Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

No-one is happy to open their machine and discover standing water but, don’t overreact just yet. You might manage rectify the error without having to call a repair person or buy a brand-new dishwasher.

Your machine failing to empty could be induced by a number of issues a few of which are easy to figure out. So, in advance of calling a dishwasher repair service try this list of potential components you can identify yourself. Some of which are not even caused by the dishwasher itself.

Check the dishwasher wasn’t stopped mid-cycle

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

The cycle could have been interrupted for any number of of reasons. Children pushing controls, inadvertently leaning against the control panel, a power outage or opening the machine mid-program may all interrupt the cycle and mean your dishwasher doesn’t drain.

If you believe this might be the case, or you think it may be worthwhile checking start the machine again on a short program.

A few machines could have an empty capacity meaning it’s well worth checking your manual or checking online to make sure.

Inspect the waste disposal

If your dishwasher is attached to your garbage disposal inspect this before you move on as an obstructed garbage disposal will prevent the dishwasher from draining. Run the garbage disposal with fast running water to check there are no issues.

If you do discover a blockage drain un-blocker or a natural alternative can be employed to remove the obstruction and this may fix the error.

Inspect the sink for clogs

If you sink is draining inefficiently this may signify an issue with the plumbing as opposed to a fault with your dishwasher.

If the sink is emptying reluctantly you may attempt putting a little bicarb and vinegar down the plughole, letting it sit for a few minutes and then washing it away with boiling water.

A plunger could also be used to attempt to remove the obstruction.

This might be sufficient to allow your dishwasher to empty so start a short cycle now. If this hasn’t worked you could manually drain the dishwasher using a jug as well as a sponge and have a look at a few more possible issues.

Make certain to turn off the dishwasher to stay safe.

If in the process of any of these examinations you think you have discovered and repaired the fault there is no need to continue to the next step. Just run an empty program to make sure the machine is fixed.

Examine and scrub the filters

Any number of things could block the filters including corn kernels, labels from tupperware, plastic covers and smashed glass. Clear plastic lids can also be difficult to spot if you aren’t looking for it.

Remove the filter and clean it thoroughly before replacing it. Not all dishwashers have their filter in the same location so you may need to look at the owners manual for this.

Is the waste hose blocked?

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

Depending on the location of the waste hose (generally the corrugated one) you might be able to view it by taking off the kick plate or you could be required to pull the dishwasher away from the wall.

Visually inspect the pipe in the first instance to find out if there are any kinks or it’s been squashed. You may have the means to manually straighten out any kinks which will most likely rectify the issue, however, be aware that once this has happened the chance of it occurring again is significantly increased so you may wish to purchase a spare hose.

If you can’t see an issue you can take off the waste water pipe from the dishwasher and blow through it to figure out if there are any blockages. Be sure to line the floor with newspaper or towels first as there may still be waste water in the pipe.

If you are unable to blow air through the hose this may be the reason your dishwasher isn’t emptying.

Remove the hose at the sink end in order to give it a thorough flush through to remove the blockage. If you are unable to remove the obstruction or the hose is cracked or damaged buy a new one. If you could get rid of the blockage then re-attach the hose and start a quick cycle to find out if you have solved the fault.

You can also check where the pipe attaches to the waste disposal as well. This is a common point for debris to build up so if you happen to remove the waste hose give this connection a thorough clean as well.

Inspect the drain valve

You could inspect the drain valve by hand to ensure it isn’t got stuck. The drain valve will most often be situated in the bottom of the dishwasher on the valve bracket. Check your owners manual if you can’t see it.

Pushing down on the valve or giving it a wiggle should be enough to find out if it’s seized. If you are able to see something stopping it from moving carefully extract this. If you can’t, this may be when you should get in touch with a plumber unless you are confident in purchasing and replacing the component on your own.

Examine your pump is not blocked

Your water pump uses impellers that could get obstructed by pieces of glass or other debris. Check your impellers aren’t blocked by taking off the cover and ensuring that the impellers can rotate freely.

Listen to your dishwasher while it’s on

If the dishwasher is making funny noises your pump or motor could be broken and need to be repaired.

Call a plumber

If none of the above checks has solved the error, or you have reason to believe the pump, pump valve or motor are not working, it might be a good time to get the professionals.

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

More Dishwasher Problems:

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