Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

No-one is happy to open their dishwasher and discover it hasn’t drained properly but, try not to overreact just yet. You may be able to rectify the problem by yourself, without having to call a plumber or purchase a new machine.

Standing water in your dishwasher may be caused by a number of things a number of which can be straightforward to resolve. So, in advance of calling a dishwasher repair service try this lineup of possible components you can troubleshoot on your own. A few of which aren’t even related to the dishwasher itself.

Check the cycle wasn’t stopped mid-way

If you’re fortunate the fact your dishwasher hasn’t drained may not be a fault at all. Instead, the program may have been stopped mid-way.

The cycle might have been stopped mid-way for a number of of reasons. Little fingers pushing buttons, inadvertently pushing on the controls, a power surge or opening the machine mid-program may all prevent the cycle from completing and mean your dishwasher doesn’t empty.

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

Some appliances could have a drain program so it’s worthwhile having a look at your owners manual or consulting google to check.

Check the waste disposal

If you have a garbage disposal examine this first as an obstructed garbage disposal will prevent your dishwasher from emptying. Run the disposal using lots of water to check there are no issues.

If you do uncover an obstruction drain cleaner or a plunger may be used to unclog the obstruction and this might deal with the issue.

Inspect the plumbing for issues

If you sink is emptying inefficiently this may suggest an issue with the plumbing rather than an error with your dishwasher.

In the case that the kitchen sink is draining inefficiently you may attempt putting some bicarb and white vinegar down the plughole, leaving it for a while and subsequently washing it through with hot water.

A plunger could also be used to attempt to remove the blockage.

This might be sufficient to allow your machine to drain so start a quick rinse and drain cycle now. If not you could manually remove the standing water using a bowl as well as a sponge and troubleshoot a few more areas.

At this point make sure you unplug the machine to prevent electrocution.

If while you are carrying out any of these investigations you suspect you have discovered and fixed the issue there is no need to continue to the next step. Just complete an empty cycle to check the machine is repaired.

Check and clean the filters

Popcorn, labels from food jars, plastic covers and broken glass, as well as scraps of food, can all obstruct the machine filter. Clear glass could also be hard to see if you aren’t looking for it.

Take out the filter then give it a good clean before replacing it. Not all filters are obvious and straightforward to remove so you might need to consult the instructions for this.

Is the drain pipe blocked?

The next area to inspect 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 may all impede your machine from draining.

Subject to the position of the waste pipe (normally the ribbed one) you could be able to view it by means of lifting away the base or you might need to pull the machine away from under the counter.

Look at the pipe first to see if it has been crushed or kinked. You might manage manually straighten out any kinks which will most likely deal with the issue, however, be aware that once this has happened it is much more likely to happen again so you could need to purchase a spare hose.

If you are unable to see any obvious kinks or obstructions you could remove the waste water pipe from the machine and blow into it to figure out if there are 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 pipe.

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

Disconnect the other end of the hose and give it a thorough clean to remove the blockage. If you can’t shift the obstruction or the pipe is slit or damaged buy a brand-new one. If you may get rid of the blockage then put the hose back and run a short program to make sure you have fixed the problem.

You can also check the point where the pipe connects to the sink. This is a common spot for blockages to occur so if you do take off the pipe give this point a thorough clean as well.

Check the drain valve

You may manually check the drain valve to ensure it hasn’t stopped working. The drain valve will generally be located in the bottom of the dishwasher on the valve bracket. Check your instructions if you can’t see it.

Pressing down on the valve or wiggling it a bit should be enough to tell you if it’s seized. If you are able to see something blocking it get rid of this. If you can’t, this might be a good time to ring a plumber unless you are undaunted by procuring and repairing the valve yourself.

Inspect your pump is not blocked

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

Listen to your dishwasher while it’s on

If your dishwasher is making funny noises your dishwasher pump or motor could be broken and need to be repaired.

Call a repair person

If none of the above checks has fixed the problem, or you suspect the pump, pump valve or motor are damaged, it could be a good time to get the professionals.

At least having done your best to troubleshoot you have avoided having to pay a hefty repair fee for a clogged filter.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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