Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

Although it’s always annoying to open a dishwasher and realize it is still full of water, try not to overreact just yet. You could have the means to solve the error without having to call a repair person or acquire a brand-new machine.

Your machine refusing to drain can be caused by a number of issues a number of which are simple to resolve. So, before you call a dishwasher repair service try this lineup of potential issues you can identify yourself. A number of which are not even caused by the machine itself.

Check the dishwasher wasn’t interrupted mid-cycle

If you’re fortunate the fact your dishwasher hasn’t drained may not be an issue at all. Rather, the program may have been cut short.

The program could have been cut short for a number of of reasons. Children pushing controls, mistakenly pushing against the buttons, a power outage or opening the machine mid-program could all interrupt the program and mean your dishwasher doesn’t drain.

If you suspect this may be the case, or you just want to be sure it’s not the issue start the dishwasher again on a short cycle.

Some appliances could have a drain capacity so it’s worth consulting your instructions or checking online to check.

Check the disposal

If your dishwasher is connected to a waste disposal inspect this before you do anything else as an obstructed disposal will stop the dishwasher from draining. Run the disposal with plenty of water to ensure there are no issues.

If you do find an obstruction drain unclogger or a plunger may be employed to clear the obstruction and this might solve the error.

Examine the sink waste for clogs

If you kitchen sink is emptying slowly this might indicate an issue with the plumbing as opposed to an error with your machine.

If the sink is emptying reluctantly you could attempt putting a little bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar down the drain, leaving it for a few minutes and subsequently rinsing it through with hot water.

A sink plunger may also be utilized to try and remove the blockage.

This might be enough to permit the machine to work again so start a quick program to check. If not you could manually get rid of the dirty water using a bowl and also a sponge and troubleshoot the next few possible issues.

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

If in the process of one of these investigations you suspect you have found and repaired the fault there is no need to continue to the next issue. Just complete an empty cycle to ensure your dishwasher is now emptying as it used to.

Check and rinse the filters

Corn Kernels, labels from tupperware, plastic film lids and broken glass, plus food debris, could all obstruct the machine filter. Clear film may also be difficult to spot if you aren’t looking for it.

Take out 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 refer to the manual for this.

Is the waste water pipe obstructed?

The next component to check is the waste water 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 could all prevent your machine from emptying.

Subject to the location of the hose (generally the corrugated one) you might manage look at it by means of lifting away the base or you may be required to pull the machine out from under the counter.

Visually inspect the pipe in the first instance to discover if there are any kinks or it’s been squashed. You might manage manually straighten out any kinks which should rectify the issue, however, it’s worth noting that once this has happened the chance of it happening again is massively increased so you could need to buy a spare hose.

If you can’t see any obvious kinks or obstructions you can disconnect the waste water pipe from the pump and blow through it to discover any blockages. Be sure to put down newspaper or towels before you remove the hose as there could still be dirty water in the hose.

If you can’t blow air through the pipe this may be the issue.

Disconnect the hose at the sink end and give it a good clean to clear the obstruction. If you can’t dislodge the blockage or the pipe is split or worn buy a brand-new one. If you may clear the obstruction then put the hose back and run a quick cycle to double check that you have repaired the problem.

You could also inspect where the pipe attaches to the waste disposal. This is a common point for debris to build up so if you do remove the waste hose give this connection a thorough scrub as well.

Check the drain valve

You may inspect the drain valve by hand to make sure it isn’t seized. The drain valve will most often be located at the base of the dishwasher on the valve bracket. Check your owners manual if you’re not sure.

Pressing down on the valve or wiggling it a bit should be adequate to let you know if it’s stuck. If you are able to see anything stopping it from moving get rid of this. If you are unable to, this could be when you should get in touch with a plumber unless you are happy in purchasing and swapping out the component on your own.

Inspect your pump is not blocked

Your appliance pump uses impellers that can become obstructed by broken glass or other debris. Check your impellers aren’t obstructed by taking off the cover and checking that the impellers can rotate freely.

Run your dishwasher and listen for any unusual noises

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

Call a repair person

If you have been through the above list and the problem remains, or you suspect the pump, pump valve or motor are broken, it might be time to get the professionals.

This way though you will at least have the means to give them more information and have prevented needing to pay a hefty 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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