Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

Although it’s always annoying to open a dishwasher and realize the machine hasn’t emptied properly, don’t panic just yet. You may have the means to deal with the problem before you have to call a plumber or buy a brand-new dishwasher.

Standing water in your dishwasher may be bought about by a number of things a number of which can be simple to resolve. Therefore, in advance of calling a dishwasher repair service here is a list of probable components you may troubleshoot on your own. Some of which aren’t even caused by the machine itself.

Ensure the program wasn’t cut short

It is possible that there is nothing preventing your dishwasher from draining. Rather, the program could have been stopped mid-way.

The cycle could have been interrupted for any number of of reasons. Kids pressing controls, accidentally pushing against the controls, a power outage or opening the machine mid-program might all interrupt the program and mean your machine doesn’t drain.

If you believe this may be the case, or you just want to be sure it’s not the issue start your machine again on a short program.

A number appliances could have a drain capacity meaning it’s worth having a look at your manual or checking online to find out.

Examine the waste disposal

If you have a garbage disposal check this before you move on as an obstructed garbage disposal will stop your dishwasher from draining. Run the disposal with fast running water to ensure there are no blockages.

If you do uncover an obstruction drain cleaner or a plunger may be sought after to clear the blockage and so this may fix the problem.

Examine the plumbing for clogs

If you kitchen sink is draining slowly this could indicate a plumbing issue rather than a fault with your machine.

If the kitchen sink is draining reluctantly you may attempt putting a little bicarbonate of soda and vinegar down the plughole, leaving it for a few minutes and subsequently rinsing it away with hot water.

A plunger could also be used to try and shift the blockage.

This could be enough to allow your appliance to work again so start a short cycle now. If this hasn’t worked you can manually get rid of the standing water using a bowl as well as a sponge and troubleshoot a few more areas.

Make certain to turn off the machine to prevent electrocution.

If during any of these investigations you think you may have found and solved the error there is no need to continue to the next step. Just start an empty cycle to check your machine is once again draining as it used to.

Check and scrub the filters

Any number of things could block the filters including popcorn, labels from food jars, plastic lids and broken glass. Clear plastic lids may also be hard to spot if you don’t look closely.

Remove the filter and give it a good wash before replacing it. Not all machines have their filter in the same location so you might need to consult the instruction manual for this.

Is the waste pipe obstructed?

The next area to examine is the waste hose. 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 can all stop your dishwasher from draining.

Subject to the position of the waste hose (usually the ribbed one) you might manage inspect it by means of lifting away the base alternatively you could be required to pull the machine out from the wall.

Visually inspect the hose first to see if it has been crushed or kinked. You could manage manually fix any kinks which will most likely rectify the issue, however, it’s worth noting that once this has occurred it is significantly more likely to happen again so you might need to order a replacement hose.

If you are unable to see anything you may remove the waste hose from the machine and blow through it to discover any blockages. Make sure you put down newspaper or towels before you remove the hose as even if you have emptied the dishwasher there might still be dirty water in the hose.

If you are unable to blow through the waste hose this may be the reason your machine isn’t draining.

Take off the other end of the hose in order to give it a good flush through to remove the blockage. If you are unable to dislodge the blockage or the waste hose is cracked or worn acquire a new one. If you may clear the obstruction then put the hose back and start a short cycle to make sure you have solved the issue.

You can also examine where the waste hose attaches under your sink as well. This is a typical spot for debris to build up so if you do remove the waste pipe give this connection a thorough clean as well.

Inspect the drain valve

You may manually check the drain valve to ensure it isn’t seized. The drain valve will usually be situated at the base of the machine on the valve bracket. Check your manual if you can’t see it.

Depressing the valve or giving it a wiggle will likely be adequate to tell you if it’s seized. If you are able to see any debris stopping it from moving carefully extract this. If you are unable to, this may be a good time to call a repair person unless you are confident in procuring and replacing the part on your own.

Examine your pump is not broken

Your appliance pump makes use of impellers that can become blocked by pieces of glass or other debris. Check your impellers aren’t broken by taking off the safety cover and checking that the impellers are free to move.

Listen to your dishwasher while it’s running

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

Call a plumber

If none of the above examinations has fixed the error, or you think the pump, pump valve or motor are broken, it could be time to call in the professionals.

At least having tried to fix the problem yourself you have avoided needing 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