Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

No-one wishes to open their dishwasher and discover standing water but, try not to panic just yet. You could manage rectify the error by yourself, without having to call a plumber or buy a new machine.

Standing water in your machine could be caused by any number of issues some of which are easy to solve. Therefore, before you call a dishwasher repair service here is a selection of potential components you may identify on your own. Some of which are not even a fault of the dishwasher itself.

Check the dishwasher wasn’t interrupted mid-program

It is probable that there is nothing stopping your dishwasher from emptying. Rather, the program may have been cut short.

The cycle might have been cut short for multiple of reasons. Little fingers pressing buttons, inadvertently pushing against the control panel, a power surge or opening the machine mid-cycle could all prevent the program from completing and mean your dishwasher doesn’t drain.

If you think this might be the situation, or you just want to be sure it’s not the issue run your dishwasher again on a short program.

A few appliances might have a drain cycle meaning it’s worth consulting your manual or consulting google to make sure.

Examine the garbage disposal

If you have a garbage disposal check this before you do anything else as an obstructed disposal will prevent your dishwasher from draining. Run the garbage disposal with lots of water to ensure there are no blockages.

If you do find a blockage drain un-blocker or a natural alternative can be sought after to unclog the obstruction and so this may deal with the issue.

Examine the sink waste for clogs

If you sink is emptying reluctantly this might suggest a plumbing issue as opposed to an error with your dishwasher.

If the kitchen sink is draining inefficiently you can try putting some bicarbonate of soda and vinegar down the plughole, letting it sit for a while and then flushing it away with hot water.

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

This could be enough to let your dishwasher to drain so run a short rinse and drain cycle now. If this hasn’t sorted the issue you can remove the dirty water by hand using a cup as well as a towel and troubleshoot the next few possible issues.

Make certain to disconnect the machine to stay safe.

If during any of these checks you think you may have found and fixed the fault you don’t have to go through the rest of the steps. Just run an empty program to ensure your machine is repaired.

Inspect and scrub the filters

Any number of things could block the filters including corn kernels, labels from jars, film lids and broken glass. Clear glass could also be hard to spot if you don’t look carefully.

Take out the filter then give it a thorough scrub before replacing it. Not all dishwashers have their filter in the same location so you may need to consult the owners manual for this.

Is the waste water hose blocked?

The next area to inspect is the drain pipe. 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 position of the waste pipe (usually the ribbed one) you may manage inspect it by removing the kick board alternatively you might have to move the machine out from the wall.

Visually examine the hose first to find out if there are any kinks or it’s been squashed. You may be able to fix these issues by hand which should solve the issue, however, it’s worth noting that once this has occurred the probability of it happening again is massively increased so you might wish to buy a spare hose.

If you can’t see anything you may take off the drain pipe from the dishwasher and blow through it to figure out if there are any blockages. Make sure you put down newspaper or towels first as there could still be dirty water in the pipe.

If you are unable to blow through the waste hose this could be the reason your machine isn’t emptying.

Remove the hose at the sink end in order to give it a good clean to get rid of the blockage. If you are unable to get rid of the blockage or the pipe is split or degraded invest in a brand-new one. If you can clear the blockage then replace the hose and start a short program to find out if you have solved the issue.

You could also check the point where the waste pipe connects to the waste disposal. This is a common spot for a build-up of gunk so if you do remove the waste pipe give this connection a thorough scrub as well.

Examine the drain valve

You can inspect the drain valve by hand to check it isn’t stopped working. The drain valve will often be located at the base of the dishwasher on the valve bracket. Examine your owners manual if you’re unsure.

Depressing the valve or giving it a wiggle should be adequate to tell you if it’s seized. If you can see an object stopping it from moving carefully extract this. If you are unable to, this might be a good time to call a plumber unless you are happy in purchasing and swapping out the part on your own.

Inspect your pump is not broken

Your appliance pump uses impellers that can be blocked by broken china or other debris. Check your pump isn’t blocked by taking off the safety cover and ensuring that the impellers can be easily rotated.

Run your dishwasher and listen for any unusual sounds

If your dishwasher sounds unusual your dishwasher pump or motor may be broken and need replacing.

Call a repair person

If you have been through the above list and the error persists, or you think the pump, pump valve or motor are broken, it could be the moment you need to call in the professionals.

At least having tried to troubleshoot you have avoided 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