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Maytag DW MDB4949SDM2 - Rinse cycle has water, then no water midway through


Premium Member
Jan 20, 2023
Woodinville, WA
Model Number
6-10 years
Hello All, hope you are well. Pre-apology if this is long and winding. Never know what little detail might tip someone off to the cause!

Our MDB4949SDM2 recently started this issue...though now we think it may have been happening sporadically for some time. We’re used to a little oddity from the dishwasher (how does it wash everything but seem to miss one lonely dish?!?) but this is actual failure.

On both cycles I’ve tested (PowerBlast and Normal), dishwasher fills normally during the rinse cycle and rinses everything fine. At some point in the cycling, it seems to stop introducing water, and the tub starts to dry out, seemingly from the residual heat. We never use the drying cycles, but it’s hot to the touch inside on all surfaces, and even the last little dregs of water in the sump are gone leaving only steam/drips on the walls/sides. All dishes just get rinsed then caked on bits…wonder how long we’ve been using unclean dishes!

Called Maytag to confirm that water should be present at all times if we aren’t using the drying cycles and to see if I could obtain a technical service manual, they told me yes and no, then started the sales pitch.

Our water doesn’t test as hard water per se, but we have manganese and we get a hard pinkish-white build up inside the DW that sheds into the washer and frequently clogs the small holes in the sprayer arms. We run washer cleaner tabs and vinegar through it and it kinda seems to help, but it is a bummer and my number one gripe about the situation...until now.

I’ve checked:
-Power is on.
-Water valve under sink is open and functioning properly.
-The water inlet on the inner left sidewall appears to be clear.
-The float doesn’t stick in the upright position, moves freely throughout vertical range.
-Removed and cleaned the screens, removable sump parts and the sprayer arms.

Haven’t yet checked (but can and will this weekend, hopefully with some guidance from y’all, or even a tech service manual?!?):
-Presence/absence/condition of a screen at the water inlet valve on underside. Seems like this wouldn’t be the issue since it gets water during the rinse cycle, unless board stops telling it to allow water in.
-Continuity at float switch OR door latch OR power to water inlet valve during later rinse cycle vs other times in cycle OR if the control board has any burns on it.

Additional notes:
-We never use the drying cycles, but my wife noted that one of the brackets for the heating element was “sizzling” when she opened the door up to check it mid-cycle yesterday.
-It does NOT seem to rinse out the soap cup actively, that seems more like it slips out and is wetted, but isn’t actually sprayed out. This has occurred in the past when the outermost holes in the upper spray arm become blocked by shards of that hard white buildup.
-I haven't seen anything in particular about testing my circulating pump, which I assume is present.


Hi, I'm attaching your tech. data sheet below. On page 6 do--->Service Diagnostics with Error Codes

Let us know what error code you get.

For the water issue, do you hear plenty of water splashing inside the tub when its running? How much water is in the tub after it fills?

---->Make sure your dishwasher drain hose has a high loop in it before it connects to the garbage disposal or sink plumbing.

You can see how it has to loop in Fig 1, Fig 1a, Fig 2 here:



  • Tech Sheet - W10751162 - Rev B.pdf
    1 MB · Views: 33
Happy Saturday Everyone,

Thanks for the reply Jake: looks like you've been a really solid member of this community, thank you for your efforts!

Double thanks for the tech sheet, I've got that printed off and will be running those codes tonight once the kiddos are in bed and the kitchen isn't a landing strip...

RE: Your questions -
-I do hear plenty of water splashing during the first part of the cycle, and it is deep enough that it is on the channel/"raceway" leading up to the float, though it didn't seem to be reaching the float itself when I glanced in there (more on that below).
-I do have a high loop, like Fig 3 in your examples with the air gap. My drain hose also has an actual loop in it before the air gap, because I had so much excess hose. Is that possibly an issue?

So last night I did the following:
-Unplugged/shut off the water, removed the toe kick access.
-Disconnected the water inlet hose from the water inlet valve, then disconnected the brass water inlet 90 degree adapter from the water inlet hose and cleaned it out. There was about a sweet pea worth of sediment in the arm of that brass adapter but it wasn't clogged, just loose sediment. I then flushed the water inlet hose into a dish, it ran clear with no additional sediment.
-Disconnected the wire harness from the water inlet valve, removed the valve, removed the screen from the valve, cleaned the sediment, re-shaped the screen and re-inserted it into the valve making sure it sealed as well as possible against the inside of the valve. The screen had some sediment, but was maybe 20% blocked at most. Probably it was more blocked when the water pressure pushed that sweet pea of crud up against it while running? Reinstalled water inlet valve and reconnected everything, checking for leaks at later steps. No leaks.
-Turned water back on, plugged back in, started a "Normal" cycle with the dishwasher empty and no soap in the dispenser
-I unlatched the two interlocked covers from over the float switch and, while the machine was running, moved the arm of the float switch up/off and down/on. This switch appears to be working normally, so I closed it all back up, making sure the little plastic arm was properly engaged: it will fall off at a moments notice but is easy-ish to get back in place. Closed the two covers back up.
-While running an empty "Normal" cycle without a drying cycle and without soap in the dispenser, I opened the dishwasher at 3 mins, 8 mins and about every 5 mins after that. I observed the lower wash arm wash rotating a little and water was coming out. The middle wash arm was NOT rotating, and barely any water was coming out, just enough to show a shard of the build-up in the furthest-out hole in the spray arm. I would say a trickle at best. It was a little wet from the lower wash arm splashing it also. The upper wash arm was NOT rotating, and it was basically dry. I let the cycle run for about an hour then cancelled it.
-Also, I observed that a part of what I assume is the Circulation Pump (see attached image below) in the back behind the Sump seemed to be either spinning OR vibrating and was directly touching the exterior of the drain hose. I've highlighted the part, it is this white disk. I didn't touch anything while the machine was running, but it seems odd to me that it would be moving.

I think that's everything. Right now, I'm operating with the hypothesis that it is something wrong with my circ pump. I'll dive in more tonight, check the codes and check back in here.

Thanks again for the help: I'm on track with my goal of sleuthing it out this weekend, ordering parts tomorrown and hopefully have it back in action Thursday or Friday.

Onward! Have a great day Y'all,


Screenshot (20).png
Quick Update.

I just started the Diagnostic w/Error codes but may have messed it up and cleared the codes. I say that because I did the method on page 3, NOT page 6 like you asked Jake. I noticed that page 3 says "Invoking the Service Diagnostics clears all status and last run information from memory and restores defaults." I read this as "if there are codes stored, they will be cleared during Diagnostic mode" but maybe it means something else. It doesn't say the same things on page 6. Either way, I'll letcha know what I find out.

I'm sure I'm not alone in thoroughly enjoying running Diagnostic Mode on essentially anything that will let me do it, right?

And just like that I'm back. I didn't mess it up, I just didn't understand so I didn't think to write down the codes as they appeared the first time around.

This time when I started the Service Diagnostic, I wrote down the Fx + Ex codes that appeared shortly after closing the door, and they are the following:
F6 + E4
F6 + E1
F8 + E2
and I didn't get a fourth code, just F- + E-

So, I will use that info to refer to the Service Error Codes on pages 7-12 in the tech sheet kindly provided by Jake, and go through those steps systematically...GULP, there's a lot of steps. But, no one said this was simple or easy...just possible.

If anyone has any thoughts OR input on where you would focus first given my symptoms, I'm all ears.

Thank you all for your help on this interesting journey, and hope you have a great day,

Ok Karl,

You may have a clogged or broken chopper like Orion found in post #9 here:

Here's the chopper assembly for your model: W11246682 Chopper

I posted the instructions to get access to the chopper assembly in post #11 of that thread.

If the chopper screen is not clogged or broken, then its possibly a bad wash(circulation) motor:
W10815709 Motor-Pump

Let us know what you find.
Alright, next update:

Took things apart. Think I found the issue.

Decided to take the dishwasher out and into my shop so it could sytematically explode and not disrupt house life too much. Unplugged. Water off. Disconnected the drain hose and the clear fill hose, removed both to soak in vinegar and hopefully free up some of the build up. Leaned dishwasher on it's back so I could easily access the bottom side. Took photos for reminders of wires later.

Twisted turbidity sensor free to see if it was blocked or clouded. Unsure, but it has some build-up on it. I'll clean that up and reinstall since it seems to work fine according to diagnostic:


Next twisted and de-clipped the drain pump free. Not too bad I think, what do you think Jake?

Here's a detail showing the inside of where the pump mounts, with the build-up deep in there.

I removed the sump next, and noticed this little black plastic ring inside where the middle and upper arm supply tube connects. Does that look familiar in any way or is it just random debris?

Then, the heart of the issue. Just like you said Jake: the chopper. The chopper, which was supposed to be one piece slicer and one piece mesh screen, pressed into a unit at the factory (right Jake?), has broken and become two pieces. This means that the spring on the chopper is loose, so the teeth on the impeller can't engage with the teeth on the slicer, and the whole thing is worthless. Couple questions below, but here's the pics:



and finally the teeth on the impeller:


So I will start my earnest repairs by replacing the chopper, cleaning off build-up where I can, and inspecting the gaskets. I'm still going to investigate the other error codes and decided I'm going to re-route my drain hose so it is higher up in the adjacent cabinet. Also, I'm planning to test all the contacts, resistance and other specs I can while it is open, accessible and out of commission.

Couple questions:
-Does this mean that a broken chopper blade is correlated with a weak spray pressure? This makes some sense on multiple levels: if it led to a clogged screen, a drop in pressure would occur...but this is a bit of a Catch-22 because the screen was probably bypassed due to the huge hole where the slicer used to be. When functional, does the slicer act like a turbine, building pressure on the slicer side of the screen and boosting the overall pressure, encouraging flow to the middle and upper spray arms?
-Could this broken slicer be associated with the build up we see as well? Seems like we have only really had this issue for a couple of years, maybe it is food and such that's not processed fully? We've definitely had decreased performance in the last couple years, I wonder how long this has been going on.
-Do the teeth on the impeller seem like they are still in the usable range? OR, should I order THIS IMPELLER KIT and replace them?
-Are there any gaskets on the dishwasher that you would reccommend replacing while I'm A) placing a parts order, B) got access to the whole situation, C) am waiting anyway?
-Should I condition any of the gaskets with any oils/treatments/food grade lubricants?
-Finally, thank you for everything Jake. This has been a fun little exploration and I'm glad I found something actually wrong!

Think that is everything for now, thanks again.

Excellent, good job finding what was wrong, thanks for posting the photos too.:)

Those are all good questions. but I don't know the answers, being a tech for over 35 years and running 10 service calls a day on average, I go to the customers house remove the old part, install the new part and I'm done. LOL on to the next service call.

The engineers could answer those questions much better to why they failed, like they did.:)

If I was you, I'd order the complete wash motor assembly I posted in posted #6, its comes with the chopper already installed for you. No need for any lubrication.:)
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