Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

No-one wants to open their machine and discover standing water but, try not to lose it just yet. You might manage figure out the issue by yourself, without having to call a plumber or invest in a new dishwasher.

Your dishwasher declining to empty may have multiple of causes a number of which are simple to solve. So, in advance of calling a dishwasher repair service here is a selection of possible components you could troubleshoot yourself. A few of which aren’t even caused by the machine itself.

Check the dishwasher wasn’t interrupted mid-program

If you’re lucky the fact your dishwasher hasn’t drained may not be a fault at all. Alternatively, the program could have been stopped mid-way.

The cycle might have been interrupted for a number of of reasons. Little fingers pushing buttons, inadvertently leaning against the controls, a power outage or opening the dishwasher mid-program may all prevent the cycle from completing and mean your dishwasher doesn’t drain.

If you think this may be the circumstance, or you think it may be a good idea to check run your machine again on a quick program.

A number appliances could have an empty cycle meaning it’s worthwhile checking your manual or checking online to find out.

Examine the disposal

If you have a waste disposal check this before you move on as an obstructed disposal will stop your machine from emptying. Turn on the garbage disposal with fast running water to ensure there are no blockages.

If you do find a blockage drain unclogger or a natural alternative may be sought after to remove the blockage and so this might resolve the error.

Examine the sink waste for blockages

If you kitchen sink is draining slowly this could suggest an issue with the plumbing instead of an issue with your machine.

In the case that the kitchen sink is draining slowly you may attempt putting a little bicarb and white vinegar down the plughole, letting it sit for a while, then washing it through with hot water.

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

This could be sufficient to let your appliance to work again so run a quick program at this point. If not you could manually remove the dirty water using a cup and also a sponge and troubleshoot a few more likely causes.

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

If during any of these examinations you think you may have discovered and fixed the error there is no need to continue to the next step. Just run an empty program to make sure your machine is fixed.

Inspect and wash the filters

Any number of things could block the filters including popcorn, labels from containers, plastic film lids and broken glass. Clear film may also be hard to spot if you don’t look closely.

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

Is the waste hose obstructed?

The next area to check is the drain pipe. Stuck food, a kink in the hose or a crushed hose could all impede your machine from draining.

Depending on the location of the waste hose (generally the ribbed one) you could be able to look at it by lifting away the base alternatively you could have to pull the machine away from under the counter.

Visually examine the pipe first to find out if it has been crushed or kinked. You may manage fix these issues by hand which is likely to solve the issue, however, be aware that once this has happened the chance of it happening again is greatly increased so you may need to buy a replacement hose.

If you are unable to find anything you could take off the waste pipe from the machine and blow into it to discover any blockages. Make sure you put down newspaper or towels before you remove the hose as even if you have emptied the dishwasher there could still be dirty water in the hose.

If you can’t blow through the hose this may be the problem.

Take off the other end of the hose and then give it a good flush through to remove the obstruction. If you are unable to remove the blockage or the waste pipe is slit or worn purchase a new one. If you could remove the obstruction then put the hose back and start a short cycle to find out if you have repaired the error.

You may also check the point where the hose connects to the waste disposal. This is a likely spot for debris to build up so if you happen to take off the waste hose give this point a good clean as well.

Inspect the drain valve

You may manually inspect the drain valve to ensure it hasn’t got stuck. The drain valve will often be found in the bottom of the machine on the valve bracket. Check your manual if you’re unsure.

Depressing the valve or giving it a jiggle will likely be adequate to tell you if it’s seized. If you can see any debris stopping it from moving remove this. If you are unable to, this may be when you should ring a plumber unless you are confident in procuring and repairing the valve yourself.

Inspect your pump is not blocked

Your dishwasher pump uses impellers that may get blocked by pieces of china or other objects. Check your impellers aren’t broken by removing the cover and ensuring that the impellers can rotate freely.

Run your dishwasher and listen for any unusual noises

If the dishwasher sounds unusual your pump or motor might be damaged and need to be repaired.

Call a repair person

If none of the above investigations has solved the fault, or you have reason to believe the pump, pump valve or motor are damaged, it may be the right time to call your local repair person.

At least having tried to fix the problem yourself you have prevented having to pay a big repair charge for a blocked hose.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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