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 may be able to fix the issue without having to call a repair person or purchase a brand-new dishwasher.

Your machine refusing to drain could have any number of of causes a number of which are easy to fix. Therefore, in advance of calling a dishwasher repair service here is a selection of potential components you may correct by yourself. A number of which aren’t even a fault of the dishwasher itself.

Ensure the dishwasher wasn’t stopped mid-program

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

The cycle might have been cut short for any number of of reasons. Children pressing controls, accidentally leaning on the controls, a power surge or opening the dishwasher mid-program might all stop the program from completing and mean your machine doesn’t drain.

If you believe this could be the circumstance, or you just want to be sure it’s not the issue start the machine again on a quick program.

Some dishwashers could have a drain capacity so it’s worthwhile checking your owners manual or consulting google to check.

Examine the disposal

If your dishwasher is plumbed into the garbage disposal check this first as a blocked waste disposal will prevent the machine from draining. Turn on the waste disposal using fast running water to check there are no obstructions.

If you do find an issue drain unclogger or a natural alternative may be sought after to unclog the obstruction and so this might rectify the problem.

Examine the sink waste for issues

If you kitchen sink is draining reluctantly this could indicate an issue with the plumbing rather than a fault with your machine.

In the case that the kitchen sink is draining slowly you could attempt putting a little bicarb and vinegar down the plughole, leaving it for a few minutes and subsequently flushing it away with hot water.

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

This may be all you need to do to let your dishwasher to empty so run a quick rinse and empty cycle now. If not you could remove the dirty water by hand using a jug and also a sponge and troubleshoot the next few possible issues.

At this point make certain to turn off the dishwasher to stay safe.

If in the process of one of these checks you think you have found and fixed the problem there is no need to continue to the next issue. Just run an empty program to make sure your machine is now emptying as it should.

Inspect and rinse the filters

Any number of things could block the filters including corn kernels, labels from jars, film covers and smashed glass. Clear film can also be hard to see if you aren’t looking for it.

Remove the filter then wash it thoroughly before putting it back in place. Not all filters are obvious and simple to remove so you may need to consult the instruction manual for this.

Is the waste pipe obstructed?

The next place to examine is the waste water 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 draining.

Contingent upon the location of the waste pipe (usually the corrugated one) you may be able to view it by removing the kick board or you might be required to pull the dishwasher away from under the counter.

Visually inspect the hose first to see if it has been squashed or kinked. You might be able to fix these issues by hand which will most likely deal with the issue, however, be aware that when this has occurred it is significantly more likely to happen again so you may need to buy a new hose.

If you are unable to find any obvious kinks or obstructions you may remove the waste water pipe from the machine and blow into it to figure out if there are any blockages. Make sure you put down newspaper or towels first as even if you have emptied the machine there may still be water in the pipe.

If you can’t blow through the pipe this might be the problem.

Disconnect the other end of the hose and give it a thorough clean to remove the blockage. If you can’t remove the blockage or the hose is slit or degraded buy a brand-new one. If you can clear the blockage then re-attach the hose and start a short program to double check that you have solved the problem.

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

Examine the drain valve

You can manually examine the drain valve to check it hasn’t got stuck. The drain valve will usually be located at the base of the machine on the valve bracket. Examine your instruction manual if you can’t see it.

Pressing down on the valve or wiggling it a bit will likely be enough to let you know if it’s seized. If you are able to see an object stopping it from moving remove this. If you can’t, this could be a good time to call a plumber unless you are undaunted by procuring and replacing the component on your own.

Check your pump is not broken

Your dishwasher pump uses impellers that can be obstructed by pieces of china or other objects. Check your impellers aren’t blocked by taking off the safety cover and making sure the impellers can be easily rotated.

Run your machine and listen for any unusual sounds

If your dishwasher sounds unusual your pump or motor could be broken and need to be repaired.

Call a repair person

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

At least having attempted to troubleshoot you have managed to avoid needing to pay a big repair charge for a blocked drain.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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