Dishwasher Making Noise But No Water [Fixed]

By: Talen Quire

If your dishwasher is making noise but not filling with water, it’s frustrating. This common issue can leave you with a stack of dirty dishes and a lot of questions.

The good news is, many solutions exist to tackle this problem. Did you know that a clogged water inlet valve can often be the culprit?

In this guide, we’ll explore several possible reasons for your dishwasher’s malfunction and provide clear, step-by-step solutions. By the end, you’ll have the knowledge to address the issue, saving both time and money.

Dishwasher creating noise and not receiving water.

Why Is My Dishwasher Making Noise but Not Filling with Water?

Here are the reasons why your dishwasher is making a humming sound but not receiving water:

An Issue With the Pump Motor

To understand why the pump motor can cause your dishwasher to make noise but not fill with water, consider how this component functions.

The pump motor is crucial for drawing water into the dishwasher’s washing chamber. If the dishwasher hasn’t been used in a week or more, the pump seals can dry out or become sticky, impeding water flow.

When the pump motor operates without water, it produces a humming noise. This noise is due to the motor running dry.

How to Fix It?

To resolve this, you can prime the pump to restore its proper function.

First, ensure your dishwasher is empty. Then, dissolve 3–4 ounces of citric acid in a quart of hot water. Citric acid can be found in the canning section of grocery stores.

You can also use a cup of white vinegar but it’s less effective than citric acid.

Pour the citric acid solution into the drain area, typically at the rear right of the dishwasher tub. Let it sit for 15–30 minutes to soften the seals.

After waiting, start the dishwasher again. If it fills with water, the issue is resolved. If not, call the professional technician for further investigation.

Also, go for professional assistance if you’re unable to follow the DIY steps.

An Issue in the Water Supply Line

Dishwasher's water supply line

Next, an issue with the water supply line can also cause your dishwasher to make noises but not fill with water.

The water supply line is responsible for delivering water from your home’s plumbing to the dishwasher. If this line is blocked, kinked, or disconnected, water cannot reach the dishwasher.

How to Fix It?

  • First, ensure the dishwasher is turned off and unplugged.
  • Locate the water valve under the sink and turn it off. Place a towel under the water supply line and disconnect it from the valve.
  • Next, remove the kickplate and baseplate from the dishwasher. This allows you to access the other end of the water supply line, which connects to the water inlet valve.
  • Disconnect the water line from the inlet valve.
  • Inspect the filter, a small mesh screen on one end of the water line, for debris. Soak it in soapy water and rinse thoroughly.
  • Run water through the supply line to clear out any blockages. If you find calcium deposits, soak the line in a mixture of water and vinegar for at least 30 minutes to soften them.
  • Use a pipe-cleaning snake to remove any remaining deposits from the supply line. Rinse the line and filter again, then reattach the filter to the water supply line.
  • Reconnect the water supply line to the valve and the inlet valve on the dishwasher. Turn the water back on and plug the dishwasher back in.
  • Run a short wash cycle to see if the dishwasher fills with water.

If it does, reattach the baseplate and kickplate. If not, you may need to check the water inlet valve for further issues.

Malfunctioning Float 

The float, located at the bottom of the dishwasher tub, is a crucial safety device designed to prevent overflow by regulating the water level. If the float is not working correctly can cause the the dishwasher to make a humming noise and not fill with water.

Here’s how you can check the float:

  • First, locate the float at the bottom of the dishwasher. It usually has a circular head and may be covered, requiring you to unscrew the float cover to access it.
  • Gently move the float up and down. It should move freely and you should hear a clicking sound from the relay switch. This click indicates that the float switch is functioning properly.
  • If the float doesn’t move freely or you don’t hear a click, the float assembly might be defective and needs replacement. 
  • Follow the below-given steps to replace the float and float switch.

Defective Float Switch

The float switch, located beneath the float at the bottom of the dishwasher, controls the water inlet valve. It signals when to allow water into the dishwasher and when to stop.

If the float switch is faulty, it might prevent the water inlet valve from opening, resulting in the dishwasher humming without filling with water. 

Fixing Guide

Here’s how you can check and replace the float switch:

  • First, disconnect the power to the dishwasher and turn off the water supply.
  • Remove the bottom access panel or kickplate, which might require removing the dishwasher door using a T15 Torx Driver.
  • Once you have access, locate the float switch beneath the float. Unplug the wiring harness from the connector, being careful not to pull directly on the wires.
  • Remove the float switch and test it with a multimeter set to Rx1.
  • Touch the probes to the switch’s terminals. The multimeter should read either zero or infinity.
  • Press the switch’s button; the reading should change to the opposite extreme (from zero to infinity or vice versa).
  • If the reading doesn’t change, the float switch is defective and needs replacement.
  • Replacing the faulty float switch involves installing a new one and ensuring all connections are secure.
  • Reconnect the dishwasher to the power and water supply, and test it by running a short cycle.
  • If the dishwasher fills with water, the issue is the float switch. If not, further diagnosis will be needed.

Faulty Water Inlet Valve

Defective water inlet valve

A faulty water inlet valve can also be the culprit behind your dishwasher making noises but not filling with water. The water inlet valve controls the flow of water into the dishwasher when signaled by the control panel or timer. If it’s defective, the valve may fail to open, causing the dishwasher to hum without receiving water.

Here’s how to check it:

  • Start by disconnecting the power and turning off the water supply. Remove the bottom access panel or kickplate, which may require removing the dishwasher door using a T15 Torx Driver.
  • Once you have access, locate the water inlet valve. Inspect it visually for signs of wear or damage.
  • You can also perform an ohm test using a multimeter. Set the multimeter to Rx1 and touch the probes to the valve’s terminals.
  • If the reading is infinity, one of the solenoids may have failed. However, this test might not always be reliable.
  • For a more accurate assessment, an advanced AC or DC voltage test is necessary, which should be performed by a trained professional.

If you find that your inlet valve is defective, follow these steps to replace it:

  • Considering you’ve already unplugged your appliance from the power source, turn off its water supply.
  • Remove the lower access panel and put a towel to catch the water leakage.
  • Detach the water supply line from the inlet valve assembly.
  • Remove the faulty inlet valve and install a new one in its place.
  • After reassembly, reconnect the dishwasher to power and water, and run a test cycle to ensure it fills with water properly.
  • If the dishwasher operates correctly, the issue is the water inlet valve. If not, further troubleshooting may be needed.

Water Inlet Fill Hose

The fill hose is responsible for delivering water from your home’s plumbing to the dishwasher. If the hose is clogged, or kinked, or the check valve within it fails, water flow to the dishwasher can be obstructed, leading to the appliance making noise without filling with water.

How to Fix It?

  • First, disconnect the power and water supply to the dishwasher.
  • Then, locate the water inlet fill hose, typically found at the back of the dishwasher.
  • Inspect the hose for any visible signs of damage or kinks. If the hose is kinked, straighten it out and try running the dishwasher again.

What Are the Preventive Measures to Avoid This Issue in the Future?

Preventive tips to avoid dishwasher issue

To prevent your dishwasher from making noise and failing to fill with water in the future, follow these preventive measures:

1. Regular Maintenance

  • Inspect and Clean the Water Supply Line: Regularly check for kinks, clogs, or damage. Clean the line to ensure smooth water flow. This will also help in coping with other dishwasher sounds like raining or grinding sounds.

2. Check the Float and Float Switch

  • Ensure Proper Functioning: Periodically inspect the float and float switch for any signs of wear or malfunction. Replace them if necessary.

3. Maintain the Water Inlet Valve

  • Regularly Inspect and Clean: Check the water inlet valve for debris or mineral buildup. Clean or replace it as needed to ensure proper water flow.

4. Monitor the Water Inlet Fill Hose

  • Check for Blockages: Routinely inspect the water inlet fill hose for any obstructions. Clear them to maintain proper water flow.

5. Professional Inspection

  • Schedule Regular Servicing: Consider scheduling professional maintenance at least once a year to ensure all components are in working order.

6. Use Water Softeners

  • Prevent Mineral Buildup: If your area has hard water, consider using a water softener to reduce mineral buildup in your dishwasher.

7. Follow the Manufacturer’s Guidelines

  • Read the Manual: Adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations for dishwasher use and maintenance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Is My Dishwasher Spinning but No Water?

Your dishwasher may be spinning but not filling with water due to an open or unlatched door, a clogged or malfunctioning water inlet valve, a shut-off water supply, or an obstructed overfill protection float.

Is It Normal for My Dishwasher to Make Noises When It’s Not Running?

It’s not normal for your dishwasher to make noises when it’s not running. This could indicate a problem with the motor, pump, or other components that require inspection and repair.

Is It Safe to Continue Using My Dishwasher if It’s Making a Loud Noise but Not Filling With Water?

It’s not safe to continue using your dishwasher if it’s making a loud noise but not filling with water. Continuing to use it could cause further damage to the appliance.

Can I Try to Fix the Issue Myself or Should I Call a Professional?

You can try to fix the issue yourself if you’re comfortable and have the necessary skills. However, if you’re unsure or the problem is complex, it’s best to call a professional appliance repair technician to avoid causing further damage.


A dishwasher making noise but not filling with water can be a frustrating issue to deal with. Several factors can contribute to this problem, including a malfunctioning pump motor, water supply line issues, a faulty float or float switch, a defective water inlet valve, or a problematic water inlet fill hose.

To address these issues, it is important to first diagnose the specific cause by inspecting and testing each component. Regular maintenance, such as cleaning the water supply line, checking the float and float switch, maintaining the water inlet valve, and monitoring the water inlet fill hose, can help prevent these problems from occurring in the future.

About Talen Quire

Talen Quire is a seasoned mechanical engineer with 20 years of industry experience. He earned his engineering degree from the University of Michigan and holds certifications in research and prototype development. Talen has collaborated with top brands like KitchenAid, GE, and BOSCH. Currently, he works at a leading research and development company. Passionate about technology, Talen actively shares the latest tech updates online, engaging a community of enthusiasts and professionals. Outside of work, he's an amateur astronomer and enjoys woodworking, creating detailed furniture and gadgets in his workshop.

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