Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

No-one is happy to open their dishwasher and discover standing water but, don’t panic just yet. You could manage rectify the problem before you have to call a repair person or acquire a new dishwasher.

Your dishwasher refusing to drain could have a number of of causes a number of which are simple to figure out. So, in advance of calling a dishwasher repair service here is a list of possible issues you could identify by yourself. A proportion of which are not even related to the dishwasher itself.

Ensure the program wasn’t interrupted

It is probable that there is nothing preventing your dishwasher from draining. Rather, the cycle could have been interrupted.

The program might have been cut short for a number of of reasons. Little fingers pushing buttons, accidentally pushing against the buttons, a power surge or opening the machine mid-cycle could all interrupt the program and mean your machine doesn’t empty.

If you think this might be the situation, or you just want to be sure it’s not the issue run the machine again on a quick cycle.

A number dishwashers may have a drain cycle so it’s worth checking your instructions or doing a quick internet search to make sure.

Inspect the disposal

If your dishwasher is plumbed into a garbage disposal examine this before you do anything else as an obstructed waste disposal will block the dishwasher from draining. Run the disposal using lots of water to check there are no obstructions.

If you do uncover an obstruction drain cleaner or a plunger may be used to unclog the obstruction and so this might deal with the fault.

Check the sink waste for blockages

If you sink is emptying reluctantly this might indicate an issue with the plumbing instead of a fault with your dishwasher.

In the case that the sink is draining inefficiently you can attempt putting some bicarb and vinegar down the drain, letting it sit for a few minutes and then rinsing it through with hot water.

A sink plunger could also be used to attempt to dislodge the obstruction.

This might be enough to permit the dishwasher to empty so start a short cycle to check. If not you could manually empty the dishwasher using a jug and also a sponge and troubleshoot the next few possible issues.

At this point make certain to disconnect the dishwasher to avoid electrocution.

If while you are carrying out one of these investigations you suspect you have detected and fixed the error you don’t need to go through the remaining issues. Just start an empty cycle to ensure the dishwasher is once again emptying as it should.

Inspect and clean the filters

Any number of things could block the filters including corn kernels, labels from tupperware, plastic film covers and smashed glass. Clear plastic lids may also be hard to see if you aren’t looking for it.

Remove the filter then wash it thoroughly before replacing it. Not all filters are obvious and easy to remove so you could need to look at the owners manual for this.

Is the drain pipe blocked?

The next area to check is the waste hose. Many things could cause an obstruction including a build up of food debris, a kink in the hose, or a crushed hose. All of which may all stop your machine from draining.

Depending on the position of the hose (usually the corrugated one) you could be able to look at it by removing the base or you could be required to pull the dishwasher away from the wall.

Visually inspect the pipe first to see if it has been crushed or kinked. You may have the means to manually straighten out any kinks which should deal with the issue, but it’s worth noting that once this has happened the chance of it happening again is significantly increased so you may wish to purchase a spare hose.

If you can’t find an issue you can remove the waste water pipe from the pump and blow into it to check for any blockages. Be sure to line the floor with newspaper or towels before you remove the hose as even if you have emptied the machine there could still be water in the pipe.

If you can’t blow air through the hose this may be the issue.

Take off the hose at the sink end in order to give it a good clean to clear the obstruction. If you are unable to remove the blockage or the hose is cracked or damaged buy a new one. If you may clear the blockage then replace the hose and run a quick cycle to make sure you have repaired the error.

You can also check the point where the waste hose attaches to the sink as well. This is a common spot for blockages to occur so if you do remove the waste hose give this point a thorough clean as well.

Inspect the drain valve

You may inspect the drain valve by hand to ensure it isn’t got stuck. The drain valve will most often be located at the base of the machine on the valve bracket. Check your instruction manual if you’re not sure.

Pushing down on the valve or giving it a wiggle will likely be adequate to tell you if it’s stuck. If you can see any debris stopping it from moving remove this. If you can’t, this might be a good time to ring a plumber unless you are confident in purchasing and repairing the valve on your own.

Inspect your pump is not blocked

Your dishwasher pump uses impellers that can become obstructed by broken china or other debris. Check your pump isn’t obstructed by removing the safety cover and ensuring that the impellers can be easily rotated.

Listen to your dishwasher while it’s running

If the dishwasher sounds unusual your dishwasher pump or motor could be damaged and need to be repaired.

Call a repair person

If none of the above examinations has fixed the fault, or you suspect the pump, pump valve or motor are not working, it might be a good time to get the professionals.

This way though you will at least have the means to give them more information and have avoided having to pay a big call-out charge for a blocked drain.

More Dishwasher Problems:

  • Dishwasher Being Loud
  • Dishwasher Not Turning On
  • Dishwasher Leaking
  • Dishwasher Not Drying
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