Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

No-one wishes to open their machine and discover it hasn’t emptied correctly but, don’t lose it just yet. You might be able to solve the fault before you have to call a repair person or buy a new machine.

Standing water in your dishwasher may be bought about by a number of components some of which can be straightforward to figure out. So, before you call a dishwasher repair service here is a list of potential components you could identify yourself. A proportion of which are not even a fault of the dishwasher itself.

Ensure the cycle wasn’t interrupted

It is possible that there is nothing preventing your machine from draining. Rather, the cycle could have been cut short.

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

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

A few dishwashers might have an empty cycle so it’s worth checking your manual or doing a quick internet search to find out.

Check the garbage disposal

If your dishwasher is plumbed into the garbage disposal inspect this before you move on as a blocked waste disposal will stop your dishwasher from emptying. Turn on the waste disposal with plenty of water to ensure there are no blockages.

If you do uncover a blockage drain un-blocker or a plunger can be sought after to unclog the obstruction and so this might fix the issue.

Inspect the sink for issues

If you sink is emptying inefficiently this may signify a plumbing issue as opposed to an error with your dishwasher.

In the case that the sink is emptying reluctantly you may attempt putting some bicarb and white vinegar down the plughole, letting it sit for a while and then rinsing it away with boiling water.

A plunger may also be used to try and dislodge the blockage.

This might be enough to permit the machine to drain so start a quick cycle now. If not you may remove the standing water by hand using a cup and also a sponge and check the next few possible issues.

Make sure you unplug the dishwasher to avoid electrocution.

If while you are carrying out any one of these examinations you suspect you may have found and solved the error you don’t need to go through the remaining issues. Just start an empty program to check your machine is fixed.

Check and scrub the filters

Any number of things could block the filters including popcorn, paper from tupperware, plastic lids and broken glass. Clear plastic lids may also be hard to spot if you aren’t looking for it.

Remove the filter then give it a good scrub before replacing it. Not all filters are obvious and simple to remove so you could need to look at the owners manual for this.

Is the waste water hose blocked?

The next component to check is the waste water 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 can all stop your machine from draining.

Depending on the position of the hose (normally the ribbed one) you could have the means to inspect it simply by lifting away the kick board or you might need to move the machine out from under the counter.

Look at the hose in the first instance to see if there are any kinks or it’s been squashed. You might have the means to fix these issues by hand which will most likely deal with the issue, but be aware that once this has happened it is much more inclined to happen again so you may wish to purchase a new hose.

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

If you can’t blow air through the waste pipe this could be the problem.

Take off the other end of the hose in order to give it a thorough flush through to clear the blockage. If you can’t get rid of the blockage or the pipe is split or degraded invest in a brand-new one. If you could get rid of the obstruction then re-attach the hose and run a quick program to find out if you have fixed the error.

You may also inspect where the hose attaches to the sink as well. This is a common place for blockages to occur so if you happen to take off the hose give this area a thorough clean as well.

Check the drain valve

You can manually inspect the drain valve to check it hasn’t got stuck. The drain valve will usually be located in the bottom of the dishwasher on the valve bracket. Examine your owners 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 anything blocking it get rid of this. If you can’t, this may be the right time to call a plumber unless you are confident in ordering and repairing the part on your own.

Check your pump is not broken

Your dishwasher pump uses impellers that can be obstructed by broken china or other debris. Check your impellers aren’t blocked by taking off the cover and checking that the impellers can rotate freely.

Listen to your dishwasher while it’s on

If your dishwasher doesn’t sound normal your pump or motor could be broken and need to be repaired.

Call a plumber

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 not working, it could be the right time to get the professionals.

At least having tried to troubleshoot you have prevented having to pay a hefty call-out charge for a blocked hose.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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