Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

No-one wants to open their machine and discover it hasn’t emptied correctly but, don’t overreact just yet. You may have the means to figure out the problem before you have to call a repair person or acquire a new dishwasher.

Standing water in your dishwasher may have any number of of causes a number of which are easy to solve. So, before you call a dishwasher repair service here is a lineup of possible things you can identify on your own. A number of which aren’t even related to the machine itself.

Check the cycle wasn’t cut short

It is possible that there is nothing stopping your machine from emptying. Alternatively, the cycle may have been cut short.

The program might have been cut short for multiple of reasons. Kids pressing buttons, mistakenly pushing against the control panel, a power surge or opening the machine mid-program might all prevent the program from completing and mean your machine doesn’t empty.

If you suspect this could be the situation, or you just want to be sure it’s not the issue run your dishwasher again on a short cycle.

A proportion machines may have a drain program so it’s worth checking your owners manual or checking online to check.

Check the disposal

If you have a waste disposal check this before you move on as an obstructed waste disposal will stop the machine from draining. Turn on the garbage disposal using lots of water to ensure there are no blockages.

If you do discover a blockage drain cleaner or a natural alternative could be sought after to remove the obstruction and this might fix the fault.

Inspect the plumbing for issues

If you sink is draining inefficiently this may signify a plumbing issue instead of a problem with your machine.

In the case that the kitchen sink is draining inefficiently you could attempt putting some bicarb and white vinegar down the drain, letting it sit for a while, then flushing it away with hot water.

A sink plunger might also be used to attempt to dislodge the obstruction.

This may be all you need to do to let the dishwasher to drain so run a quick rinse and empty cycle at this point. If not you could remove the water by hand using a bowl and also a towel and troubleshoot the next few possible issues.

Make sure you unplug the dishwasher to avoid electrocution.

If while you are carrying out any of these examinations you believe you have detected and solved the problem there is no need to continue to the next issue. Just complete an empty cycle to make sure the machine is once again emptying as it should.

Examine and clean the filters

Corn Kernels, labels from tupperware, film lids and smashed glass, plus scraps of food, can all block the dishwasher filter. Clear film could also be difficult to spot if you don’t look carefully.

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

Is the drain pipe obstructed?

The next area to examine is the drain pipe. Stuck food, a kink in the hose or a crushed hose could all prevent your dishwasher from draining.

Depending on the position of the waste hose (generally the corrugated one) you could be able to view it simply by taking off the base alternatively you could be required to pull the machine away from the wall.

Visually examine the hose first to discover if it has been squashed or kinked. You may manage fix these issues by hand which will most likely fix the issue, however, be aware that when this has happened it is much more likely to happen again so you may wish to buy a new hose.

If you can’t see an issue you could disconnect the waste pipe from the machine and blow into it to discover any blockages. Make sure you line the floor with newspaper or towels before you remove the hose as there might still be waste water in the pipe.

If you can’t blow air through the waste hose this might be the reason your dishwasher isn’t emptying.

Disconnect the other end of the hose and give it a good clean to clear the blockage. If you are unable to dislodge the blockage or the waste hose is split or worn purchase a brand-new one. If you can get rid of the obstruction then put the hose back and start a short cycle to double check that you have repaired the fault.

You may also examine where the pipe attaches under your sink. This is a common place for blockages to occur so if you happen to remove the waste pipe give this connection a thorough scrub as well.

Inspect the drain valve

You can check the drain valve by hand to check it hasn’t seized. The drain valve will usually be found at the base of the dishwasher on the valve bracket. Examine your instruction manual if you’re unsure.

Depressing the valve or giving it a wiggle should be enough to tell you if it’s stuck. If you can see anything stopping it from moving carefully extract this. If you can’t, this might be when you should ring a repair person unless you are happy in purchasing and repairing the part on your own.

Check your pump is not blocked

Your dishwasher pump uses impellers that can get obstructed by broken glass or other objects. Check your impellers aren’t blocked by removing the safety cover and checking that the impellers are free to move.

Run your machine and listen for any unusual sounds

If it sounds unusual your pump or motor might be faulty and need to be repaired.

Call a repair person

If none of the above investigations has fixed the error, or you have reason to believe the pump, pump valve or motor are damaged, it could be the moment you need to call for help.

At least having attempted to troubleshoot you have avoided having to pay a hefty repair charge for a blocked drain.

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