Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

Although it’s always irritating to open the dishwasher and discover it hasn’t emptied properly, try not to panic just yet. You might be able to rectify the error by yourself, without having to call a plumber or purchase a new dishwasher.

Your machine failing to empty could be bought about by a number of issues a number of which are simple to fix. So, before you call a dishwasher repair service here is a list of possible things you can correct yourself. A few of which aren’t even a fault of the machine itself.

Ensure the program wasn’t cut short

If you’re lucky the standing water you have discovered may not be an issue at all. Instead, the program may have been interrupted.

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

If you believe this could be the case, or you think it may be a good idea to check start the machine again on a short cycle.

Some appliances could have an empty function meaning it’s worth consulting your instructions or consulting google to find out.

Check the garbage disposal

If your dishwasher is plumbed into the waste disposal examine this before you do anything else as an obstructed garbage disposal will stop your machine from draining. Turn on the waste disposal with fast running water to check there are no blockages.

If you do discover an obstruction drain un-blocker or a plunger may be sought after to unclog the obstruction and so this may fix the fault.

Check the sink waste for clogs

If you sink is emptying slowly this may indicate an issue with the drains instead of an error with your dishwasher.

In the case that the kitchen sink is draining inefficiently you could attempt putting some bicarbonate of soda and vinegar down the plughole, leaving it for a while and then washing it away with boiling water.

A sink plunger may also be employed to attempt to dislodge the obstruction.

This might be all you need to do to let the dishwasher to drain so run a short rinse and drain program to check. If this hasn’t solved the problem you could manually empty the dishwasher using a jug as well as a sponge and troubleshoot the next few possible issues.

At this point make sure you unplug the dishwasher to avoid electrocution.

If in the process of any of these checks you suspect you may have detected and repaired the problem you don’t need to go through the rest of the steps. Just start an empty program to ensure your dishwasher is repaired.

Check and wash the filters

Any number of things could block the filters including corn kernels, labels from containers, plastic film covers and smashed glass. Clear film may also be hard to see if you don’t look closely.

Take out the filter then give it a thorough wash before putting it back in place. Not all machines have their filter in the same location so you could need to consult the instructions for this.

Is the drain hose blocked?

The next component to inspect 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 may all impede your dishwasher from emptying.

Depending on the position of the hose (usually the ribbed one) you could be able to look at it by means of removing the kick plate or you might have to pull the machine away from the wall.

Have a look at the hose in the first instance to discover if there are any kinks or it’s been squashed. You could be able to fix these issues by hand which should deal with the issue, but be aware that when this has happened it is significantly more likely to happen again so you could need to purchase a spare hose.

If you can’t see an issue you may remove the waste water hose from the machine and blow through it to check for any blockages. Be sure to put down newspaper or towels before you remove the hose as there might still be water in the pipe.

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

Remove the other end of the hose in order to give it a good clean to get rid of the obstruction. If you can’t shift the blockage or the waste hose is cracked or worn invest in a new one. If you may remove the blockage then put the hose back and run a short program to check that you have repaired the fault.

You may also examine where the waste pipe connects to the waste disposal as well. This is a likely point for blockages to occur so if you happen to remove the waste pipe give this point a thorough scrub as well.

Inspect the drain valve

You can manually inspect the drain valve to check it isn’t got stuck. The drain valve will usually be found at the base of the machine on the valve bracket. Check your manual if you’re not sure.

Depressing the valve or giving it a wiggle should be sufficient to tell you if it’s stuck. If you can see an object blocking it get rid of this. If you can’t, this might be a good time to ring a plumber unless you are happy in procuring and swapping out the part on your own.

Check your pump is not blocked

Your dishwasher pump makes use of impellers that can become blocked by pieces of glass or other objects. Check your impellers aren’t broken by taking off the safety cover and checking that the impellers can rotate freely.

Run your dishwasher and listen for any unusual sounds

If the dishwasher is making funny noises your dishwasher pump or motor may be damaged and need replacing.

Call a plumber

If none of the above checks has solved the problem, or you think the pump, pump valve or motor are not working, it may be the moment you need to call for help.

At least having tried to troubleshoot you have managed to avoid needing to pay a big repair fee for a blocked hose.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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