Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

Although it’s never a welcome sight to open your machine and realize it hasn’t drained fully, try not to panic just yet. You may be able to rectify the issue before you have to call a plumber or purchase a brand-new dishwasher.

Your dishwasher failing to empty could be caused by multiple issues a proportion of which are straightforward to resolve. Therefore, in advance of calling a dishwasher repair service try this lineup of possible things you could correct on your own. A few of which are not even a fault of the machine itself.

Ensure the program wasn’t stopped mid-way

It is possible that there is nothing stopping your dishwasher from draining. Rather, the cycle may have been interrupted.

The program could have been cut short for multiple of reasons. Children pressing controls, accidentally leaning on the controls, a power outage or opening the machine mid-cycle could all interrupt the cycle and mean your machine doesn’t empty.

If you suspect this may be the situation, or you feel it may be worthwhile checking run the machine again on a short cycle.

Some machines might have a drain function meaning it’s worth checking your owners manual or consulting google to find out.

Examine the garbage disposal

If you have a disposal inspect this before you do anything else as an obstructed garbage disposal will stop the dishwasher from draining. Turn on the garbage disposal with fast running water to ensure there are no issues.

If you do uncover an obstruction drain cleaner or a plunger could be employed to unclog the blockage and this might fix the fault.

Check the sink waste for clogs

If you sink is draining inefficiently this may indicate a plumbing issue instead of an error with your dishwasher.

In the case that the kitchen sink is draining inefficiently you can try putting some bicarbonate of soda and vinegar down the drain, letting it sit for a few minutes and subsequently rinsing it through with hot water.

A sink plunger could also be employed to try and shift the blockage.

This may be enough to let the dishwasher to work again so run a quick program now. If this hasn’t worked you can manually get rid of the water using a bowl and also a towel and troubleshoot a few more areas.

At this point make sure you unplug the machine to stay safe.

If while you are carrying out any one of these checks you suspect you have found and solved the fault you don’t have to go through the rest of the issues. Just start an empty program to ensure the dishwasher is repaired.

Inspect and clean the filters

Popcorn, paper from jars, plastic film lids and smashed glass, plus scraps of food, could all obstruct the machine filter. Clear glass can also be difficult to see if you aren’t looking for it.

Take out the filter then give it a thorough clean before replacing it. Not all filters are obvious and easy to remove so you may need to look at the owners manual for this.

Is the drain pipe obstructed?

The next component to check is the drain pipe. Many things could cause an obstruction including a build up of food debris, a kink in the hose, or a crushed hose. All of which can all prevent your dishwasher from draining.

Contingent upon the position of the waste hose (normally the ribbed one) you could manage look at it by taking off the base alternatively you may be required to move the machine out 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 manage manually fix any kinks which will most likely solve the issue, however, be aware that once this has happened the chance of it occurring again is massively increased so you may need to purchase a spare hose.

If you are unable to see an issue you can disconnect the drain hose from the machine and blow into it to figure out if there are any blockages. Be sure to 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 can’t blow air through the waste hose this could be the issue.

Disconnect the hose at the sink end and give it a good clean to remove the blockage. If you are unable to get rid of the blockage or the hose is cracked or damaged purchase a brand-new one. If you can get rid of the blockage then put the hose back and run a short program to find out if you have fixed the error.

You can also inspect the point where the pipe attaches to the waste disposal. This is a likely place for blockages to occur so if you happen to take off the pipe give this point a thorough clean as well.

Inspect the drain valve

You may manually inspect the drain valve to make sure it isn’t seized. The drain valve will usually be located in the bottom of the machine on the valve bracket. Examine your owners manual if you’re unsure.

Depressing the valve or giving it a jiggle should be adequate to tell you if it’s stuck. If you can see any debris blocking it get rid of this. If you can’t, this may be when you should call a repair person unless you are undaunted by purchasing and replacing the component yourself.

Examine your pump is not blocked

Your appliance pump makes use of impellers that could become blocked by broken glass or other objects. Check your impellers aren’t broken by removing the cover and ensuring that the impellers can rotate freely.

Listen to your dishwasher while it’s running

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

Call a plumber

If none of the above examinations has repaired the error, or you suspect the pump, pump valve or motor are broken, it might be time to call for help.

This way though you will at least manage give them more information and have avoided having to pay a big repair fee for a clogged filter.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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