Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

Although it’s always annoying to open your dishwasher and discover it hasn’t drained properly, try not to panic just yet. You may have the means to rectify the fault without having to call a repair person or purchase a brand-new machine.

Your machine declining to empty could have any number of of causes a few of which are simple to fix. So, in advance of calling a dishwasher repair service try this selection of probable issues you could troubleshoot yourself. Some of which aren’t even a fault of the machine itself.

Ensure the dishwasher wasn’t stopped mid-program

It is possible that there is nothing stopping your dishwasher from draining. Alternatively, the cycle may have been cut short.

The cycle may have been interrupted for any number of of reasons. Little fingers pressing controls, mistakenly leaning on the controls, a power surge or opening the machine mid-cycle might all interrupt the program and mean your dishwasher doesn’t empty.

If you think this may be the situation, or you think it could be a good idea to check start the dishwasher again on a quick cycle.

A number dishwashers might have a drain function so it’s worth having a look at your manual or checking online to check.

Examine the waste disposal

If you have a garbage disposal inspect this first as a blocked disposal will stop the machine from emptying. Turn on the disposal with fast running water to ensure there are no issues.

If you do uncover a blockage drain un-blocker or a natural alternative can be used to remove the obstruction and this might deal with the issue.

Examine the sink for clogs

If you sink is emptying slowly this might signify a plumbing issue instead of an issue with your dishwasher.

In the case that the sink is draining slowly you may try putting some bicarbonate of soda and vinegar down the drain, leaving it for a while and subsequently washing it through with boiling water.

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

This may be enough to let the dishwasher to work again so run a quick cycle at this point. If this hasn’t worked you may manually get rid of the standing water using a cup as well as a sponge and check the next few possible issues.

At this point make certain to unplug the dishwasher to stay safe.

If during any one of these checks you think you have discovered and fixed the issue there is no need to continue to the next issue. Just start an empty cycle to ensure the machine is now emptying as it used to.

Check and rinse the filters

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

Remove the filter and wash it thoroughly before putting it back in place. Not all filters are obvious and easy to remove so you might need to consult the manual for this.

Is the waste water pipe blocked?

The next area to examine is the waste pipe. Stuck food, a kink in the hose or a crushed hose may all stop your dishwasher from draining.

Depending on the location of the waste pipe (usually the corrugated one) you might manage inspect it by removing the base alternatively you might be required to move the dishwasher out from under the counter.

Visually examine the pipe first to see if it has been squashed or kinked. You may manage fix these issues by hand which is likely to fix the issue, however, be aware that once this has occurred the chance of it happening again is massively increased so you might need to buy a spare hose.

If you can’t find an issue you can take off the drain hose from the dishwasher and blow into it to discover any blockages. Make sure you line the floor with newspaper or towels first as even if you have emptied the dishwasher there may still be dirty water in the hose.

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

Remove the other end of the hose and then give it a good flush through to get rid of the blockage. If you can’t dislodge the obstruction or the waste hose is cracked or damaged acquire a new one. If you could get rid of the blockage then re-attach the hose and run a short cycle to find out if you have fixed the issue.

You may also inspect where the waste pipe connects to the sink. This is a likely point for a build-up of gunk so if you do take off the waste hose give this connection a good scrub as well.

Check the drain valve

You may inspect the drain valve by hand to ensure it isn’t stopped working. The drain valve will most often be found in the bottom of the dishwasher on the valve bracket. Consult your owners manual if you’re not sure.

Depressing the valve or wiggling it a bit will likely be adequate to let you know if it’s stuck. If you can see something stopping it from moving remove this. If you are unable to, this might be the right time to call a plumber unless you are confident in ordering and repairing the valve on your own.

Inspect your pump is not broken

Your water pump makes use of impellers that could get obstructed by broken 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.

Run your dishwasher and listen for any unusual sounds

If the dishwasher doesn’t sound right your dishwasher pump or motor may be damaged and need to be repaired.

Call a repair person

If you have been through the above list and the issue remains, or you suspect the pump, pump valve or motor are broken, it might be the right time to call for help.

At least having attempted to fix the problem yourself you have avoided having to pay a big repair charge for a blocked drain.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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