Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

Although it’s always annoying to open your dishwasher and realize it is still full of water, don’t overreact just yet. You may manage rectify the problem by yourself, without having to call a plumber or buy a new dishwasher.

Your machine failing to drain can have a number of of causes a number of which are straightforward to resolve. So, in advance of calling a dishwasher repair service try this list of possible things you can troubleshoot by yourself. A proportion of which aren’t even related to the dishwasher itself.

Ensure the cycle wasn’t stopped mid-way

It is probable that there is nothing stopping your machine from emptying. Alternatively, the program could have been stopped mid-way.

The program could have been interrupted for any number of of reasons. Little fingers pressing controls, accidentally pressing against the control panel, a power outage or opening the dishwasher mid-program could all interrupt the program and mean your dishwasher doesn’t empty.

If you think this might be the circumstance, or you just want to be sure it’s not the issue run your machine again on a short cycle.

A few machines may have an empty function so it’s worth consulting your instructions or checking online to check.

Check the waste disposal

If your dishwasher is plumbed into a garbage disposal inspect this before you do anything else as a blocked garbage disposal will prevent the machine from draining. Run the disposal with fast running water to check there are no blockages.

If you do uncover an obstruction drain cleaner or a natural alternative can be sought after to clear the obstruction and this might rectify the fault.

Check the plumbing for issues

If you sink is emptying reluctantly this could indicate an issue with the pipes instead of an error with your dishwasher.

If the kitchen sink is draining reluctantly you could attempt putting some bicarb and white vinegar down the drain, leaving it for a while and subsequently washing it through with boiling water.

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

This could be enough to permit your dishwasher to empty so run a short rinse and empty program at this point. If not you may remove the water by hand using a cup and also a sponge and have a look at the next few possible issues.

At this point make sure you unplug the machine to stay safe.

If during any one of these investigations you think you may have discovered and solved the issue there is no need to continue to the next issue. Just run an empty program to check your dishwasher is now draining as it should.

Check and wash the filters

Any number of things could block the filters including popcorn, paper from jars, film lids and smashed glass. Clear glass may also be hard to see if you don’t look carefully.

Remove the filter and give it a good wash before replacing it. Not all filters are obvious and easy to remove so you could need to refer to the manual for this.

Is the waste water pipe blocked?

The next place to check is the waste water hose. Stuck food, a kink in the hose or a crushed hose can all stop your dishwasher from emptying.

Depending on the position of the hose (generally the ribbed one) you could manage view it by taking off the base or you might need to move the dishwasher away from the wall.

Have a look at the hose in the first instance to see if there are any kinks or it’s been squashed. You could be able to fix these issues by hand which will most likely rectify the issue, however, it’s worth noting that when this has occurred it is significantly more inclined to happen again so you could wish to purchase a new hose.

If you can’t find anything you can disconnect the drain pipe from the machine and blow through it to check for any blockages. Be sure to put down newspaper or towels first as there might still be waste water in the pipe.

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

Remove the hose at the sink end and then give it a good flush through to remove the blockage. If you can’t get rid of the obstruction or the waste hose is cracked or degraded invest in a brand-new one. If you could clear the blockage then re-attach the hose and run a short cycle to double check that you have repaired the problem.

You could also inspect where the pipe connects under your sink. This is a likely place for blockages to occur so if you happen to remove the pipe give this point a thorough scrub as well.

Check the drain valve

You may inspect the drain valve by hand to ensure it hasn’t got stuck. The drain valve will often be located at the base of the dishwasher on the valve bracket. Examine your instruction manual if you can’t see it.

Pushing down on the valve or giving it a jiggle should be enough to find out if it’s seized. If you can see an object blocking it get rid of this. If you can’t, this may be the right time to ring a repair person unless you are undaunted by procuring and replacing the valve yourself.

Examine your pump is not broken

Your dishwasher pump makes use of impellers that can be obstructed by broken china or other objects. Check your impellers aren’t broken by taking off the cover and checking that the impellers can rotate freely.

Run your machine and listen for any unusual sounds

If it doesn’t sound normal your dishwasher pump or motor could be faulty and need to be repaired.

Call a plumber

If you have been through the above list and the fault persists, or you have reason to believe the pump, pump valve or motor are damaged, it could be the right time to call in the professionals.

At least having attempted to investigate what is wrong you have prevented needing to pay a hefty repair charge for a clogged filter.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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