Dishwasher: Won't fill

A dishwasher that doesn't fill with water when you press Start is little more than a place to hide dirty dishes. First, make sure that the water supply cut-off valve is open. If it is, try this easy fix: check whether an object is preventing the overfill float from moving up and down freely. If the float is stuck in its highest position, the fill valve won't let water into the tub.

If that doesn't take care of it, the overfill float switch or water inlet valve may be broken. A failed electronic control board or timer could also prevent the dishwasher from filling. Watch the dishwasher not filling video for more troubleshooting tips to resolve this problem.

dishwasher

These repairs may help solve your dishwasher problem

Replace the dishwasher water inlet valve

Replace the dishwasher water inlet valve

The water inlet valve, also called a solenoid fill valve, controls the flow of water into the dishwasher by opening and closing. If the water inlet valve doesn't open at all, water can't flow into the dishwasher. If it opens partially, the dishwasher won't fill adequately, and the water level will be low-a noisy pump is one indication that the water level is low. Conversely, if the water inlet valve won't close, water fills the dishwasher tub even when the dishwasher is off. If the water inlet valve doesn't open or close correctly, repair or replace it.

October 1, 2016
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a dishwasher water inlet valve

If water isn't flowing into the dishwasher, or if the water won't stop flowing, the water valve may have failed. This repair guide and video show you how to replace the dishwasher water valve yourself in less than 30 minutes.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
Read more
Replace the dishwasher overfill float switch

Replace the dishwasher overfill float switch

The overfill float switch is located under the tub and is attached to the mushroom float inside the tub, which rises and lowers with the water level in the tub. When the overfill float switch detects that the water level is too high, it shuts off power to the water inlet valve, stopping the flow of water into the tub. Even if the mushroom float is working properly, the micro-switch could have failed. Replace the micro-switch if it fails.

October 1, 2016
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a dishwasher overfill float switch

If your dishwasher doesn't drain completely or if it won't fill at all, the problem could be the overfill float switch. The float switch detects how much water is in the bottom of the dishwasher. This repair guide and video show how to install a new one in less than 30 minutes.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
Read more
Replace the dishwasher control panel

Replace the dishwasher control panel

When the control panel, also called the control console, becomes visibly loose or damaged, replace it. A stuck button can also cause the dishwasher to become unresponsive. A light may flash constantly on the control panel when a button is stuck.

April 1, 2014
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a dishwasher control panel

If the dishwasher buttons stick or don't work, the dishwasher control panel could be the problem. This DIY repair guide shows you how to replace the control panel in just 30 minutes.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
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Replace the dishwasher electronic control board

Replace the dishwasher electronic control board

The electronic control board runs all dishwasher functions. If the electronic control board is getting voltage, but not operating properly, it should be replaced.

How to replace a dishwasher electronic control board

Because the electronic control board runs every stage of the dishwashing cycle, it's hard to know if the problem is the board or something it controls. If you or a repair technician determines the dishwasher control board is faulty, this repair guide and video show how to install a new one.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
Read more
Replace the dishwasher timer

Replace the dishwasher timer

The timer controls the electro-mechanical components in the dishwasher such as the wash pump, drain pump, inlet water valve and heating element. The timer also advances the control knob on the control panel. Replace the timer if it fails to start and stop the components properly or fails to advance the control knob.

April 1, 2014
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a dishwasher timer

If a dishwasher isn't advancing through the wash, rinse, drain or dry cycles, chances are the dishwasher timer is to blame. This easy-to-follow repair guide shows you how to replace the timer yourself.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
Read more

Symptoms common to all dishwashers

Choose a symptom to see related dishwasher repairs.

Main cause: damaged rack height adjuster
Main causes: broken door spring, detergent dispenser failure, cabinet mounting brackets loose or broken
Main causes: damaged or stuck spray arm, leaking door seal, damaged door hinge, leaky heating element water seal, cracked water supply line
Main causes: light switch beside the sink turned off, lack of power, bad dishwasher door switch, control system failure, wiring problem
Main causes: water supply problem, stuck overfill float, clogged water inlet valve screen, water inlet valve failure
Main causes: clogged kitchen sink drain, clogged drain hose, drain check valve damaged, drain pump failure, control system problem
Main causes: broken door latch, tripped circuit breaker, broken heating element, faulty vent fan, sensor failure, control system problem
Main causes: glass or popcorn kernel stuck in the chopper blade, drain line vibrating against the cabinet, debris in wash pump or drain pump
Main causes: improper loading, low water temperature, improper detergent dosage, detergent dispenser failure, spray arm or pump problems

Repair guides common to all dishwashers

These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your dishwasher.

October 1, 2016
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a dishwasher vent and fan assembly

If the control panel goes blank, the fan could be to blame. Replace the vent and fan assembly using these steps.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
How to replace a dishwasher circulation pump and motor assembly

When the spray arm won’t spray, you might need to replace the circulation pump and motor assembly. Here's how.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
October 1, 2016
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a dishwasher water inlet valve

If your dishwasher fills constantly or won't fill at all, the water inlet valve has failed. You can replace it in about half an hour.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less

Articles and videos common to all dishwashers

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your dishwasher.

June 19, 2019

How to load a dishwasher video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Find out where dishes should go, as well as what never to put in a dishwasher.

September 29, 2016

Dishwasher detergent cup not opening video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Overloading the detergent dispenser, using clumpy soap and a broken actuator are reasons why the dispenser won't open.

January 16, 2015

How to fix rust spots on a dishwasher dishrack video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

It’s easy to get a newer looking dishrack!