Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

Although it’s always annoying to open a machine and realize the machine hasn’t drained fully, don’t overreact just yet. You may have the means to rectify the issue without having to call a repair person or acquire a brand-new dishwasher.

Your machine failing to drain can have any number of of causes some of which can be straightforward to figure out. Therefore, before you call a dishwasher repair service try this selection of probable issues you can identify yourself. Some of which are not even a fault of the dishwasher itself.

Check the dishwasher wasn’t interrupted mid-cycle

It is probable that there is nothing stopping your machine from draining. Rather, the program could have been interrupted.

The program might have been stopped mid-way for a number of of reasons. Little fingers pushing controls, accidentally pressing against the controls, a power cut or opening the dishwasher mid-cycle might all interrupt the cycle and mean your machine doesn’t empty.

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

A number machines might have an empty cycle so it’s well worth consulting your instructions or checking online to find out.

Inspect the waste disposal

If your dishwasher is plumbed into the disposal examine this first as an obstructed waste disposal will block your machine from emptying. Run the disposal with fast running water to make sure there are no obstructions.

If you do discover an obstruction drain cleaner or a plunger can be sought after to remove the obstruction and this may deal with the problem.

Inspect the plumbing for issues

If you kitchen sink is draining inefficiently this may suggest a plumbing issue instead of an error with your machine.

If the kitchen sink is emptying inefficiently you can try putting a little bicarb and vinegar down the drain, letting it sit for a while and then washing it through with boiling water.

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

This could be sufficient to allow the machine to drain so run a quick cycle to check. If not you can remove the water by hand using a bowl and a sponge and troubleshoot the next few possible issues.

At this point make certain to disconnect the machine to prevent electrocution.

If in the process of one of these examinations you suspect you may have found and repaired the problem you don’t have to go through the rest of the issues. Just start an empty cycle to ensure your machine is once again draining as it used to.

Inspect and rinse the filters

Any number of things could block the filters including corn kernels, paper from tupperware, film covers and broken glass. Clear glass may also be hard to spot if you aren’t looking for it.

Remove the filter and wash it thoroughly before putting it back in place. Not all dishwashers have their filter in the same place so you could need to refer to the instructions for this.

Is the waste water pipe obstructed?

The next place to inspect 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 could all prevent your machine from draining.

Depending on the position of the waste pipe (normally the ribbed one) you may manage view it by removing the kick plate alternatively you might have to pull the machine out from under the counter.

Look at the hose in the first instance to see if it has been crushed or kinked. You could manage manually remove any kinks which should rectify the issue, however, be aware that when this has happened the chance of it happening again is greatly increased so you may need to purchase a new hose.

If you can’t find any obvious kinks or obstructions you may 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 could still be dirty water in the pipe.

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

Disconnect the other end of the hose in order to give it a thorough flush through to clear the blockage. If you can’t dislodge the obstruction or the waste pipe is cracked or damaged buy a brand-new one. If you may remove the blockage then re-attach the hose and run a short cycle to make sure you have repaired the fault.

You could also check where the pipe connects to the waste disposal. This is a likely point for blockages to occur so if you happen to take off the waste pipe give this point a good clean as well.

Check the drain valve

You could examine the drain valve by hand to check it isn’t got stuck. The drain valve will most often be located at the base of the machine on the valve bracket. Consult your instruction manual if you’re unsure.

Depressing the valve or giving it a jiggle should be enough to tell you if it’s seized. If you can see an object stopping it from moving get rid of this. If you are unable to, this may be a good time to ring a repair person unless you are happy in ordering and swapping out the component yourself.

Inspect your pump is not broken

Your water pump uses impellers that could become obstructed by pieces of china or other debris. Check your pump isn’t broken by removing the cover and making sure the impellers can rotate freely.

Run your machine and listen for any unusual sounds

If it is making funny noises your pump or motor might be faulty and need replacing.

Call a repair person

If you have been through the above list and the problem persists, or you think the pump, pump valve or motor are damaged, it may be a good time to call for help.

At least having tried to fix the problem yourself you have prevented having to pay a big repair charge for a blocked hose.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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