Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

No-one is happy to open their dishwasher and discover it hasn’t drained correctly but, try not to panic just yet. You may have the means to fix the issue before you have to call a repair person or invest in a new machine.

Your machine refusing to drain could be caused by any number of components some of which can be easy to deal with. Therefore, before you call a dishwasher repair service try this selection of potential components you can correct yourself. A number of which aren’t even caused by the dishwasher itself.

Check the dishwasher wasn’t interrupted mid-cycle

It is possible that there is nothing stopping your machine from emptying. Alternatively, the program may have been interrupted.

The cycle might have been stopped mid-way for a number of of reasons. Children pressing buttons, inadvertently pushing against the control panel, a power surge or opening the machine mid-program may all prevent the cycle from completing and mean your dishwasher doesn’t empty.

If you suspect this could be the case, or you just want to be sure it’s not the issue run your dishwasher again on a short cycle.

Some machines could have a drain program so it’s well worth consulting your owners manual or checking online to make sure.

Check the waste disposal

If you have a garbage disposal examine this first as a blocked waste disposal will stop your machine from draining. Turn on the garbage disposal using lots of water to check there are no blockages.

If you do discover an obstruction drain cleaner or a natural alternative can be sought after to remove the obstruction and this might fix the fault.

Check the sink waste for issues

If you kitchen sink is emptying inefficiently this might indicate an issue with the pipes as opposed to an issue with your machine.

If the sink is draining slowly you could try putting a little bicarb and vinegar down the drain, letting it sit for a while, then washing it away with hot water.

A sink plunger could also be employed to attempt to shift the blockage.

This may be enough to allow the appliance to work again so start a quick rinse and empty program to check. If this hasn’t worked you can manually get rid of the standing water using a bowl and a towel and have a look at the next few possible issues.

At this point make certain to turn off the dishwasher to stay safe.

If while you are carrying out any of these examinations you think you may have detected and fixed the fault you don’t need to go through the remaining issues. Just run an empty cycle to make sure your dishwasher is fixed.

Check and wash the filters

Any number of things could block the filters including popcorn, paper from tupperware, plastic covers and smashed glass. Clear plastic lids could also be difficult to see if you don’t look carefully.

Remove the filter and give it a thorough clean before putting it back in place. Not all filters are obvious and simple to remove so you may need to refer to the instruction manual for this.

Is the waste hose obstructed?

The next place to check is the waste pipe. 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 may all stop your machine from draining.

Contingent upon the location of the hose (usually the ribbed one) you could be able to view it by means of taking off the base alternatively you might be required to pull the dishwasher away from under the counter.

Have a look at the pipe first to see if it has been crushed or kinked. You may have the means to fix these issues by hand which will most likely solve the issue, but it’s worth noting that once this has happened it is much more inclined to happen again so you might wish to buy a replacement hose.

If you are unable to see an issue you could remove the waste pipe from the dishwasher and blow into it to figure out if there are any blockages. Be sure to line the floor with newspaper or towels before you remove the hose as there may still be waste water in the pipe.

If you can’t blow through the waste hose this might be the problem.

Take off the hose at the sink end and then give it a good flush through to remove the obstruction. If you are unable to remove the obstruction or the pipe is slit or degraded acquire a brand-new one. If you can remove the obstruction then put the hose back and run a short program to make sure you have solved the fault.

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

Inspect the drain valve

You may inspect the drain valve by hand to check it hasn’t seized. The drain valve will usually be located in the bottom of the dishwasher on the valve bracket. Examine your manual if you can’t see it.

Depressing the valve or giving it a jiggle will likely be sufficient to find out if it’s stuck. If you can see something blocking it get rid of this. If you are unable to, this could be a good time to get in touch with a repair person unless you are undaunted by procuring and repairing the component yourself.

Check your pump is not broken

Your appliance pump makes use of impellers that could become blocked by pieces of glass or other debris. Check your pump isn’t obstructed by removing the safety cover and ensuring that the impellers can be easily rotated.

Listen to your dishwasher while it’s running

If it doesn’t sound normal your pump or motor may be damaged and need replacing.

Call a plumber

If none of the above checks has fixed the issue, or you think the pump, pump valve or motor are broken, it could be time to get the professionals.

At least having attempted to fix the problem yourself you have prevented needing to pay a big repair charge for a blocked hose.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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