Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

Although it’s never a pleasant sight to open a dishwasher and realize the machine is still full of water, don’t panic just yet. You might be able to figure out the problem without having to call a plumber or invest in a new dishwasher.

Your dishwasher refusing to drain can be induced by any number of components a proportion of which are easy to rectify. So, in advance of calling a dishwasher repair service here is a selection of possible things you can correct by yourself. A number of which aren’t even related to the dishwasher itself.

Ensure the dishwasher wasn’t interrupted mid-cycle

It is probable that there is nothing stopping your machine from emptying. Instead, the cycle might have been interrupted.

The cycle might have been cut short for multiple of reasons. Children pressing buttons, accidentally pressing on the control panel, a power surge or opening the machine mid-program might all stop the program from completing and mean your dishwasher doesn’t drain.

If you think this might be the circumstance, or you just want to be sure it’s not the issue run the dishwasher again on a short cycle.

A number dishwashers could have an empty cycle so it’s worthwhile having a look at your instruction manual or consulting google to check.

Examine the garbage disposal

If your dishwasher is connected to your disposal examine this first as a blocked disposal will prevent the dishwasher from emptying. Turn on the waste disposal using lots of water to ensure there are no issues.

If you do find a blockage drain un-blocker or a plunger can be employed to clear the blockage and this may fix the fault.

Examine the sink for blockages

If you kitchen sink is emptying slowly this could signify a plumbing issue rather than an error with your machine.

If the kitchen sink is emptying inefficiently you could attempt putting a little bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar down the plughole, leaving it for a while, then rinsing it through with boiling water.

A sink plunger might also be employed to attempt to remove the obstruction.

This could be all you need to do to allow your machine to empty so start a quick rinse and drain cycle at this point. If not you can remove the water by hand using a cup and a towel and have a look at a few more areas.

Make sure you turn off the machine to avoid electrocution.

If while you are carrying out any one of these investigations you believe you may have detected and fixed the error there is no need to continue to the next step. Just start an empty cycle to ensure your machine is repaired.

Inspect and clean the filters

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

Take out the filter and give it a thorough wash before putting it back in place. Not all machines have their filter in the same location so you could need to look at the instruction manual for this.

Is the waste hose 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 could all impede your dishwasher from draining.

Subject to the location of the waste hose (generally the corrugated one) you could be able to view it by means of taking off the base alternatively you might have to pull the machine away from under the counter.

Look at the pipe in the first instance to see if it has been squashed or kinked. You might be able to fix these issues by hand which is likely to resolve the issue, however, be aware that once this has happened it is significantly more likely to happen again so you might need to purchase a new hose.

If you can’t find an issue you may remove the waste water pipe from the pump and blow through it to check for any blockages. Be sure to line the floor with newspaper or towels before you remove the hose as there could still be waste water in the pipe.

If you are unable to blow air through the waste hose this may be the reason your dishwasher isn’t emptying.

Disconnect the other end of the hose and then give it a thorough flush through to get rid of the obstruction. If you are unable to shift the blockage or the hose is cracked or worn purchase a new one. If you may remove the blockage then put the hose back and start a short cycle to make sure you have repaired the issue.

You can also examine where the waste pipe connects to the sink as well. This is a likely place for a build-up of gunk so if you do remove the waste pipe give this point a good clean as well.

Examine the drain valve

You may manually examine the drain valve to make sure it hasn’t seized. The drain valve will often be found in the bottom of the dishwasher on the valve bracket. Check your owners manual if you can’t see it.

Depressing the valve or wiggling it a bit should be enough to tell you if it’s stuck. If you are able to see an object blocking it carefully extract this. If you can’t, this may be the right time to call a plumber unless you are happy in procuring and replacing the component yourself.

Check your pump is not blocked

Your dishwasher pump makes use of impellers that could get blocked by broken china or other objects. Check your impellers aren’t blocked by taking off the safety cover and ensuring that the impellers can rotate freely.

Listen to your dishwasher while it’s running

If it is making funny noises your dishwasher pump or motor might be faulty and need replacing.

Call a plumber

If you have been through the above list and the problem persists, or you suspect the pump, pump valve or motor are damaged, it may be time to get the professionals.

This way though you will at least have the means to give them more information and have managed to avoid having to pay a hefty call-out fee for a blocked hose.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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