Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

No-one wishes to open their machine and discover standing water but, don’t panic just yet. You could be able to rectify the problem by yourself, without having to call a repair person or acquire a new machine.

Your machine failing to drain could have multiple of causes a proportion of which are straightforward to figure out. Therefore, before you call a dishwasher repair service try this list of possible things you may identify yourself. A proportion of which aren’t even a fault of the dishwasher itself.

Ensure the dishwasher wasn’t interrupted mid-cycle

It is possible that there is nothing preventing your dishwasher from emptying. Alternatively, the program may have been stopped mid-way.

The cycle could have been cut short for multiple of reasons. Kids pushing buttons, mistakenly pressing against the controls, a power surge or opening the dishwasher mid-cycle might all interrupt the program and mean your machine doesn’t empty.

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

Some machines could have an empty program so it’s worth having a look at your instructions or checking online to find out.

Check the garbage disposal

If you have a garbage disposal examine this before you move on as an obstructed disposal will prevent your machine from draining. Run the disposal using plenty of water to make sure there are no blockages.

If you do find an obstruction drain un-blocker or a plunger could be employed to clear the obstruction and so this could resolve the problem.

Examine the plumbing for blockages

If you sink is emptying inefficiently this might signify an issue with the pipes as opposed to an issue with your dishwasher.

If the kitchen sink is emptying slowly you can try putting a little bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar down the drain, letting it sit for a few minutes and subsequently washing it away with hot water.

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

This could be sufficient to allow the appliance to work again so start a short program to check. If not you can remove the standing water by hand using a cup and a sponge and troubleshoot the next few possible issues.

Make certain to turn off the dishwasher to prevent electrocution.

If while you are carrying out any one of these examinations you think you may have found and solved the fault you don’t need to go through the rest of the steps. Just run an empty program to check your machine is once again emptying as it used to.

Inspect and wash the filters

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

Take out the filter then scrub it thoroughly before putting it back in place. Not all filters are obvious and straightforward to remove so you might need to look at the instruction manual for this.

Is the drain pipe blocked?

The next place to examine is the waste water hose. Stuck food, a kink in the hose or a crushed hose can all stop your dishwasher from draining.

Contingent upon the location of the hose (usually the corrugated one) you might have the means to look at it by means of lifting away the kick plate alternatively you might have to pull the machine away from under the counter.

Look at the hose in the first instance to see if it has been crushed or kinked. You could have the means to manually fix any kinks which will most likely rectify the issue, however, be aware that once this has happened it is significantly more likely to happen again so you could wish to purchase a replacement hose.

If you are unable to find anything you can remove the waste water hose from the dishwasher and blow through it to discover any blockages. Make sure you line the floor with newspaper or towels before you remove the hose as there could still be water in the hose.

If you are unable to blow through the waste pipe this may be the problem.

Disconnect the hose at the sink end and give it a thorough flush through to remove the obstruction. If you are unable to remove the blockage or the waste pipe is cracked or damaged invest in a new one. If you can get rid of the blockage then put the hose back and run a short cycle to make sure you have fixed the issue.

You could also examine the point where the waste hose attaches under your sink. This is a typical point for a build-up of gunk so if you do remove the pipe give this area a thorough clean as well.

Inspect the drain valve

You can manually inspect the drain valve to ensure it isn’t seized. The drain valve will most often be found at the base of the dishwasher on the valve bracket. Examine your manual if you can’t see it.

Depressing the valve or giving it a wiggle should be sufficient to find out if it’s seized. If you can see anything blocking it get rid of this. If you can’t, this might be a good time to call a repair person unless you are confident in ordering and repairing the valve on your own.

Inspect your pump is not blocked

Your water pump uses impellers that can become obstructed by broken china or other objects. Check your impellers aren’t broken by removing the cover and checking that the impellers are free to move.

Run your machine and listen for any unusual sounds

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

Call a plumber

If none of the above investigations has solved the problem, or you suspect the pump, pump valve or motor are damaged, it could be the moment you need to get the professionals.

This way though you will at least be able to give them more information and have avoided needing to pay a hefty repair charge for a clogged filter.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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