Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

Although it’s never a welcome sight to open a dishwasher and find out it hasn’t drained fully, try not to panic just yet. You might have the means to solve the issue by yourself, without having to call a repair person or buy a brand-new dishwasher.

Standing water in your machine may be induced by a number of things a few of which are simple to figure out. Therefore, in advance of calling a dishwasher repair service try this lineup of possible issues you could troubleshoot yourself. Some of which are not even caused by the machine itself.

Ensure the dishwasher wasn’t stopped mid-program

If you’re lucky the standing water you have discovered may not be a fault at all. Instead, the program might have been interrupted.

The program may have been cut short for any number of of reasons. Little fingers pressing buttons, accidentally leaning on the buttons, a power cut or opening the machine mid-cycle might all stop the program from completing and mean your dishwasher doesn’t drain.

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

Some appliances could have an empty program so it’s worthwhile checking your owners manual or doing a quick internet search to check.

Examine the waste disposal

If your dishwasher is connected to the waste disposal check this before you move on as an obstructed disposal will prevent your dishwasher from draining. Run the garbage disposal using fast running water to ensure there are no issues.

If you do discover an obstruction drain unclogger or a plunger may be used to remove the obstruction and so this could rectify the fault.

Examine the sink waste for blockages

If you kitchen sink is draining reluctantly this might signify a plumbing issue as opposed to a fault with your dishwasher.

In the case that the sink is emptying reluctantly you could attempt putting a little bicarb and white vinegar down the plughole, leaving it for a few minutes and subsequently washing it through with boiling water.

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

This could be sufficient to allow the dishwasher to empty so start a quick program now. If not you can manually empty the dishwasher using a bowl and a sponge and check a few more areas.

At this point make sure you disconnect the dishwasher to stay safe.

If in the process of any of these investigations you believe you have discovered and solved the fault you don’t need to go through the remaining steps. Just complete an empty program to check the dishwasher is fixed.

Inspect and wash the filters

Corn Kernels, paper from tupperware, film covers and smashed glass, as well as food debris, could all block the dishwasher filter. Clear glass may also be difficult to spot if you don’t look closely.

Remove the filter and wash it thoroughly before putting it back in place. Not all dishwashers have their filter in the same place so you may need to look at the manual for this.

Is the drain hose blocked?

The next area to check is the waste water 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 can all impede your machine from draining.

Contingent upon the position of the waste pipe (normally the ribbed one) you could be able to view it by means of lifting away the kick plate alternatively you may be required to pull the dishwasher out from the wall.

Look at the pipe in the first instance to see if there are any kinks or it’s been squashed. You may have the means to fix these issues by hand which will most likely rectify the issue, but it’s worth noting that when this has occurred the probability of it happening again is greatly increased so you could wish to purchase a spare hose.

If you are unable to find any obvious kinks or obstructions you may remove the drain hose from the dishwasher and blow into it to figure out if there are any blockages. Be sure to line the floor with newspaper or towels first as even if you have emptied the machine there might still be dirty water in the pipe.

If you can’t blow through the hose this might be the problem.

Disconnect the hose at the sink end and then give it a thorough clean to remove the obstruction. If you can’t shift the obstruction or the waste pipe is slit or degraded invest in a brand-new one. If you may clear the blockage then put the hose back and start a short cycle to check that you have repaired the error.

You can also inspect the point where the waste pipe attaches to the sink as well. This is a typical point for blockages to occur so if you do remove the waste pipe give this point a good scrub as well.

Examine the drain valve

You could manually inspect the drain valve to check it isn’t seized. The drain valve will generally be situated in the bottom of the machine on the valve bracket. Check your manual if you can’t see it.

Pushing down on the valve or wiggling it a bit will likely be adequate to find out if it’s stuck. If you can see an object stopping it from moving remove this. If you are unable to, this could be the right time to get in touch with a plumber unless you are undaunted by ordering and repairing the valve yourself.

Examine your pump is not broken

Your dishwasher pump makes use of impellers that could get obstructed by pieces of glass or other objects. Check your pump isn’t broken by removing the safety cover and ensuring that the impellers can rotate freely.

Run your machine and listen for any unusual noises

If it doesn’t sound normal your dishwasher pump or motor could be damaged and need replacing.

Call a repair person

If you have been through the above list and the problem remains, or you have reason to believe the pump, pump valve or motor are damaged, it could be a good time to call your local repair person.

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

More Dishwasher Problems:

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