Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

No-one wishes to open their machine and discover standing water but, try not to overreact just yet. You might manage fix the problem by yourself, without having to call a plumber or invest in a brand-new machine.

Your dishwasher declining to drain could be induced by a number of components some of which can be easy to solve. So, in advance of calling a dishwasher repair service here is a lineup of possible things you may correct on your own. A few of which aren’t even a fault of the dishwasher itself.

Check the dishwasher wasn’t stopped mid-cycle

It is probable that there is nothing preventing your dishwasher from emptying. Instead, the program could have been interrupted.

The program could have been cut short for any number of of reasons. Little fingers pressing controls, mistakenly leaning against the control panel, a power outage or opening the machine mid-cycle may all interrupt the cycle and mean your machine doesn’t empty.

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

Some machines may have an empty cycle meaning it’s worth checking your owners manual or doing a quick internet search to check.

Inspect the garbage disposal

If your dishwasher is attached to a garbage disposal inspect this before you move on as a blocked garbage disposal will prevent the machine from emptying. Turn on the garbage disposal with plenty of water to ensure there are no issues.

If you do uncover an obstruction drain unclogger or a plunger can be used to remove the obstruction and so this might rectify the error.

Inspect the sink for blockages

If you sink is emptying inefficiently this may indicate a plumbing issue as opposed to a problem with your machine.

In the case that the sink is draining inefficiently you could try putting some bicarb and vinegar down the plughole, letting it sit for a few minutes and then rinsing it through with boiling water.

A plunger could also be utilized to attempt to dislodge the blockage.

This may be sufficient to let your machine to drain so start a quick rinse and empty program to check. If not you can remove the water by hand using a cup as well as a towel and have a look at the next few possible issues.

At this point make sure you unplug the dishwasher to prevent electrocution.

If in the process of one of these investigations you think you have discovered and solved the problem there is no need to continue to the next issue. Just start an empty program to check the machine is fixed.

Inspect and scrub the filters

Popcorn, labels from food jars, plastic covers and broken glass, as well as scraps of food, may all block the dishwasher filter. Clear film can also be difficult to see if you aren’t looking for it.

Remove the filter then clean it thoroughly before replacing it. Not all dishwashers have their filter in the same location so you might need to consult the manual for this.

Is the drain hose blocked?

The next area to inspect is the waste 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 could all impede your machine from emptying.

Depending on the location of the waste hose (normally the corrugated one) you may have the means to look at it by removing the base or you might need to move the dishwasher out from the wall.

Look at the pipe first to see if there are any kinks or it’s been squashed. You may have the means to fix these issues by hand which should deal with the issue, but it’s worth noting that when this has occurred it is much more likely to happen again so you could need to purchase a new hose.

If you can’t see any obvious kinks or obstructions you could take off the drain pipe from the pump and blow into it to check for any blockages. Be sure to line the floor with newspaper or towels first as there could still be waste water in the hose.

If you are unable to blow air through the waste pipe this might be the reason your machine isn’t draining.

Disconnect the hose at the sink end and then give it a good flush through to remove the obstruction. If you are unable to shift the obstruction or the hose is split or degraded invest in a brand-new one. If you could get rid of the blockage then re-attach the hose and start a short cycle to double check that you have repaired the error.

You may also inspect where the waste hose connects under your sink. This is a typical point for debris to build up so if you do remove the waste hose give this point a thorough scrub as well.

Examine the drain valve

You may manually check the drain valve to check it hasn’t seized. The drain valve will most often be situated at the base of the machine on the valve bracket. Check your owners manual if you can’t see it.

Depressing the valve or giving it a wiggle should be enough to find out if it’s stuck. If you can see something stopping it from moving remove this. If you are unable to, this might be the right time to ring a plumber unless you are undaunted by ordering and replacing the part yourself.

Inspect your pump is not blocked

Your appliance pump makes use of impellers that may get blocked by broken glass or other objects. Check your impellers aren’t broken by taking off the safety cover and ensuring that the impellers can rotate freely.

Run your dishwasher and listen for any unusual sounds

If it sounds unusual your dishwasher pump or motor could be broken and need to be repaired.

Call a plumber

If none of the above checks has repaired the problem, or you think the pump, pump valve or motor are broken, it could be a good time to call for help.

At least having tried to fix the problem yourself you have prevented needing to pay a hefty repair fee for a blocked hose.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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