My dishwasher stopped working correctly a couple of weeks ago. After loading dishes and starting it, it successfully fills with water, rinses the dishes, drains, and then switches to the actual "wash" cycle.

When in "wash" the soap door opens, however water does not circulate and the spray arms remain stationary. At the end of the cycle it transitions to "dry", at which point it resumes normal operation (however there is undisolved soap still in the tray as well as grime on the dishes.

It seems that all components work, except in the wash portion of the cycle. I've verified water enters the unit and rinses successfully; so I presume the issue is likely in the controller. How can I verify this, and what else may be broken?

  • 1
    The spray arms do turn during the rinse cycle, right? If they do, that indicates: You don't have a blockage, the motor is working, and the pump is working. Controller would be my next guess in that case. Commented Oct 24, 2011 at 11:47

2 Answers 2


How recent is the dishwasher?

If it has a mechanical program dial, it sounds like the switch to pump water during the wash cycle has failed. If it is electronic, then it sounds like the main logic board has a fault.

Either way, you need to contact a serviceman.

  • I'm not exactly sure, but I would guess it might be 5 years old. It's a rotary dial, with buttons that you can feel physically change position when pressed--so perhaps older. In either case thanks for the insight
    – STW
    Commented Oct 25, 2011 at 1:04
  • If you were to pull the large rotary dial apart, you'd find a disc of plastic with multiple arcs on it at various radii. That's the program. As it moves, it trips switches to make different things start and stop inside. Your fault is probably one of those switches.
    – staticsan
    Commented Oct 25, 2011 at 2:44

My dishwasher was stopping similarly and it turned out that there wasn't enough water pressure. Simply opening the water valve feeding the dishwasher resolved the problem.

It doesn't sound like this is your problem, but it's a very simple thing to check that the valve is fully open, and it might help someone reading this page in the future.

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