Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

No-one is happy to open their machine and discover standing water but, don’t lose it just yet. You might be able to deal with the error without having to call a plumber or invest in a new machine.

Your machine declining to drain can be bought about by a number of things a proportion of which are easy to resolve. So, before you call a dishwasher repair service try this selection of possible components you may identify by yourself. A few of which are not even related to the dishwasher itself.

Ensure the dishwasher wasn’t interrupted mid-cycle

If you’re fortunate the fact your dishwasher hasn’t drained may not be a problem at all. Alternatively, the program might have been cut short.

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

If you believe this might be the case, or you think it might be worthwhile checking start your machine again on a short cycle.

A number appliances may have a drain function so it’s worthwhile checking your instruction manual or checking online to make sure.

Examine the disposal

If your dishwasher is connected to a waste disposal inspect this before you move on as a blocked garbage disposal will prevent the machine from emptying. Run the waste disposal using plenty of water to make sure there are no obstructions.

If you do find an issue drain un-blocker or a plunger can be sought after to remove the blockage and so this may rectify the fault.

Inspect the sink waste for clogs

If you kitchen sink is emptying slowly this might suggest an issue with the pipes rather than an issue with your machine.

If the sink is draining slowly you could attempt putting a little bicarbonate of soda and vinegar down the plughole, leaving it for a while and then washing it through with hot water.

A plunger might also be employed to try and dislodge the obstruction.

This could be sufficient to allow the dishwasher to drain so run a quick rinse and empty cycle at this point. If not you can remove the standing water by hand using a cup as well as a sponge and check the next few possible issues.

Make sure you disconnect the machine to stay safe.

If in the process of any of these investigations you believe you have discovered and solved the issue you don’t need to go through the remaining steps. Just run an empty program to make sure the dishwasher is once again emptying as it should.

Check and rinse the filters

Any number of things could block the filters including corn kernels, labels from food jars, film lids and smashed glass. Clear plastic lids could also be difficult to spot if you aren’t looking for it.

Take out the filter then clean it thoroughly before putting it back in place. Not all filters are obvious and straightforward to remove so you may need to refer to the owners manual for this.

Is the waste water hose blocked?

The next component to check is the drain pipe. 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 could all prevent your machine from draining.

Contingent upon the location of the hose (normally the ribbed one) you might manage view it by taking off the kick plate alternatively you could have to pull the dishwasher out from under the counter.

Have a look at the hose first to see if there are any kinks or it’s been squashed. You may manage manually fix any kinks which should rectify the issue, however, it’s worth noting that when this has happened the probability of it happening again is massively increased so you might wish to buy a replacement hose.

If you are unable to see anything you may take off the drain hose from the dishwasher and blow into it to figure out if there are any blockages. Make sure you put down newspaper or towels first as even if you have emptied the dishwasher there might still be waste water in the pipe.

If you can’t blow through the waste hose this could be the issue.

Remove the other end of the hose in order to give it a good flush through to remove the blockage. If you are unable to remove the obstruction or the waste hose is split or damaged invest in a brand-new one. If you could remove the obstruction then put the hose back and run a short cycle to make sure you have solved the problem.

You can also check where the waste pipe attaches under your sink. This is a common point for blockages to occur so if you do remove the hose give this connection a good clean as well.

Check the drain valve

You could manually inspect the drain valve to make sure it hasn’t stopped working. The drain valve will most often be situated in the bottom of the machine on the valve bracket. Examine your owners manual if you can’t see it.

Depressing the valve or giving it a jiggle should be enough to tell you if it’s stuck. If you are able to see something stopping it from moving get rid of this. If you can’t, this may be the right time to ring a repair person unless you are confident in ordering and repairing the part yourself.

Check your pump is not blocked

Your appliance pump makes use of impellers that could be blocked by pieces of china or other debris. Check your impellers aren’t broken by taking off the safety cover and checking that the impellers can be easily rotated.

Listen to your dishwasher while it’s on

If the dishwasher sounds unusual your pump or motor may be damaged and need to be repaired.

Call a plumber

If none of the above investigations has repaired the fault, or you have reason to believe the pump, pump valve or motor are not working, it might be the right time to get the professionals.

At least having tried to troubleshoot you have prevented having to pay a big call-out fee for a blocked drain.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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