Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

Although it’s never a pleasant sight to open a machine and discover it hasn’t drained properly, try not to overreact just yet. You might manage rectify the issue by yourself, without having to call a plumber or purchase a new dishwasher.

Your machine refusing to drain may be induced by any number of components a number of which are easy to figure out. So, before you call a dishwasher repair service try this selection of potential issues you could identify yourself. A proportion of which are not even caused by the dishwasher itself.

Ensure the cycle wasn’t cut short

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

The program could have been cut short for any number of of reasons. Kids pressing buttons, inadvertently pressing against the buttons, a power outage or opening the machine mid-cycle may all stop the program from completing and mean your dishwasher doesn’t drain.

If you believe this might be the situation, or you feel it might be worthwhile checking run the dishwasher again on a quick cycle.

Some appliances could have a drain function so it’s worth consulting your owners manual or doing a quick internet search to find out.

Inspect the garbage disposal

If your dishwasher is plumbed into the waste disposal check this before you move on as an obstructed disposal will stop the machine from draining. Run the disposal using fast running water to check there are no blockages.

If you do uncover a blockage drain un-blocker or a natural alternative could be sought after to unclog the obstruction and this might solve the error.

Check the sink waste for blockages

If you kitchen sink is draining slowly this may suggest an issue with the pipes rather than an error with your machine.

In the case that the kitchen sink is emptying reluctantly you can try putting some bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar down the drain, letting it sit for a few minutes and then washing it through with hot water.

A plunger might also be utilized to attempt to dislodge the blockage.

This could be enough to allow your appliance to work again so start a quick rinse and drain cycle to check. If not you could manually empty the dishwasher using a jug and a towel and have a look at the next few possible issues.

At this point make certain to turn off the dishwasher to avoid electrocution.

If while you are carrying out any of these checks you think you may have found and fixed the issue there is no need to continue to the next issue. Just run an empty program to make sure your machine is repaired.

Check and wash the filters

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

Remove the filter then wash it thoroughly before replacing it. Not all dishwashers have their filter in the same place so you may need to consult the instruction manual for this.

Is the waste water pipe blocked?

The next component to examine is the waste water pipe. Stuck food, a kink in the hose or a crushed hose can all prevent your machine from emptying.

Subject to the position of the waste hose (generally the ribbed one) you might have the means to view it simply by lifting away the base alternatively you might have to move the machine out from under the counter.

Visually examine the pipe first to see if it has been squashed or kinked. You may manage manually straighten out any kinks which is likely to solve the issue, but it’s worth noting that when this has happened the chance of it occurring again is massively increased so you might need to order a replacement hose.

If you are unable to find any obvious kinks or obstructions you can disconnect the waste water pipe from the pump and blow through it to check for any blockages. Be sure to put down newspaper or towels before you remove the hose as even if you have emptied the dishwasher there may still be water in the pipe.

If you can’t blow air through the hose this might be the reason your dishwasher isn’t draining.

Remove the hose at the sink end and give it a good flush through to get rid of the blockage. If you can’t shift the obstruction or the pipe is split or worn invest in a new one. If you may clear the blockage then re-attach the hose and run a quick program to check that you have repaired the fault.

You may also inspect the point where the hose connects under your sink as well. This is a likely point for blockages to occur so if you happen to take off the hose give this area a thorough scrub as well.

Check the drain valve

You can inspect the drain valve by hand to make sure it isn’t stopped working. The drain valve will generally be situated in the bottom of the dishwasher on the valve bracket. Consult your instructions if you can’t see it.

Depressing the valve or giving it a wiggle should be enough to let you know if it’s stuck. If you can see anything stopping it from moving carefully extract this. If you can’t, this may be when you should get in touch with a repair person unless you are confident in procuring and repairing the valve yourself.

Inspect your pump is not blocked

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

Listen to your dishwasher while it’s on

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

Call a repair person

If none of the above investigations has repaired the fault, or you have reason to believe the pump, pump valve or motor are not working, it might be the moment you need to call your local repair person.

At least having tried to investigate what is wrong you have managed to avoid having to pay a hefty repair fee for a blocked drain.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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