Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

Although it’s never a welcome sight to open a machine and find out it is still full of water, don’t overreact just yet. You may have the means to fix the problem without having to call a plumber or purchase a brand-new dishwasher.

Standing water in your dishwasher may have multiple of causes some of which can be simple to deal with. Therefore, in advance of calling a dishwasher repair service here is a list of possible components you can troubleshoot by yourself. Some of which aren’t even related to the machine itself.

Check the cycle wasn’t interrupted

It is probable that there is nothing stopping your machine from emptying. Rather, the cycle might have been cut short.

The cycle could have been interrupted for any number of of reasons. Little fingers pressing buttons, inadvertently leaning against the control panel, a power cut or opening the dishwasher mid-cycle may all stop the program from completing and mean your dishwasher doesn’t empty.

If you think this could 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 machines may have an empty capacity so it’s well worth checking your instruction manual or doing a quick internet search to find out.

Check the garbage disposal

If you have a waste disposal examine this before you do anything else as an obstructed waste disposal will block your machine from draining. Turn on the disposal using fast running water to ensure there are no obstructions.

If you do uncover an obstruction drain cleaner or a natural alternative could be used to clear the obstruction and so this could fix the problem.

Inspect the sink waste for clogs

If you sink is emptying reluctantly this might indicate an issue with the pipes rather than an issue with your dishwasher.

In the case that the sink is draining slowly you can attempt putting some bicarbonate of soda and vinegar down the drain, letting it sit for a few minutes, then flushing it away with boiling water.

A plunger might also be utilized to try and remove the blockage.

This may be sufficient to permit your dishwasher to empty so start a short program to check. If this hasn’t solved the problem you may manually remove the dirty water using a cup and also a towel and troubleshoot a few more areas.

At this point make sure you disconnect the machine to avoid electrocution.

If during any one of these examinations you suspect you may have found and solved the problem there is no need to continue to the next step. Just run an empty program to ensure your dishwasher is fixed.

Examine and clean the filters

Corn Kernels, labels from food jars, film covers and broken glass, as well as scraps of food, may all obstruct the dishwasher filter. Clear plastic lids may also be hard to spot if you aren’t looking for it.

Remove the filter then give it a good wash before putting it back in place. Not all dishwashers have their filter in the same location so you may need to refer to the instructions for this.

Is the waste water hose obstructed?

The next area to examine is the waste water pipe. Stuck food, a kink in the hose or a crushed hose can all prevent your machine from emptying.

Contingent upon the location of the hose (normally the corrugated one) you may have the means to view it simply by lifting away the kick plate or you may need to move the machine away from the wall.

Look at the pipe first to find out if it has been squashed or kinked. You could be able to manually fix any kinks which should resolve the issue, however, be aware that once this has occurred it is significantly more likely to happen again so you might need to order a spare hose.

If you can’t find anything you can take off the drain pipe from the dishwasher and blow through it to figure out if there are any blockages. Be sure to put down newspaper or towels before you remove the hose as there might still be dirty water in the pipe.

If you can’t blow through the hose this could be the issue.

Remove the hose at the sink end in order to give it a thorough flush through to remove the blockage. If you can’t remove the blockage or the waste hose is cracked or damaged acquire a brand-new one. If you may clear the blockage then re-attach the hose and run a quick program to double check that you have repaired the error.

You can also examine the point where the pipe attaches to the sink as well. This is a typical spot for blockages to occur so if you do remove the pipe give this area a thorough clean as well.

Examine the drain valve

You can inspect the drain valve by hand to check it hasn’t stopped working. The drain valve will most often be situated in the bottom of the dishwasher on the valve bracket. Consult your owners manual if you can’t see it.

Pushing down on the valve or giving it a jiggle should be enough to let you know if it’s seized. If you are able to see something blocking it carefully extract this. If you are unable to, this might be when you should call a plumber unless you are happy in procuring and replacing the valve on your own.

Check your pump is not blocked

Your appliance pump uses impellers that could get blocked by pieces of china or other objects. Check your pump isn’t broken by removing the cover and checking that the impellers are free to move.

Listen to your dishwasher while it’s running

If the dishwasher doesn’t sound normal your pump or motor might be faulty and need replacing.

Call a plumber

If you have been through the above list and the issue remains, or you think the pump, pump valve or motor are broken, it may be the right time to get the professionals.

This way though you will at least have the means to give them more information and have avoided needing to pay a hefty call-out fee for a blocked hose.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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