Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

No-one is happy to open their machine and discover it hasn’t emptied correctly but, don’t overreact just yet. You could manage figure out the problem before you have to call a plumber or buy a new dishwasher.

Standing water in your machine could have a number of of causes a proportion of which are easy to rectify. Therefore, before you call a dishwasher repair service here is a list of possible things you could identify yourself. A number of which are not even caused by the machine itself.

Check the dishwasher wasn’t stopped mid-program

It is probable that there is nothing stopping your dishwasher from emptying. Alternatively, the cycle may have been interrupted.

The program might have been cut short for any number of of reasons. Children pushing controls, accidentally pressing against the buttons, a power surge or opening the dishwasher mid-program may all prevent the program from completing and mean your dishwasher doesn’t drain.

If you think this may be the situation, or you feel it might be worthwhile checking run your dishwasher again on a short program.

Some appliances may have an empty cycle so it’s worthwhile checking your instructions or doing a quick internet search to make sure.

Check the waste disposal

If your dishwasher is plumbed into your garbage disposal check this before you move on as a blocked waste disposal will prevent your machine from draining. Run the waste disposal with plenty of water to check there are no blockages.

If you do discover an obstruction drain cleaner or a natural alternative may be sought after to remove the obstruction and this may solve the fault.

Examine the sink for issues

If you kitchen sink is emptying inefficiently this could suggest a plumbing issue rather than an issue with your dishwasher.

In the case that the sink is emptying inefficiently you may try putting a little bicarbonate of soda and vinegar down the drain, leaving it for a few minutes, then rinsing it away with hot water.

A plunger may also be used to attempt to remove the obstruction.

This might be enough to permit the dishwasher to empty so run a short rinse and empty program at this point. If this hasn’t solved the problem you can manually drain the dishwasher using a bowl as well as a sponge and have a look at the next few possible issues.

At this point make certain to unplug the machine to prevent electrocution.

If while you are carrying out one of these investigations you think you have discovered and repaired the error there is no need to continue to the next issue. Just complete an empty program to check the dishwasher is fixed.

Examine and rinse the filters

Any number of things could block the filters including corn kernels, paper from jars, film lids and broken glass. Clear film could also be difficult to spot if you don’t look carefully.

Take out the filter then scrub it thoroughly before putting it back in place. Not all dishwashers have their filter in the same place so you may need to refer to the instruction manual for this.

Is the drain hose blocked?

The next place to check is the waste pipe. Many things could cause a blockage including a build up of food debris, a kink in the hose, or a crushed hose. All of which could all impede your dishwasher from draining.

Depending on the location of the hose (usually the ribbed one) you might manage inspect it by lifting away the kick plate or you might be required to move the machine out from under the counter.

Visually inspect the pipe first to find out if it has been crushed or kinked. You might manage manually remove any kinks which is likely to deal with the issue, however, be aware that when this has occurred the probability of it happening again is greatly increased so you may wish to purchase a spare hose.

If you are unable to find anything you can disconnect the waste water pipe from the machine and blow through it to discover any blockages. Be sure to put down newspaper or towels before you remove the hose as even if you have emptied the machine there may still be waste water in the hose.

If you are unable to blow air through the waste hose this could be the problem.

Disconnect the other end of the hose and give it a thorough flush through to remove the blockage. If you are unable to shift the blockage or the pipe is slit or worn acquire a brand-new one. If you can remove the obstruction then replace the hose and start a quick program to make sure you have repaired the error.

You could also inspect the point where the waste pipe connects under your sink. This is a likely spot for a build-up of gunk so if you do take off the pipe give this connection a thorough clean as well.

Inspect the drain valve

You may examine the drain valve by hand to check it isn’t stopped working. The drain valve will most often be found in the bottom of the dishwasher on the valve bracket. Examine your manual if you can’t see it.

Depressing the valve or giving it a wiggle will likely be enough to tell you if it’s stuck. If you can see any debris blocking it carefully extract this. If you are unable to, this might be a good time to call a repair person unless you are confident in ordering and replacing the part on your own.

Inspect your pump is not blocked

Your dishwasher pump uses impellers that may become obstructed by pieces of china or other objects. Check your pump isn’t blocked by taking off the safety cover and ensuring that the impellers are free to move.

Listen to your dishwasher while it’s running

If your dishwasher is making funny noises your pump or motor might be faulty and need replacing.

Call a plumber

If you have been through the above list and the issue remains, or you have reason to believe the pump, pump valve or motor are broken, it could be the moment you need to call your local repair person.

At least having done your best to troubleshoot you have prevented having to pay a hefty call-out fee for a clogged filter.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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