Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

Although it’s always annoying to open your dishwasher and discover it hasn’t drained properly, don’t panic just yet. You may be able to figure out the fault before you have to call a repair person or invest in a brand-new machine.

Standing water in your machine could be induced by multiple components a proportion of which are straightforward to figure out. So, before you call a dishwasher repair service here is a lineup of potential issues you may troubleshoot yourself. A few of which aren’t even caused by the dishwasher itself.

Check the dishwasher wasn’t stopped mid-program

If you’re lucky the fact your dishwasher hasn’t emptied may not be an issue at all. Rather, the cycle may have been stopped mid-way.

The program may have been interrupted for any number of of reasons. Kids pushing controls, accidentally pushing against the control panel, a power cut or opening the machine mid-cycle may all stop the cycle from completing and mean your machine doesn’t empty.

If you believe this may be the situation, or you just want to be sure it’s not the issue run the machine again on a short cycle.

A number appliances could have a drain capacity meaning it’s well worth checking your instruction manual or checking online to check.

Inspect the disposal

If your dishwasher is attached to the garbage disposal examine this before you move on as an obstructed waste disposal will prevent your machine from draining. Run the garbage disposal using plenty of water to ensure there are no issues.

If you do find a blockage drain unclogger or a plunger could be employed to unclog the blockage and so this could deal with the issue.

Examine the sink waste for blockages

If you kitchen sink is draining slowly this could indicate a plumbing issue as opposed to an issue with your machine.

If the kitchen sink is draining inefficiently you can attempt putting a little bicarb and vinegar down the drain, leaving it for a while, then flushing it through with hot water.

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

This could be sufficient to permit the dishwasher to work again so run a quick rinse and drain cycle now. If this hasn’t worked you may remove the standing water by hand using a cup as well as a towel and check a few more possible issues.

At this point make sure you disconnect the machine to prevent electrocution.

If during any one of these investigations you believe you have discovered and repaired the problem there is no need to continue to the next issue. Just complete an empty program to check your dishwasher is repaired.

Inspect and rinse the filters

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

Take out the filter then give it a thorough wash before putting it back in place. Not all dishwashers have their filter in the same place so you may need to consult the instruction manual for this.

Is the waste pipe blocked?

The next area to inspect is the waste pipe. Stuck food, a kink in the hose or a crushed hose may all stop your machine from emptying.

Subject to the position of the hose (generally the corrugated one) you could have the means to inspect it by means of removing the base alternatively you may need to move the machine out from the wall.

Visually examine the hose in the first instance to discover if it has been squashed or kinked. You could manage fix these issues by hand which should deal with the issue, but it’s worth noting that when this has occurred it is much more likely to happen again so you might need to order a new hose.

If you can’t see anything you could remove the waste hose from the pump and blow through it to discover any blockages. Make sure you put down newspaper or towels first as there might still be dirty water in the hose.

If you are unable to blow air through the waste hose this might be the issue.

Take off the hose at the sink end in order to give it a thorough flush through to clear the obstruction. If you can’t dislodge the obstruction or the pipe is slit or worn buy a new one. If you can remove the blockage then re-attach the hose and start a quick cycle to check that you have repaired the issue.

You can also check where the pipe attaches to the sink. This is a common place for debris to build up so if you happen to take off the hose give this area a thorough clean as well.

Examine the drain valve

You may manually inspect the drain valve to make sure it isn’t got stuck. The drain valve will generally be situated in the bottom of the machine on the valve bracket. Check your instruction manual if you’re unsure.

Pressing down on the valve or giving it a wiggle should be adequate to find out if it’s stuck. If you are able to see any debris stopping it from moving remove this. If you are unable to, this might be when you should ring a plumber unless you are undaunted by procuring and repairing the part on your own.

Check your pump is not blocked

Your water pump uses impellers that may get obstructed by broken glass or other objects. Check your pump isn’t obstructed by removing the cover and checking that the impellers can be easily rotated.

Run your machine and listen for any unusual noises

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

Call a repair person

If none of the above investigations has repaired the issue, or you think the pump, pump valve or motor are damaged, it could be the right time to get the professionals.

This way though you will at least manage give them more information and have avoided 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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