Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

No-one wants to open their machine and discover standing water but, try not to panic just yet. You could have the means to solve the problem by yourself, without having to call a plumber or purchase a new machine.

Your machine refusing to empty could be induced by any number of things a proportion of which can be straightforward to solve. Therefore, before you call a dishwasher repair service here is a lineup of probable issues you may correct on your own. A few of which are not even caused by the machine itself.

Check the cycle wasn’t interrupted

It is probable that there is nothing preventing your dishwasher from draining. Alternatively, the program could have been stopped mid-way.

The program might have been cut short for any number of of reasons. Children pressing buttons, accidentally pushing on the buttons, a power surge or opening the machine mid-program may all interrupt the program and mean your dishwasher doesn’t drain.

If you believe this may be the circumstance, or you feel it might be a good idea to check start the dishwasher again on a quick cycle.

A few appliances may have a drain program meaning it’s worth consulting your owners manual or doing a quick internet search to check.

Check the waste disposal

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

If you do discover an obstruction drain un-blocker or a natural alternative can be sought after to remove the obstruction and this could solve the fault.

Check the sink waste for blockages

If you sink is emptying reluctantly this may suggest a plumbing issue rather than a problem with your machine.

If the sink is draining slowly you may attempt putting some bicarb and white vinegar down the drain, letting it sit for a few minutes and then rinsing it away with boiling water.

A sink plunger might also be used to attempt to shift the blockage.

This could be enough to let the dishwasher to drain so start a quick program at this point. If this hasn’t solved the problem you can manually empty the dishwasher using a jug as well as a sponge and have a look at a few more likely causes.

Make certain to turn off the dishwasher to prevent electrocution.

If while you are carrying out any one of these investigations you think you have discovered and solved the issue you don’t need to go through the remaining issues. Just complete an empty program to ensure your dishwasher is once again draining as it used to.

Inspect and scrub the filters

Popcorn, labels from jars, plastic lids and smashed glass, plus scraps of food, could all obstruct the machine filter. Clear glass may also be difficult to see if you don’t look carefully.

Take out the filter then scrub it thoroughly before putting it back in place. Not all dishwashers have their filter in the same location so you may need to consult the instructions for this.

Is the waste water pipe blocked?

The next component to check is the waste 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 may all impede your dishwasher from emptying.

Subject to the location of the hose (normally the corrugated one) you might be able to look at it by means of removing the kick plate or you may have to move the dishwasher out from the wall.

Have a look at the hose first to see if it has been squashed or kinked. You may have the means to manually fix any kinks which should resolve the issue, but it’s worth noting that once this has happened it is much more likely to happen again so you could need to order a new hose.

If you can’t find any obvious kinks or obstructions you may take off the drain pipe from the pump and blow into it to discover any blockages. Make sure you line the floor with newspaper or towels before you remove the hose as even if you have emptied the dishwasher there may still be waste water in the pipe.

If you are unable to blow through the waste hose this may be the problem.

Take off the hose at the sink end in order to give it a good flush through to clear the obstruction. If you can’t get rid of the obstruction or the waste hose is slit or damaged purchase a brand-new one. If you may clear the blockage then put the hose back and run a short program to make sure you have repaired the issue.

You could also examine the point where the hose attaches to the sink. This is a likely spot for blockages to occur so if you happen to remove the hose give this area a good clean as well.

Inspect the drain valve

You could manually inspect the drain valve to make sure it hasn’t seized. The drain valve will often be situated at the base of the machine on the valve bracket. Check your owners manual if you can’t see it.

Pushing down on the valve or giving it a jiggle should be sufficient to find out if it’s stuck. If you can see any debris blocking it remove this. If you are unable to, this may be the right time to call a repair person unless you are undaunted by purchasing and replacing the part yourself.

Examine your pump is not blocked

Your water pump makes use of impellers that could be blocked by broken china or other debris. Check your pump isn’t obstructed by taking off the cover and ensuring that the impellers can be easily rotated.

Run your dishwasher and listen for any unusual noises

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

Call a repair person

If none of the above checks has solved the fault, or you have reason to believe the pump, pump valve or motor are not working, it could be the moment you need to call a plumber.

This way though you will at least be able to give them more information and have prevented having to pay a hefty repair charge for a clogged filter.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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