Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

No-one is happy to open their dishwasher and discover standing water but, don’t overreact just yet. You could be able to deal with the fault before you have to call a plumber or purchase a new machine.

Your dishwasher declining to empty could have any number of of causes some of which are straightforward to fix. So, in advance of calling a dishwasher repair service try this list of potential components you may identify by yourself. A proportion of which are not even related to the machine itself.

Check the program wasn’t cut short

If you’re fortunate the fact your dishwasher hasn’t drained may not be an issue at all. Alternatively, the cycle might have been stopped mid-way.

The cycle could have been stopped mid-way for a number of of reasons. Little fingers pressing controls, mistakenly pushing on the buttons, a power cut or opening the machine mid-program may all interrupt the cycle and mean your dishwasher doesn’t drain.

If you suspect this could be the circumstance, or you think it may be worthwhile checking start your machine again on a quick cycle.

A few dishwashers might have a drain program meaning it’s well worth having a look at your instruction manual or doing a quick internet search to find out.

Examine the waste disposal

If you have a waste disposal examine this before you move on as a blocked garbage disposal will prevent your dishwasher from emptying. Run the waste disposal with fast running water to check there are no issues.

If you do find an issue drain un-blocker or a plunger may be employed to unclog the blockage and this might fix the fault.

Check the sink for blockages

If you kitchen sink is draining slowly this might signify a plumbing issue as opposed to a problem with your machine.

In the case that the kitchen sink is draining reluctantly you could try putting some bicarb and white vinegar down the plughole, leaving it for a few minutes and subsequently washing it away with boiling water.

A sink plunger may also be utilized to attempt to remove the obstruction.

This might be sufficient to permit your appliance to empty so start a quick rinse and empty program at this point. If not you could manually empty the dishwasher using a cup and a sponge and troubleshoot the next few possible issues.

Make sure you turn off the machine to stay safe.

If in the process of any one of these investigations you believe you may have found and repaired the issue there is no need to continue to the next step. Just run an empty program to make sure your machine is repaired.

Examine and clean the filters

Any number of things could block the filters including popcorn, paper from jars, plastic film lids and broken glass. Clear plastic lids can also be difficult to see if you aren’t looking for it.

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

Is the waste pipe blocked?

The next component to check is the waste water hose. 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 can all prevent your dishwasher from draining.

Depending on the position of the waste pipe (generally the corrugated one) you could have the means to look at it simply by removing the base or you could be required to move the dishwasher away from the wall.

Visually examine the pipe first to find out if there are any kinks or it’s been squashed. You might be able to manually straighten out any kinks which should solve the issue, but be aware that when this has happened the chance of it happening again is greatly increased so you could need to order a replacement hose.

If you are unable to find any obvious kinks or obstructions you can disconnect the waste hose from the dishwasher and blow into it to figure out if there are any blockages. Make sure you line the floor with newspaper or towels before you remove the hose as there might still be waste water in the pipe.

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

Remove the other end of the hose and give it a good clean to get rid of the obstruction. If you are unable to dislodge the obstruction or the pipe is cracked or worn invest in a new one. If you can get rid of the obstruction then put the hose back and run a short cycle to make sure you have repaired the problem.

You may also examine where the pipe attaches under your sink as well. This is a common point for debris to build up so if you do remove the pipe give this connection a thorough clean as well.

Check the drain valve

You may examine the drain valve by hand to make sure it hasn’t seized. The drain valve will often be found at the base of the dishwasher on the valve bracket. Check your manual if you’re not sure.

Depressing the valve or giving it a wiggle should be adequate to tell you if it’s seized. If you are able to see anything stopping it from moving carefully extract this. If you can’t, this may be when you should get in touch with a repair person unless you are undaunted by procuring and replacing the part yourself.

Check your pump is not broken

Your appliance pump uses impellers that could get obstructed by broken china or other objects. Check your pump isn’t broken by taking off the safety cover and checking that the impellers are free to move.

Run your machine and listen for any unusual sounds

If your dishwasher doesn’t sound normal your dishwasher pump or motor might be broken and need to be repaired.

Call a plumber

If you have been through the above list and the issue persists, or you have reason to believe the pump, pump valve or motor are broken, it may be the moment you need to call for help.

At least having done your best to investigate what is wrong 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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