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FIXED Whirlpool Dishwasher WDF520PADM7 not draining completely, leaves water in sump filter

KarlV

Premium Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2022
Messages
13
Location
Waukesha, WI
Model Number
WDF520PADM7
Brand
Whirlpool
Age
1-5 years
As the title states, we have a Whirlpool WDF520PADM7 and lately the dishes have not been coming out clean and water still remaining in the bottom of the sump filter. I tried running the diagnostic by pressing 3 buttons in a row 3 times and it ran. The first time the clean light would flash 7 times and then 1 and it did this 3 times. Then it started the wash cycle and ran about 23 minutes and then stopped. No other lights came on.

I opened it up and water was dripping from the racks and if I pulled the round filter cartridge out, there was still water in the sump. The next day I tried it all over again and got the same flashing clean light and then the cycle only ran about 13 minutes. Same thing, water in the sump. I watched the sink drain during the cycle this time and I saw water being discharged from the dishwasher into the sink.

I closed the door and pressed the "drain" button for a couple of seconds, and the pump would run for 3 seconds, stop for a couple, run for 3 seconds, stop for a couple and then run continuously for at least 30 seconds until I pressed cancel. I didn't want to burn the pump up. I looked inside and now there is about 1/4"-1/2" of water in the bottom of the sump.

It doesn't seem like the drain pump runs long enough to drain all the water and the fact that water is still dripping from racks, I wonder if the heating element is working, unless it isn't supposed to during that service diagnostics.

Why is it called a service diagnostic if no codes are shown afterwards or where does it say what the codes mean?
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
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Messages
132,647
Location
Redmond, Oregon
Sounds like possibly a control board problem, disconnect power to the dishwasher and remove the control board and look for any burnt spots on it.

Here's the control board for your model: W10906426

This video gives you the general idea of how to access the control board:

Let us know how it goes.

Jake
 

KarlV

Premium Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2022
Messages
13
Location
Waukesha, WI
Jake,
I will take a look at it and see if there are any burnt spots and report back.

Thanks for the reply.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
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Messages
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Ok Karl, sounds good.

Jake
 

KarlV

Premium Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2022
Messages
13
Location
Waukesha, WI
I took the control board out and opened it up and nothing looks burnt. I do see a lot of drain hose underneath the machine though, so I wonder if that is contributing to some of the poor draining. I did find a service sheet once I removed the plastic kick panel and it says to pour water down the drain hose from the garbage disposal side and if enter the machine, the check valve is bad. I will try that tomorrow, and it does say it is normal for about 1" water to remain in the sump after a cycle.

Next is trouble shooting the heating element. Code 7-1 is heating according the paper I found.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
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Messages
132,647
Location
Redmond, Oregon
Did you unsnap the plastic casing around the control board to get a clear view of the entire board FRONT and BACK?

Yes 7-1 is heating error.

Yes, its best to disconnect power to the dishwasher and ohm test the heating element and high-limit thermostat separately. Yes, you will have to pull the dishwasher out at least halfway to get to the back heating element terminals. Make sure you have enough slack in your electrical and water supply line and drain hose to pull the dishwasher out first.

Here's the heating element for your model you can order if yours is bad:
Heating Element W10518394


Watch this video to ohm test the heating element:


Watch this video to replace the heating element or to access the element terminals which are all the way in the back.


Also ohm test the high limit thermostat:
High Limit Thermostat WP661566


Watch this video, it shows you how to access/replace it:


Let us know what you find.

Jake
 

KarlV

Premium Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2022
Messages
13
Location
Waukesha, WI
Morning Jake,

Yes, I took the plastic off of the control board to look at both sides under a lighted magnifying lens. I tried ohm'ing between the two pins that should have put the heating element and the high temp limit switch in series and I got like 2.6 M ohms. I will pull it out today and do each one separately.

Is there truly a check valve on these drain lines? I don't see the purpose of one if there is that big loop on the side of the dishwasher.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
132,647
Location
Redmond, Oregon
Good Morning Karl, On this model there is a backflow check valve in the elbow of the drain hose, if that is clogged it will drain intermittently or never drain properly period.

Here's our main thread on it:

That thread shows the black elbow which has the backflow check valve in it. Check it for clogs.

Kathryn and Tom found it clogged up, post #26 and post #27 and post #29.

Here's that drain hose with the elbow in it that contains the backflow check valve:
WPW10545278 Drain Hose


Let us know what you find.

Jake
 

KarlV

Premium Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2022
Messages
13
Location
Waukesha, WI
So I ohm'd out the limit switch and it was good .003 ohms, the heating element was OL, so it is definitely bad. I pulled the drain pump out and everything was clean in there, I checked the inlet valve and that is all clean and good. Everything looks clean and good. I went to the drain lines and the extension drain line, I was able to blow through that with ease and heard it push any water left in it into the garbage disposal. I tried the lower hose and could not really blow the reverse way, even though some water was dribbling out after I removed the elbow from the sump. I blew in the correct direction and it blew out fine. I ran a lot of water through it and ran a fuzzy pipe cleaner through the check valve and every thing seems clean and good.

Now I am just cleaning all of the washing arms, because there are some food particles in the lower one.

Do they make shorter hose extensions? I seem to have almost 5' of it under the unit when it is pushed back in.
 

KarlV

Premium Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2022
Messages
13
Location
Waukesha, WI
So cleaned everything up good and while doing the inside, looking at the heating element, yeah it is definitely bad. There is a blister on it and may even have a hole in it. I have one on order and should be here Wednesday. Then we shall find out how it drains and cleans.
 

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Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
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Messages
132,647
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Do they make shorter hose extensions? I seem to have almost 5' of it under the unit when it is pushed back in.
Not that I'm aware of.

the heating element was OL, so it is definitely bad.
looking at the heating element, yeah it is definitely bad. There is a blister on it and may even have a hole in it. I have one on order and should be here Wednesday.
Yes, it is definitely a bad heating element.

Yes, let us know how it goes after you replace it. Make sure you disconnect power to the dishwasher before you replace it.

Jake
 

KarlV

Premium Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2022
Messages
13
Location
Waukesha, WI
So heating element came in today and I replaced it this evening. I got it all back together and then went ahead flushed the drain line extension, air gap and line going to garbage disposal so I can definitely say I cleaned every part possible. Hooked everything back up, turned water and power back on and tried to do the service cycle.

It took about 3-4 tries to get it into it and it finally started it (I think) it ran for almost 30 minutes and I tried pressing the start button to advance through the test cycles but never seemed to advance, I finally pressed cancel several time and it stopped.

Started to drain the water in three pulses and then stopped again. I opened the door and a lot of water still in he bottom. I closed the door again don't remember if I pushed drain again or if it started on it's own. It drained for a few second, stopped drained for a few seconds, stopped and then drained for about 60-90 seconds and then stopped.

I opened the door and all the water was gone except for about 1/2" in the bottom of the sump. According to the service information I found in the kick panel, it is normal for about 1" of water to remain.

So tomorrow we will try running a normal cycle and see how well it cleans and drains. I will report back. It is getting late tonight and I don't want to go to bed with it still running, I would rather be near it while it runs a full cycle.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
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Messages
132,647
Location
Redmond, Oregon
Anytime you replace a part on these dishwashers you always have to run the SERVICE DIAGNOSTICS CYCLE, and let it run all the way through to reset it back to default.

Entry sequence: Press any 3 keys in the sequence 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3 with no more than 1 second between key presses. NOTE: Some models have replaced the “Clean” LED with “Completed.”
The Service Diagnostics Cycle will start when the door is closed.

--->Invoking Service Diagnostics clears all status and last run information from memory and restores defaults. It also forces the next cycle to be a sensor calibration cycle.

LET IT RUN ALL THE WAY THROUGH: Service diagnostic cycle will take about 23 minutes.

Do that, and report back if its working good again.:)

Jake
 

KarlV

Premium Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2022
Messages
13
Location
Waukesha, WI
I just ran the SERVICE DIAGNOATIC CYCLE and I got 3-1, 6-1 and 7-1 for error codes and then the system ran it's cycle, but only for about 13 minutes and then once everything stopped, about 7 minutes later all he lights went off. I opened the door and completely full of water. I pressed the drain button and it drained.

I don't know why I got the cycle to run 23 minutes the first time, but only 1/2 the time it seems the next 2 times. Open the door and I sense steam, so heating circuit is working now. I am assuming some of the codes were from previous issue and then with disconnecting everything including water line. I sure to bleed air out of line afterwards would cause some low water error. I will try a load tonight and maybe another SERVICE Cycle after wards.
 

Jake

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Redmond, Oregon
Ok, lets try clearing the error codes first, I'm attaching your tech data sheet below. Page 6--->Service Diagnostics Cycle Notes--->NOTE 3--->Press Hi Temp key in this interval to clear customer error history.

Look at the chart above it says INTERVAL at the very top, then you will see INTERVAL 19 where you clear the error codes.

Jake
 

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KarlV

Premium Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2022
Messages
13
Location
Waukesha, WI
Thanks Jake, I will give that a try. We did run a load through late yesterday evening and everything seemed to work fine. Dishes came out clean and dry, about 3/4"- 1" of water left in sump, which according to page 11 under "Will not Drain or Excess Water, the 2nd potential cause says "customer misunderstands water level after drain" and fix is normal for about 1" (2.4cm) to remain in sump. I know it is not the check valve, because I cleaned everything and tested that.

For the intervals then, as I read it, it goes down from 24 to 1, so it will flash any error codes and then immediately after that when the Hi Temp light is on for 10 seconds is when I press the Hi temp button to erase codes. Do I press and hold and just a quick press and release?

Also, does it flash each code once or three times. Last week when I started this, it flashed the 7-1 three times. I don't recall what it did yesterday with the other 2 codes. Maybe it failed 3 times because of the heating element being bad, so it was flashing 3 times.

I am used to cars where it will flash each code 3 times and then move onto the next code with a certain sequence of flashes to tell you code reading complete or that there are no codes set.

I appreciate your help Jake!!
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
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Messages
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NOTE 3--->Press Hi Temp key in this interval to clear customer error history.
No, just when you are in INTERVAL 19--->Press Hi Temp key in this interval to clear customer error history.

Jake
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
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Messages
132,647
Location
Redmond, Oregon
Also, does it flash each code once or three times. Last week when I started this, it flashed the 7-1 three times. I don't recall what it did yesterday with the other 2 codes. Maybe it failed 3 times because of the heating element being bad, so it was flashing 3 times.
Just once If I recall.

Jake
 

KarlV

Premium Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2022
Messages
13
Location
Waukesha, WI
So I ran another diagnostic this morning and it flashed 3-1 3 times, then a 6-1 and then a 7-1. It ran through and when it got to interval 19 I pressed the button below heat and let it run the full diagnostics. It got to the draining point and I heard the drain pump run once for a second, but that was it. It would not cycle. After a couple of minutes, I opened the door and full of water. I closed the door and fast forwarded through to the next cycle and it flashed 3-1 twice and then ended the diagnostic cycle. I had to press the drain button to get it to drain. We never had low water pressure issues before I took everything apart. When I did, I checked the inlet valve and it looked clean. I hear water blasting nicely when it runs through the diagnostic cycle. We are going to do a load of dishes later today and see how everything goes. The load we did Friday night came out perfectly clean and only left a little water in the sump like it is supposed to.
 
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