Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

Although it’s always irritating to open a dishwasher and discover it is still full of water, try not to panic just yet. You may have the means to solve the problem without having to call a repair person or invest in a new dishwasher.

Your dishwasher failing to drain could be induced by any number of components a few of which can be easy to figure out. So, before you call a dishwasher repair service try this list of potential components you could troubleshoot on your own. A proportion of which aren’t even caused by the dishwasher itself.

Ensure the program wasn’t stopped mid-way

It is possible that there is nothing stopping your dishwasher from draining. Rather, the program might have been interrupted.

The cycle might have been interrupted for any number of of reasons. Kids pressing controls, accidentally pressing against the controls, a power outage or opening the machine mid-program might all interrupt the cycle and mean your machine doesn’t empty.

If you suspect this could be the case, or you feel it might be a good idea to check start your machine again on a quick program.

A few machines could have an empty program so it’s worthwhile consulting your owners manual or consulting google to check.

Examine the garbage disposal

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

If you do uncover an issue drain unclogger or a plunger may be employed to unclog the obstruction and this may rectify the fault.

Check the plumbing for issues

If you kitchen sink is emptying reluctantly this might signify a plumbing issue as opposed to a problem with your machine.

In the case that the sink is draining inefficiently you can try putting some bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar down the plughole, leaving it for a while and subsequently flushing it through with hot water.

A sink plunger might also be employed to try and dislodge the blockage.

This may be sufficient to permit the appliance to empty so start a short program at this point. If not you can remove the water by hand using a bowl and a towel and have a look at the next few possible issues.

Make sure you unplug the machine to stay safe.

If in the process of any of these investigations you think you may have detected and repaired the fault you don’t need to go through the remaining issues. Just start an empty cycle to ensure the dishwasher is now emptying as it should.

Check and scrub the filters

Any number of things could block the filters including corn kernels, labels from jars, plastic lids and smashed glass. Clear glass can also be hard to spot if you don’t look carefully.

Take out the filter and wash it thoroughly before replacing it. Not all filters are obvious and straightforward to remove so you might need to consult the instructions for this.

Is the drain pipe blocked?

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

Depending on the location of the waste hose (generally the corrugated one) you may manage look at it by taking off the base alternatively you might have to pull the machine away from under the counter.

Visually inspect the pipe first to find out if it has been squashed or kinked. You may manage fix these issues by hand which is likely to resolve the issue, but be aware that once this has occurred the probability of it happening again is massively increased so you may need to order a replacement hose.

If you can’t see anything you can take off the waste water hose from the machine and blow through it to check for any blockages. Make sure you put down newspaper or towels before you remove the hose as even if you have emptied the machine there may still be water in the hose.

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

Take off the other end of the hose and then give it a good clean to remove the obstruction. If you can’t remove the blockage or the hose is slit or worn invest in a new one. If you can get rid of the obstruction then re-attach the hose and run a short program to check that you have solved the problem.

You can also examine where the pipe connects to the waste disposal. This is a common point for debris to build up so if you do take off the waste pipe give this area a good scrub as well.

Check the drain valve

You can manually check the drain valve to make sure it isn’t got stuck. The drain valve will generally be found in the bottom of the machine on the valve bracket. Examine your instructions if you can’t see it.

Depressing the valve or giving it a wiggle should be adequate to let you know if it’s stuck. If you can see anything blocking it get rid of this. If you are unable to, this may be the right time to get in touch with a repair person unless you are happy in procuring and repairing the component yourself.

Inspect your pump is not blocked

Your appliance pump uses impellers that could be blocked by pieces of china or other objects. Check your impellers aren’t obstructed by taking off the safety cover and ensuring that the impellers are free to move.

Listen to your dishwasher while it’s on

If the dishwasher sounds unusual your pump or motor could be broken and need replacing.

Call a repair person

If none of the above investigations has solved the issue, or you suspect the pump, pump valve or motor are broken, it might be the moment you need to call for help.

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

More Dishwasher Problems:

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