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Repair and disassembly guides and support for dish washing appliances.

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KitchenAid Dishwasher Drain Pump runs intermittently

KitchenAid KDFE104DSS5 stopped draining recently and I took the following steps:

A. Blockage in Drain Hose:

1) I used the "Cancel/Drain" option successfully once and then this option stopped working too.

2) I found the drain hose clogged at the end connecting to the garbage disposal (there is no air gap). I cleaned the guck and tested it end to end for clear movement of water.

3) When I ran the Dishwasher, it still wouldn't drain (and pressing the "Cancel/Drain" button produced a soft vibration hum, likely due to the drain pump motor trying to run?)

B. Drain Pump Running Intermittently:

I pulled out the dishwater and extracted the drain pump out (Part #W10724439). I fond nothing impeding the movement of the impeller.

1) While holding the drain pump, when I pressed the "Cancel/Drain" button, the impeller worked for about 15 sec and stopped. However, I could feel the vibration from the motor unit. When I nudged the impeller wings, it would start running again.

I tested it a few times using the "Cancel/Drain" button and found the behavior inconsistent. Sometimes, it would run continuously and sometimes, stop (and start running again if I nudged it).

2) I unplugged the drain pump from the dishwasher and pried open the back plate of the impeller and found a very thin dry residue (looked like soap scum) around the circumference. I cleaned it (attached pic)

Block Image

3) I then hooked it up directly to a 120V source. Every time I switch on the power, it runs continuously without any interruption.

I am now stuck and unsure what to look for next. Would appreciate some pointers.

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I reconnected the drain pump, and using the Service Manual provided by @jayeff I ran the diagnostics and got a 6-4 error code - Float Switch Open.

The water fills fine. It is the drainage that has been an issue.

Also, the intermittent functioning of the drain pump (when you press the "Cancel/Drain" button, is no longer working,

Can the drain pump issue and the 6-4 error code be related?


@mruder What ended up being the solution?


Don't know yet! Got busy with the holidays. I am planning to work on in the next couple of weeks and will definitely post an update.


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Hi @mruder

Here's the tech sheet for the dishwasher that may help.

It details how to run the diagnostic test mode and also it has strip wiring diagrams for most of the main functions (see p.8 for the drain motor circuit)

If the problem turns out to be on the control board rather than a loose connection or a fractured wire somewhere (in harness where it leaves the door?) between the board and the drain motor then unfortunately there are no schematics for the board or at least none that I can find anyway.

Be safety aware if "live testing" in situ when searching for the power when the motor is not operating when it should be. The motor operates at 120V AC!

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@jayeff Thank you so much for the prompt response. I will run the tests and report back.



Looking at the tech sheet strip circuits the float switch and the drain motor have some things in common

There is power being supplied to them both via fuse F601 on the control board and then the wiring to each circuit leaves/enters the control board on the P6 harness connector. (see p.7 & p.8 of 68 in the tech sheet)

Maybe there's a problem there - loose, corroded contacts etc.


@jayeff Yes, I see it now. Thank you for checking it out.

I am assuming the first step would be to check if F601 is open?



An open (aka blown) fuse would mean no power at all to the drain pump i.e. it would never work until the fuse was replaced. These types of fuses can't reset once blown, they need to be replaced

Intermittent pump operation is more likely due to a dry solder joint on the board, a fractured wire or a loose connection or a connection that has a varying resistance e.g. corrosion on connector instead of a solid connection can mean sometimes the connection is good and other times not, electrically speaking, in the drain pump circuit.

Since it seems to affect the float switch circuit as well, it seems to be more at the P6 connector on the board. Either the harness plug or around there somewhere.


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