Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

No-one wants to open their dishwasher and discover standing water but, don’t lose it just yet. You could manage rectify the fault without having to call a plumber or acquire a new machine.

Your machine declining to drain may have a number of of causes some of which can be straightforward to figure out. Therefore, before you call a dishwasher repair service try this lineup of potential components you can identify yourself. A few of which are not even related to the dishwasher itself.

Check the dishwasher wasn’t stopped mid-program

If you’re fortunate the standing water you have discovered may not be an issue at all. Alternatively, the cycle could have been interrupted.

The program might have been interrupted for any number of of reasons. Children pushing controls, inadvertently pressing against the buttons, a power outage or opening the dishwasher mid-program may all stop the program from completing and mean your machine doesn’t drain.

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

A number dishwashers may have an empty capacity so it’s well worth consulting your manual or doing a quick internet search to make sure.

Check the waste disposal

If your dishwasher is plumbed into the waste disposal examine this first as an obstructed disposal will block the machine from emptying. Turn on the disposal with plenty of water to make sure there are no issues.

If you do discover an issue drain unclogger or a natural alternative could be used to remove the blockage and so this could fix the fault.

Inspect the sink waste for clogs

If you sink is emptying slowly this could indicate a plumbing issue instead of a problem with your dishwasher.

If the kitchen sink is draining reluctantly you can attempt putting a little bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar down the drain, leaving it for a while and then rinsing it away with boiling water.

A sink plunger could also be used to try and remove the obstruction.

This may be sufficient to permit the dishwasher to empty so start a short rinse and drain program to check. If this hasn’t solved the problem you may manually empty the dishwasher using a jug and also a towel and troubleshoot a few more areas.

Make certain to disconnect the machine to prevent electrocution.

If while you are carrying out one of these examinations you think you have found and repaired the fault you don’t need to go through the remaining issues. Just run an empty cycle to make sure your machine is repaired.

Check and clean the filters

Any number of things could block the filters including popcorn, paper from food jars, film lids and broken glass. Clear plastic lids may also be difficult to spot if you don’t look carefully.

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

Is the waste water pipe obstructed?

The next area to inspect is the waste hose. Stuck food, a kink in the hose or a crushed hose could all prevent your machine from draining.

Contingent upon the position of the hose (generally the ribbed one) you could manage inspect it by lifting away the kick board or you could need to move the dishwasher out from the wall.

Have a look at the hose first to see if it has been crushed or kinked. You could manage manually fix any kinks which should rectify the issue, however, be aware that when this has occurred the chance of it happening again is significantly 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. 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 hose.

If you can’t blow through the pipe this could be the reason your machine isn’t emptying.

Disconnect the other end of the hose and then give it a good flush through to get rid of the obstruction. If you can’t shift the blockage or the pipe is slit or worn buy a new one. If you can remove the obstruction then put the hose back and start a short program to make sure you have fixed the error.

You could also examine the point where the pipe attaches under your sink. This is a common point for debris to build up so if you happen to remove the pipe give this connection a good scrub as well.

Check the drain valve

You may manually examine the drain valve to make sure it isn’t stopped working. The drain valve will usually be located 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 will likely be enough to find out if it’s seized. If you can see any debris stopping it from moving remove this. If you are unable to, this might be the right time to get in touch with a plumber unless you are undaunted by procuring and repairing the component on your own.

Check your pump is not blocked

Your dishwasher pump uses impellers that can get obstructed by broken china or other objects. Check your impellers aren’t blocked by removing the cover and making sure the impellers can rotate freely.

Listen to your dishwasher while it’s on

If your dishwasher is making funny noises your pump or motor could be broken and need to be repaired.

Call a plumber

If none of the above checks has solved the error, or you think the pump, pump valve or motor are broken, it could be time to call for help.

This way though you will at least be able to give them more information and have prevented needing to pay a hefty call-out charge for a blocked drain.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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