Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

Although it’s never a welcome sight to open the dishwasher and find out it hasn’t drained fully, try not to lose it just yet. You may manage fix the fault before you have to call a repair person or purchase a brand-new machine.

Your dishwasher failing to drain may be induced by a number of issues some of which are straightforward to fix. So, in advance of calling a dishwasher repair service try this selection of potential things you could identify on your own. A proportion of which are not even caused by the machine itself.

Ensure the dishwasher wasn’t interrupted mid-program

It is possible that there is nothing preventing your dishwasher from draining. Rather, the cycle could have been stopped mid-way.

The program may have been cut short for multiple of reasons. Little fingers pushing controls, inadvertently pressing against the buttons, a power outage or opening the machine mid-cycle might all stop the program from completing and mean your machine doesn’t empty.

If you suspect this may be the situation, or you just want to be sure it’s not the issue start your machine again on a quick cycle.

A few machines might have an empty cycle so it’s well worth checking your instructions or doing a quick internet search to check.

Inspect the garbage disposal

If you have a garbage disposal inspect this before you move on as an obstructed disposal will block your machine from draining. Turn on the waste disposal with lots of water to ensure there are no blockages.

If you do find an issue drain unclogger or a plunger could be employed to unclog the blockage and so this could fix the problem.

Examine the plumbing for issues

If you sink is draining slowly this might suggest an issue with the drains instead of a fault with your dishwasher.

If the kitchen sink is draining reluctantly you may attempt putting a little bicarb and white vinegar down the drain, letting it sit for a few minutes and subsequently washing it away with hot water.

A sink plunger may also be employed to attempt to dislodge the obstruction.

This might be enough to let your dishwasher to drain so start a quick cycle to check. If not you can manually get rid of the dirty water using a bowl and a towel and check a few more possible issues.

Make sure you turn off the machine to prevent electrocution.

If while you are carrying out any one of these investigations you think you may have detected and repaired the error you don’t need to go through the rest of the steps. Just complete an empty program to make sure the machine is once again draining as it should.

Inspect and clean the filters

Corn Kernels, paper from tupperware, plastic lids and broken glass, plus food debris, may all obstruct the dishwasher filter. Clear film could also be difficult to see if you don’t look carefully.

Take out the filter then give it a thorough clean before putting it back in place. Not all filters are obvious and easy to remove so you could need to look at the instructions for this.

Is the waste water pipe obstructed?

The next place to examine is the drain 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 may all stop your dishwasher from draining.

Depending on the location of the waste pipe (usually the corrugated one) you could be able to look at it by means of taking off the base alternatively you could have to move the dishwasher out from under the counter.

Visually inspect the pipe in the first instance to see if it has been crushed or kinked. You could manage fix these issues by hand which should fix the issue, but it’s worth noting that once this has occurred it is significantly more likely to happen again so you could need to order a replacement hose.

If you can’t see anything you can disconnect the waste water hose from the machine and blow through it to check for any blockages. Be sure to put down newspaper or towels first as there could still be water in the pipe.

If you are unable to blow through the pipe this might be the issue.

Remove the hose at the sink end and then give it a thorough flush through to clear the obstruction. If you are unable to remove the obstruction or the waste hose is slit or worn acquire a new one. If you could get rid of the blockage then put the hose back and run a short cycle to check that you have solved the fault.

You may also inspect the point where the pipe attaches to the sink as well. This is a common spot for blockages to occur so if you do take off the pipe give this point a thorough scrub as well.

Inspect the drain valve

You could manually check the drain valve to make sure it isn’t got stuck. The drain valve will usually be situated at the base of the dishwasher on the valve bracket. Check your instructions if you can’t see it.

Depressing the valve or giving it a wiggle will likely be enough to let you know if it’s stuck. If you can see an object stopping it from moving get rid of this. If you can’t, this might be a good time to call a repair person unless you are happy in procuring and swapping out the component yourself.

Inspect your pump is not broken

Your water pump makes use of impellers that can be blocked by broken china or other debris. Check your impellers aren’t broken by removing the safety cover and making sure the impellers are free to move.

Run your dishwasher and listen for any unusual sounds

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

Call a plumber

If you have been through the above list and the error persists, or you suspect the pump, pump valve or motor are not working, it may be the right time to call your local repair person.

This way though you will at least manage give them more information and have managed to avoid needing to pay a big call-out charge for a blocked drain.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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