Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

Although it’s never a welcome sight to open your dishwasher and find out it hasn’t emptied fully, don’t lose it just yet. You could have the means to figure out the error by yourself, without having to call a plumber or purchase a brand-new machine.

Standing water in your dishwasher may have multiple of causes a number of which are simple to fix. Therefore, before you call a dishwasher repair service here is a list of probable issues you could identify on your own. Some of which are not even related to the dishwasher itself.

Ensure the program wasn’t stopped mid-way

It is probable that there is nothing preventing your dishwasher from emptying. Rather, the cycle may have been stopped mid-way.

The program may have been cut short for any number of of reasons. Little fingers pushing controls, accidentally leaning against the controls, a power cut or opening the dishwasher mid-cycle might all interrupt the cycle and mean your dishwasher doesn’t drain.

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

A few dishwashers could have a drain cycle so it’s worth consulting your owners manual or checking online to make sure.

Inspect the waste disposal

If your dishwasher is plumbed into a garbage disposal examine this before you move on as a blocked waste disposal will prevent the dishwasher from draining. Turn on the garbage disposal using fast running water to check there are no obstructions.

If you do discover an obstruction drain unclogger or a plunger may be employed to clear the obstruction and so this may fix the problem.

Examine the sink for clogs

If you kitchen sink is draining reluctantly this could indicate an issue with the drains as opposed to a fault with your machine.

In the case that the sink is emptying inefficiently you can try putting a little bicarb and vinegar down the drain, leaving it for a few minutes and then rinsing it away with hot water.

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

This might be sufficient to allow the appliance to work again so start a short cycle to check. If this hasn’t worked you could remove the standing water by hand using a cup and a towel and troubleshoot a few more areas.

At this point make sure you turn off the machine to prevent electrocution.

If while you are carrying out any of these examinations you suspect you have found and solved the error there is no need to continue to the next step. Just complete an empty program to make sure the machine is fixed.

Check and clean the filters

Popcorn, paper from tupperware, plastic covers and smashed glass, as well as food debris, may all obstruct the dishwasher filter. Clear glass could also be hard to see if you don’t look closely.

Take out the filter then give it a good clean before replacing it. Not all filters are obvious and easy to remove so you could need to look at the instructions for this.

Is the waste pipe obstructed?

The next area to examine is the drain 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 machine from draining.

Subject to the location of the hose (normally the corrugated one) you could be able to inspect it by means of lifting away the kick plate or you might have to move the machine out from under the counter.

Visually examine the hose in the first instance to see if there are any kinks or it’s been squashed. You might have the means to fix these issues by hand which should rectify the issue, but be aware that once this has happened the chance of it happening again is significantly increased so you may wish to order a new hose.

If you can’t find anything you can remove the waste water pipe from the pump and blow into it to discover any blockages. Make sure you line the floor with newspaper or towels first as even if you have emptied the machine there might still be water in the hose.

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

Take off the other end of the hose and give it a good flush through to clear the blockage. If you are unable to remove the obstruction or the waste pipe is slit or degraded acquire a new one. If you can clear the blockage then replace the hose and run a short program to make sure you have fixed the issue.

You may also examine the point where the pipe attaches under your sink as well. This is a typical spot for debris to build up so if you do remove the hose give this point a good scrub as well.

Examine the drain valve

You can manually check the drain valve to make sure it hasn’t got stuck. The drain valve will generally be located at the base of the machine on the valve bracket. Consult your instruction manual if you’re not sure.

Depressing the valve or giving it a jiggle will likely be enough to tell you if it’s seized. If you are able to see any debris blocking it remove this. If you are unable to, this may be a good time to get in touch with a plumber unless you are happy in purchasing and repairing the valve on your own.

Check your pump is not blocked

Your appliance pump uses impellers that can get obstructed by broken china or other debris. Check your pump isn’t blocked by removing the 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 could be broken and need replacing.

Call a plumber

If you have been through the above list and the issue persists, or you suspect the pump, pump valve or motor are broken, it may be the moment you need to get the professionals.

This way though you will at least manage give them more information and have managed to avoid having to pay a big call-out charge for a clogged filter.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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