Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

No-one is happy to open their machine and discover it hasn’t emptied fully but, don’t overreact just yet. You could have the means to rectify the fault before you have to call a repair person or purchase a brand-new dishwasher.

Your dishwasher failing to empty can be caused by multiple components some of which are easy to solve. Therefore, in advance of calling a dishwasher repair service try this list of potential issues you can identify yourself. Some of which are not even related to the dishwasher itself.

Ensure the cycle wasn’t interrupted

If you’re lucky the standing water you have discovered may not be a fault at all. Instead, the cycle might have been cut short.

The program may have been interrupted for any number of of reasons. Kids pushing buttons, mistakenly leaning against the controls, a power outage or opening the dishwasher mid-cycle may all interrupt the cycle and mean your dishwasher doesn’t drain.

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

Some dishwashers might have a drain program meaning it’s worthwhile consulting your owners manual or consulting google to find out.

Inspect the garbage disposal

If your dishwasher is attached to a waste disposal examine this before you do anything else as an obstructed waste disposal will prevent your dishwasher from emptying. Run the disposal using fast running water to ensure there are no blockages.

If you do uncover a blockage drain unclogger or a plunger may be employed to remove the obstruction and this might solve the fault.

Examine the plumbing for issues

If you kitchen sink is draining slowly this could signify an issue with the pipes instead of a fault with your machine.

If the kitchen sink is draining inefficiently you could try putting some bicarb and vinegar down the plughole, leaving it for a while and then flushing it away with boiling water.

A plunger may also be used to attempt to dislodge the blockage.

This might be enough to permit the appliance to drain so run a quick rinse and drain cycle now. If not you could manually remove the standing water using a jug and a towel and have a look at the next few possible issues.

Make sure you disconnect the dishwasher to avoid electrocution.

If while you are carrying out one of these examinations you suspect you have detected and repaired the error you don’t need to go through the remaining steps. Just complete an empty cycle to check your dishwasher is fixed.

Inspect and wash the filters

Any number of things could block the filters including corn kernels, paper from food jars, plastic lids and broken glass. Clear film may also be difficult to spot if you aren’t looking for it.

Take out the filter then give it a thorough clean before replacing it. Not all filters are obvious and easy to remove so you might need to consult the instructions for this.

Is the drain hose obstructed?

The next place to check is the waste water 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 impede your machine from emptying.

Depending on the position of the waste pipe (generally the ribbed one) you could manage inspect it by means of removing the kick plate or you may have to pull the machine away from under the counter.

Look at the hose first to see if there are any kinks or it’s been squashed. You might manage fix these issues by hand which should resolve the issue, however, be aware that once this has occurred it is significantly more inclined to happen again so you might wish to buy a new hose.

If you are unable to find any obvious kinks or obstructions you could remove the drain hose 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 may still be dirty water in the pipe.

If you can’t blow through the pipe this could be the reason your machine isn’t emptying.

Remove the hose at the sink end and then give it a thorough clean to clear the obstruction. If you are unable to dislodge the obstruction or the pipe is split or worn acquire a brand-new one. If you may remove the obstruction then replace the hose and run a quick cycle to check that you have fixed the fault.

You could also examine where the pipe attaches to the waste disposal as well. This is a typical spot for blockages to occur so if you do remove the waste pipe give this area a thorough scrub as well.

Check the drain valve

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

Pushing down on the valve or giving it a wiggle will likely be adequate to find out if it’s stuck. If you are able to see an object blocking it remove this. If you can’t, this could be the right time to get in touch with a plumber unless you are happy in procuring and replacing the part yourself.

Examine your pump is not blocked

Your dishwasher pump uses impellers that could get blocked by broken china or other objects. Check your impellers aren’t blocked by removing the safety cover and making sure the impellers can be easily rotated.

Listen to your dishwasher while it’s on

If it is making funny noises your pump or motor may be broken and need to be repaired.

Call a repair person

If you have been through the above list and the issue remains, or you suspect the pump, pump valve or motor are damaged, it could be a good time to call for help.

This way though you will at least be able to give them more information and have managed to avoid needing to pay a big repair charge for a blocked drain.

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