Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

No-one wishes to open their machine and discover it hasn’t drained correctly but, don’t panic just yet. You may be able to solve the problem by yourself, without having to call a plumber or purchase a new machine.

Standing water in your dishwasher can have a number of of causes some of which can be simple to deal with. So, in advance of calling a dishwasher repair service try this selection of potential issues you can identify by yourself. Some of which are not even related to the dishwasher itself.

Check the program wasn’t interrupted

It is possible that there is nothing stopping your dishwasher from emptying. Instead, the cycle might have been stopped mid-way.

The cycle could have been interrupted for any number of of reasons. Kids pressing buttons, accidentally pressing on the buttons, a power surge or opening the machine mid-cycle might all stop the cycle from completing and mean your dishwasher doesn’t empty.

If you believe this might be the circumstance, or you just want to be sure it’s not the issue start your dishwasher again on a quick cycle.

A few appliances might have a drain cycle so it’s worth checking your owners manual or checking online to check.

Examine the waste disposal

If you have a waste disposal inspect this first as an obstructed garbage disposal will prevent the machine from draining. Turn on the disposal with fast running water to make sure there are no issues.

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

Check the sink for clogs

If you sink is emptying reluctantly this may signify an issue with the plumbing rather than a fault with your dishwasher.

If the sink is draining slowly you may try putting some bicarbonate of soda and vinegar down the drain, leaving it for a while and subsequently flushing it through with boiling water.

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

This may be sufficient to permit the appliance to work again so run a short program to check. If not you may remove the water by hand using a cup as well as a towel and troubleshoot a few more likely causes.

Make certain to disconnect the machine to stay safe.

If in the process of any one of these investigations you believe you have detected and repaired the fault you don’t need to go through the remaining steps. Just run an empty cycle to make sure the machine is once again 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 broken glass. Clear plastic lids can also be hard to spot if you aren’t looking for it.

Take out the filter then scrub it thoroughly before putting it back in place. Not all filters are obvious and easy to remove so you might need to refer to the manual for this.

Is the waste pipe obstructed?

The next component to check is the waste water pipe. Many things could cause an obstruction including a build up of food debris, a kink in the hose, or a crushed hose. All of which may all prevent your machine from emptying.

Contingent upon the location of the waste hose (usually the ribbed one) you may manage look at it by removing the kick plate or you may be required to pull the machine out from under the counter.

Visually examine the hose first to discover if it has been crushed or kinked. You may be able to fix these issues by hand which is likely to deal with the issue, but it’s worth noting that once this has occurred it is much more likely to happen again so you might wish to order a new hose.

If you are unable to see anything you can take off the waste water pipe from the dishwasher and blow through it to discover any blockages. Make sure you line the floor with newspaper or towels before you remove the hose as there may still be water in the hose.

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

Disconnect the hose at the sink end and then give it a thorough clean to get rid of the blockage. If you can’t remove the blockage or the waste hose is cracked or worn purchase a new one. If you can get rid of the blockage then replace the hose and run a short cycle to make sure you have solved the issue.

You may also inspect where the waste hose attaches under your sink as well. This is a common spot for debris to build up so if you happen to remove the waste pipe give this point a good scrub as well.

Check the drain valve

You may inspect the drain valve by hand to check it hasn’t seized. The drain valve will usually be located at the base of the dishwasher on the valve bracket. Check your instructions if you can’t see it.

Depressing the valve or wiggling it a bit should be enough to find out if it’s stuck. If you can see anything blocking it carefully extract this. If you are unable to, this may be the right time to ring a repair person unless you are confident in purchasing and replacing the part yourself.

Examine your pump is not blocked

Your appliance pump uses impellers that may be obstructed by broken china or other debris. Check your impellers aren’t obstructed by removing the safety cover and ensuring that the impellers can rotate freely.

Run your machine and listen for any unusual noises

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

Call a plumber

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

At least having attempted to investigate what is wrong you have avoided having to pay a hefty repair fee for a clogged filter.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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