Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

Although it’s always irritating to open your dishwasher and find out the machine is still full of water, don’t overreact just yet. You may be able to solve the problem before you have to call a plumber or invest in a new machine.

Standing water in your machine could have a number of of causes a few of which are straightforward to solve. Therefore, before you call a dishwasher repair service here is a list of possible components you may troubleshoot by yourself. A proportion of which aren’t even related to the machine itself.

Check the dishwasher wasn’t interrupted mid-program

If you’re fortunate the fact your dishwasher hasn’t drained may not be a problem at all. Rather, the cycle may have been stopped mid-way.

The program could have been stopped mid-way for any number of of reasons. Little fingers pushing buttons, accidentally leaning against the control panel, a power surge or opening the dishwasher mid-cycle may all interrupt the cycle and mean your machine doesn’t empty.

If you think this could be the case, or you think it might be a good idea to check run your machine again on a short cycle.

Some dishwashers could have an empty cycle so it’s worthwhile consulting your instructions or doing a quick internet search to find out.

Check the garbage disposal

If your dishwasher is plumbed into a garbage disposal inspect this first as an obstructed waste disposal will prevent your machine from emptying. Run the disposal with fast running water to check there are no blockages.

If you do find a blockage drain cleaner or a natural alternative can be employed to remove the obstruction and this may resolve the error.

Inspect the sink for issues

If you sink is emptying slowly this might signify an issue with the drains instead of an issue with your dishwasher.

If the sink is draining slowly you could try putting a little bicarb and white vinegar down the drain, leaving it for a few minutes, then rinsing it through with hot water.

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

This might be sufficient to permit the appliance to empty so start a quick program to check. If not you may manually drain the dishwasher using a bowl and a towel and have a look at the next few possible issues.

At this point make sure you unplug the dishwasher to prevent electrocution.

If while you are carrying out any one of these examinations you believe you may have discovered and fixed the issue there is no need to continue to the next issue. Just complete an empty cycle to check your machine is fixed.

Examine and scrub the filters

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

Remove the filter then wash it thoroughly before replacing it. Not all dishwashers have their filter in the same place so you might need to consult the owners manual for this.

Is the drain hose blocked?

The next component to inspect is the drain hose. Stuck food, a kink in the hose or a crushed hose can all stop your machine from draining.

Contingent upon the position of the waste pipe (generally the ribbed one) you may have the means to view it by removing the kick plate alternatively you might need to move the machine away from the wall.

Have a look at the pipe in the first instance to discover if it has been crushed or kinked. You might manage fix these issues by hand which should solve the issue, however, be aware that when this has happened the chance of it occurring again is massively increased so you could need to purchase a new hose.

If you are unable to see any obvious kinks or obstructions you may take off the waste pipe from the machine and blow into it to check for any blockages. Be sure to put down newspaper or towels before you remove the hose as there may still be waste water in the hose.

If you are unable to blow air through the waste pipe this could be the issue.

Take off the other end of the hose and then give it a good flush through to remove the blockage. If you can’t remove the obstruction or the waste pipe is slit or worn acquire a brand-new one. If you could remove the obstruction then put the hose back and run a short cycle to make sure you have solved the fault.

You can also inspect the point where the waste hose attaches to the waste disposal as well. This is a typical point for debris to build up so if you happen to remove the hose give this area a thorough clean as well.

Inspect the drain valve

You may check the drain valve by hand to ensure it isn’t got stuck. The drain valve will often be found at the base of the dishwasher on the valve bracket. Consult your instruction manual if you can’t see it.

Pressing down on the valve or wiggling it a bit will likely be enough to find out if it’s stuck. If you are able to see an object blocking it get rid of this. If you can’t, this may be when you should ring a repair person unless you are happy in ordering and swapping out the part yourself.

Inspect your pump is not blocked

Your appliance pump uses impellers that can be blocked by broken glass or other objects. Check your pump isn’t obstructed by taking off the safety cover and ensuring that the impellers are free to move.

Run your machine and listen for any unusual sounds

If your dishwasher doesn’t sound normal your dishwasher pump or motor could be broken and need to be repaired.

Call a plumber

If none of the above investigations has solved the error, or you suspect the pump, pump valve or motor are broken, it may be the moment you need to call a plumber.

This way though you will at least manage give them more information and have avoided having to pay a big call-out charge for a blocked hose.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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