Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

No-one wants to open their dishwasher and discover standing water but, try not to panic just yet. You might have the means to deal with the error by yourself, without having to call a plumber or buy a new machine.

Your machine declining to drain can be bought about by any number of components a number of which can be easy to deal with. Therefore, before you call a dishwasher repair service here is a lineup of potential issues you could identify on your own. A proportion of which are not even related to the machine itself.

Ensure the dishwasher wasn’t interrupted mid-cycle

It is possible that there is nothing preventing your machine from emptying. Rather, the cycle may have been interrupted.

The program may have been stopped mid-way for a number of of reasons. Kids pushing controls, inadvertently pushing on the controls, a power outage or opening the dishwasher mid-program could all stop the program from completing and mean your dishwasher doesn’t empty.

If you believe this could be the situation, or you feel it could be worthwhile checking start the machine again on a short program.

Some appliances may have a drain cycle so it’s well worth having a look at your manual or doing a quick internet search to make sure.

Examine the waste disposal

If you have a disposal inspect this first as a blocked garbage disposal will stop the dishwasher from emptying. Run the disposal using plenty of water to check there are no blockages.

If you do discover an obstruction drain unclogger or a plunger can be sought after to unclog the blockage and so this might solve the problem.

Examine the sink waste for issues

If you sink is draining reluctantly this could indicate a plumbing issue as opposed to a fault with your machine.

In the case that the kitchen sink is draining inefficiently you could try putting some bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar down the plughole, letting it sit for a while and subsequently washing it away with hot water.

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

This may be enough to permit your dishwasher to drain so start a quick rinse and empty program now. If this hasn’t sorted the issue you can manually get rid of the standing water using a cup as well as a towel and have a look at the next few possible issues.

Make sure you turn off the dishwasher to stay safe.

If during any one of these investigations you think you may have detected and fixed the issue you don’t need to go through the rest of the steps. Just complete an empty program to make sure the dishwasher is repaired.

Check and scrub the filters

Corn Kernels, paper from jars, plastic film covers and smashed glass, as well as food debris, can all obstruct the machine filter. Clear film could also be hard to see if you don’t look carefully.

Remove the filter and give it a good wash before putting it back in place. Not all dishwashers have their filter in the same place so you might need to look at the instruction manual for this.

Is the drain hose blocked?

The next component 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 can all prevent your machine from draining.

Depending on the location of the waste pipe (generally the ribbed one) you could be able to view it by taking off the kick plate or you might have to pull the dishwasher out from under the counter.

Visually examine the hose first to find out if it has been crushed or kinked. You may be able to manually fix any kinks which will most likely solve the issue, however, be aware that once this has happened the chance of it happening again is greatly increased so you may wish to buy a spare hose.

If you can’t find any obvious kinks or obstructions you may disconnect the drain hose from the dishwasher and blow through it to discover any blockages. Be sure to line the floor with newspaper or towels first as there may still be water in the hose.

If you are unable to blow through the hose this could be the issue.

Remove the hose at the sink end in order to give it a thorough flush through to clear the blockage. If you are unable to remove the obstruction or the pipe is slit or damaged invest in a new one. If you may remove the obstruction then put the hose back and run a short program to check that you have repaired the problem.

You may also check where the waste pipe attaches to the sink as well. This is a typical point for blockages to occur so if you do take off the waste hose give this area a good scrub as well.

Check the drain valve

You could manually examine the drain valve to check it hasn’t seized. The drain valve will generally be located at the base of the dishwasher on the valve bracket. Check your instructions if you’re unsure.

Pushing down on the valve or giving it a wiggle will likely be sufficient to find out if it’s seized. If you are able to see an object stopping it from moving get rid of this. If you are unable to, this might be when you should call a plumber unless you are happy in ordering and replacing the part on your own.

Examine your pump is not blocked

Your dishwasher pump uses impellers that can become obstructed by broken glass or other debris. Check your pump isn’t obstructed by taking off the safety cover and making sure the impellers can rotate freely.

Run your machine and listen for any unusual sounds

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

Call a repair person

If you have been through the above list and the problem persists, or you think the pump, pump valve or motor are damaged, it might be the moment you need to get the professionals.

At least having done your best to investigate what is wrong you have prevented having to pay a hefty repair fee for a blocked drain.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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