. Look at the back of the dishwasher and check the tubes that bring water in and out of the washer. If they are clogged or leaking, this could trigger your dishwasher to stop mid-cycle. Unclogging the water supply or calling a plumber can help.
  • Next, check the water inlet valve. If it’s a clog, remove the clog in the inlet valve. Check to see if your arm sprayers need declogging too. If you find clogs, that’s what caused the issue and a quick removal is all you need to do.
  • Once you have ruled out the water supply pipes, it’s time to take a look at the control panel and the control board. The best way to kick this off is to see if your dishwasher goes back to normal after a hard reset. In some cases, this will fix everything. You can refer to your Whirlpool owner’s manual to find out how to do this for your specific dishwasher.
  • Check the voltage of your control panel and control board. If they are both getting voltage, move to the next step. If not, check the connections and fix them. Should they be intact, replace the panel or board. You can use a voltmeter for this.
  • Finally, refer to your Whirlpool unit’s user manual to see how to run a field test on the control board. This will help you determine whether or not you need a new control board or control panel.
  • If you still cannot figure out what is going on with your dishwasher, call a professional as it may be a motor issue. This suggests that you might have way worse problems that you are not aware of.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Dishwasher That Shuts Off Mid-Cycle?

It obviously depends on whether you’re going to be doing this DIY or with help of a professional, plus the part that needs replacement. If you can simply unclog a sprayer or an inlet valve, the parts will be free. A door latch replacement will be the cheapest part to replace and will cost between $25 to $40.

If you are out of luck, you might need to replace the control panel or control board. This is the most expensive repair, with the parts alone costing between $50 and $250 for most models. This does not include the cost of labor. Most repairmen will charge a minimum of $50 for a diagnostic, with an average of $50 to $70 per hour for repairs.

Can You Fix Your Dishwasher Yourself?

It depends on the problem. Most people will have no problem removing a clog from the inlet valve or arm sprayer. The same can be said about doing a reset. However, things can get dicey when it comes to repairing the door latch or switching. Most major part replacements, such as the control panel or control board are fairly tricky—medium to hard, as far as difficulty levels go.

If you ever feel like you’re in over your head, don’t panic and don’t feel bad. Appliance repair isn’t like woodworking or painting. It’s complex, and hiring someone to fix it isn’t that bad a thing. If anything, it can be a good indicator that you won’t incur other repairs due to breaking something while you’re fixing stuff.

Does It Always Make Sense To Fix A Dishwasher That Shuts Off Mid-Cycle?

Believe it or not, the answer is not always. If it’s a minor issue, you probably should replace the dishwasher part. On the other hand, if your model is old and the part is the control board (or panel), the answer is a resounding no. A good rule to follow is to avoid paying more than 50 percent of the price of a replacement, especially if your dishwasher is on the way out.

It’s important to remember that most Whirlpool dishwashers will cost between $300 to $600 brand new. If your repair price is $250 for the parts alone, it would be silly to try to repair it. Buying a new one would be the easiest way to fix things and keep things fixed.

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Related Questions

What is the life expectancy of a typical Whirlpool dishwasher?

Whirlpool appliances are remarkably constant when it comes to their lifespans, especially when it comes to dishwashers. Almost all of the Whirlpool dishwashers on the market have a lifespan of 10 years, including both low-end and high-end models. If you are a stickler for longevity, the best brand that you can choose is Miele, which has a lifespan of 20 years.

What are some of the common issues that Whirlpool dishwashers have?

Whirlpool dishwashers tend to have problems turning on, drying dishes, and actually getting the dishes clean. This is because they tend to have issues with clogged water inlets as well as problems with the door latch sensors. With that said, you shouldn’t generalize when it comes to brand problems. The best way to know what to worry about with your model is to read up on model-specific complaints.

Is Whirlpool a good brand for dishwashers?

While Whirlpool does have a good reputation for the dishwashing equipment they make, they are more of an “upper-middle-range” kind of brand. Currently, the most popular dishwasher brand in terms of workmanship and reliability tends to be Miele. This is the only brand that boasts a lifespan of 20 years. LG and Samsung are close seconds, with lifespans of 13 and 15 years, max.

Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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