KitchenAid Dishwasher Not Spraying Water [Fixed]

By: Talen Quire

Are you frustrated by a KitchenAid dishwasher that won’t spray water? You’re not alone! Many people have faced this issue. Imagine loading your dishwasher, only to find that your dishes come out still dirty because the water isn’t spraying properly. It’s a common problem that can be caused by a variety of issues, from a failed water supply to damaged spray arms or a defective circulation pump.

But don’t worry. In this article, we’ll explore the potential reasons behind your KitchenAid dishwasher not spraying water and provide you with practical solutions to fix the problem. Whether you’re dealing with a simple clog or a more complex issue, we’ll help you troubleshoot and resolve the issue.

So, let’s dive in.

dishwasher spray arm not spraying

Why My Kitchenaid Dishwasher Is Not Spraying Water?

Here are the reasons why your Kitchenaid dishwasher is refusing to spray water:

Clogged Spray Arm

When the spray arm becomes clogged with food particles, grease, or mineral deposits, it prevents the flow of water through the arm. This can prevent the arm from spinning properly and distributing water throughout the dishwasher. As a result, dishes may not be cleaned effectively, and you may notice that the dishwasher is not spraying water as it should.


Inspect and clean the spray arms of your KitchenAid dishwasher. Remove any debris or buildup that may be clogging the arm, and ensure that it can spin freely. 

Obstructed Spray Arms

Obstructed spray arm

When the spray arm is obstructed by dishes that are loaded improperly or by food particles, it cannot rotate freely. As a result, the water jets from the spray arm cannot reach all areas of the dishwasher, leading to ineffective cleaning.


To resolve this issue, it is essential to ensure that the spray arm is not obstructed by dishes and that the dishwasher is loaded correctly.

“Top rack only” setting is selected

This setting is designed for washing a small load of dishes using only the top rack. When this cycle is selected, the lower or bottom spray arms will not engage, and as a result, the lower rack dishes will not be cleaned.

To resolve this issue, ensure that you are not using the “Top rack only” setting if you have dishes in the lower rack that need to be cleaned.

Malfunctioning Circulation Pump

The circulation pump is responsible for taking the soapy water from the tub and forcefully pushing it through the spray arm to clean the dishes. When the circulation pump malfunctions, it may not be able to move water effectively, leading to the spray arm not functioning issue.


To diagnose this issue, you can visually inspect the circulation pump for any visible blockages, such as food particles or debris. You can access the circulation pump by removing the bottom dish rack, the spray arm, and the assembly connected to the spray arm.

Once you have access to the pump, check for smooth movement. If you notice any blockages, remove them carefully. If the pump appears to be functioning properly but the issue persists, it may be time to consider replacing your circulation pump.

Here’s a video explaining how to replace the pump:

Your Dishwasher Is Not filling with Water

The water supply valve plays a crucial role in allowing water to flow into the dishwasher. If this valve is closed or not functioning properly, the dishwasher will not receive the required supply of water. As a result, the spray arm will be unable to spray water.


Locate the water supply valve for the dishwasher under the sink and ensure that it is open to allow water to flow freely through the supply line into the dishwasher.

Faulty Water Inlet Valve

Water inlet valve

The water inlet valve is responsible for regulating the flow of water into the dishwasher. If this valve is clogged with debris or damaged, it may not open properly to allow water to enter the dishwasher, resulting in a lack of spraying action.


You should inspect the water inlet valve for any visible signs of damage or blockages. If you notice any debris, carefully clean the valve to remove the blockage. However, if the valve appears to be damaged, you will have to replace the whole water inlet valve.

Damaged Spray Arms

If the spray arm is damaged or melted, it will not be able to spin properly or direct water where it is needed, leading to the non-spraying wash arms.


Inspect the spray arm for any visible signs of damage, such as cracks or warping. If the spray arm is damaged, it will need to be replaced.

Blocked Overfill Protection Float

The overfill protection float is designed to prevent the dishwasher from overfilling with water. If this float becomes blocked or stuck, it will not move freely to allow the dishwasher to fill properly, resulting in a lack of spraying action.


Locate the overfill protection float in your dishwasher (often found in the front right corner on some models) and ensure that it moves up and down freely. If the float is blocked, carefully remove any obstructions to allow it to move properly.

Clogged Chopper Blade

Chopper blade

The chopper blade plays a crucial role in chopping down food particles into tiny pieces during the cleaning cycle. However, over time chopping the food particles the chopper blade can get clogged. When the chopper blade is clogged, it can obstruct the flow of water and prevent it from reaching the spray arm.


To fix this issue, clean the chopper blade and remove any food residue or debris that may be blocking the blade.

Why My Kitchenaid Dishwasher Upper Spray Arm Is Not Spraying Water?

If your dishwasher’s upper sprayer is not functioning, here are the most potential causes for it:

Low Water Pressure

KitchenAid dishwashers require a minimum water pressure of 20 psi to effectively clean dishes. When the water pressure is too low, the upper spray arm may not receive enough force to rotate and spray water evenly. This can result in the non-spraying upper spray arm.


Check the water supply to the dishwasher and ensure that the water pressure meets the recommended requirements. If the water pressure is low, you may need to adjust the water supply valve and increase the water pressure.

Faulty Diverter Motor

Faulty diverter motor

The diverter motor is responsible for directing the flow of water to different parts of the appliance during the wash cycle. If the diverter motor is faulty or malfunctioning, it may not properly divert water to the upper spray arm, causing it to not spray.


To address this issue, the diverter motor will likely need to be replaced.

Turbo Wash Feature

The Turbo Wash feature, found in some KitchenAid dishwasher models, can contribute to the non-spraying upper spray arm issue. This feature includes four small spray heads at the back of the bottom rack. When activated, a wax motor on the outside of the tub moves a bar with magnets attached to it. Inside the Turbo Wash head, there are two ball bearings that move up to block the upper rack and roof sprayer during the wash.


To address this problem, you may need to inspect the wax motor and replace it if required. 

Why My Kitchenaid Dishwasher Lower Spray Arm Is Not Spraying Water?

If you’re wondering why your KitchenAid dishwasher’s lower spray arm is not spraying water, several factors could be causing this issue. One common reason is a blockage in the spray arm nozzles, due to mineral deposits. These deposits can obstruct the flow of water and prevent the spray arm from rotating and spraying.

Another potential cause is a jammed impeller pump vanes, which can occur when foreign objects, such as plastic chips, get lodged in the pump. Cleaning out the lower pan and inspecting the impeller pump vanes for obstructions can help resolve this issue.

Additionally, check the spray arm itself for damage. If the nozzles of the lower spray arm are damaged or melted, they may not be able to spray water properly. In such cases, replacing the spray arm is the only solution.

Lastly, ensure that the pathway of the water flow is not obstructed. The spray arms usually rotate due to reaction forces from tilted spray jets at the ends. If these jets are clogged with food particles or debris, the arms may not rotate.

How Do I Clean the Spray Arms on My Kitchenaid Dishwasher?

Cleaning the spray arms

To clean the spray arms on your KitchenAid dishwasher, follow these steps:

  • First, remove the lower dishrack to access the spray arms. Inspect the spray arms for any debris or clogs. If necessary, remove the spray arms for detailed inspection. 
  • Use a toothpick, small brush, or pipe cleaner to clear any debris from the spray arm’s nozzles.
  • Soak the spray arms in a mixture of warm water and vinegar to dissolve any mineral deposits. 
  • After soaking, rinse the spray arms with water. 
  • Lastly, reassemble the spray arms back into the dishwasher.

When Should I Consider Calling a Professional for Help?

If your KitchenAid dishwasher spray arm issue persists despite your efforts, or if you’re uncomfortable performing the troubleshooting or repairs, it’s better to seek professional help. Here are specific instances when calling a professional becomes necessary:

  1. Persistent Problems: If cleaning or unclogging the spray arms doesn’t resolve the issue, a professional can diagnose and fix the underlying problem.
  2. Complex Issues: For more complex issues like a malfunctioning circulation pump, diverter motor, or electronic control board, a professional technician is best equipped to diagnose and repair the problem.
  3. Warranty Concerns: If your dishwasher is still under warranty, attempting repairs yourself could void the warranty. A professional technician can perform repairs without affecting the warranty.
  4. Lack of Tools or Expertise: If you don’t have the necessary tools or expertise to disassemble and repair components of the dishwasher safely and effectively, it’s best to leave it to a professional.


What button do I press to reset my KitchenAid dishwasher?

To reset your KitchenAid dishwasher, press the “hi-temp scrub” button and then the “energy saver dry” button five times each. These buttons may also be labeled as “hi-temp” or “heated dry.” Wait 5 to 10 minutes for the dishwasher to reset.

Why is my KitchenAid dishwasher not pulling water?

If your KitchenAid dishwasher is not pulling water, it could be due to a broken detergent dispenser, a defective electronic control board, or a clogged water valve. These issues can prevent water from entering the dishwasher during the wash cycle.

How do I know if my dishwasher pump is broken?

You can tell if your dishwasher pump is broken if the motor runs but the dishwasher does not drain water. Check for blockages in the drain line. If the motor hums but doesn’t run, or if it runs continuously without draining, the pump and motor assembly may need to be replaced.

How to clean the filter on the KitchenAid dishwasher?

To clean the filter on your KitchenAid dishwasher, locate it below the spray arm on the bottom of the dishwasher. Unlock and remove the filter, then wash it with warm, soapy water. Use a soft toothbrush to remove any stuck-on food particles from the mesh and plastic components.


A KitchenAid dishwasher not spraying water can be a frustrating issue, but it’s always fixable with some troubleshooting. We discussed several potential causes, including a failed water supply, obstructed spray arms, damaged components like the circulation pump or chopper blade, low water pressure, and even settings like “Top Rack Only” mode.

To fix these issues, we have provided various fixed methods, such as checking the water supply valve, cleaning or replacing spray arms, inspecting and cleaning the chopper blade, and ensuring the required water pressure. We have also highlighted the importance of professional help for persistent or complex problems.

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