Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

No-one wishes to open their machine and discover standing water but, don’t overreact just yet. You may manage figure out the error by yourself, without having to call a plumber or purchase a new dishwasher.

Your dishwasher failing to empty could have multiple of causes some of which are straightforward to fix. Therefore, in advance of calling a dishwasher repair service here is a list of possible issues you could correct yourself. A number of which aren’t even a fault of the dishwasher itself.

Check the program wasn’t cut short

If you’re lucky the standing water you have discovered may not be an issue at all. Instead, the cycle may have been stopped mid-way.

The program could have been interrupted for a number of of reasons. Little fingers pushing buttons, accidentally pressing against the buttons, a power cut or opening the dishwasher mid-cycle may all stop the cycle from completing and mean your machine doesn’t drain.

If you think this might be the case, or you feel it could be worthwhile checking start your machine again on a quick cycle.

A few dishwashers might have a drain function so it’s worth checking your owners manual or doing a quick internet search to make sure.

Check the waste disposal

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

If you do find an issue drain un-blocker or a natural alternative can be used to remove the blockage and this may fix the fault.

Examine the sink waste for clogs

If you sink is draining reluctantly this may indicate an issue with the drains rather than a problem with your machine.

If the sink is emptying inefficiently you can attempt putting some bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar down the plughole, leaving it for a few minutes and then washing it away with hot water.

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

This may be sufficient to permit the appliance to empty so start a short rinse and drain cycle at this point. If not you may remove the water by hand using a bowl as well as a sponge and have a look at the next few possible issues.

At this point make certain to unplug the machine to avoid electrocution.

If in the process of any of these examinations you believe you have discovered and repaired the fault there is no need to continue to the next issue. Just start an empty program to ensure the dishwasher is once again draining as it should.

Inspect and scrub the filters

Any number of things could block the filters including popcorn, paper from food jars, film covers and broken glass. Clear glass could also be difficult to spot if you aren’t looking for it.

Remove the filter then clean it thoroughly before putting it back in place. Not all dishwashers have their filter in the same place so you could need to refer to the instruction manual for this.

Is the drain hose obstructed?

The next area to check is the drain pipe. Many things could cause a blockage including a build up of food debris, a kink in the hose, or a crushed hose. All of which can all impede your machine from draining.

Contingent upon the location of the hose (normally the ribbed one) you could manage inspect it by removing the kick plate alternatively you could have to pull the machine out from the wall.

Have a look at the pipe in the first instance to discover if it has been squashed or kinked. You might have the means to fix these issues by hand which will most likely deal with the issue, however, it’s worth noting that once this has occurred it is much more likely to happen again so you could need to purchase a new hose.

If you are unable to find anything you could remove the drain pipe from the dishwasher and blow into it to figure out if there are any blockages. Make sure you put down newspaper or towels before you remove the hose as even if you have emptied the machine there may still be dirty water in the hose.

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

Take off the other end of the hose and then give it a thorough clean to clear the blockage. If you can’t remove the blockage or the waste hose is split or degraded purchase a brand-new one. If you can get rid of the blockage then put the hose back and start a short program to check that you have solved the issue.

You may also examine where the hose attaches to the waste disposal. This is a likely spot for debris to build up so if you do take off the pipe give this connection a good clean as well.

Check the drain valve

You can inspect the drain valve by hand to ensure it isn’t seized. The drain valve will usually be found in the bottom of the dishwasher on the valve bracket. Consult your instruction manual if you’re not sure.

Pushing down on the valve or wiggling it a bit will likely be sufficient to tell you if it’s stuck. If you are able to see anything blocking it get rid of this. If you are unable to, this might be the right time to ring a repair person unless you are happy in procuring and swapping out the component on your own.

Examine your pump is not blocked

Your dishwasher pump uses impellers that could become blocked by pieces of glass or other objects. Check your pump isn’t broken by removing the cover and ensuring that the impellers can be easily rotated.

Run your machine and listen for any unusual noises

If your dishwasher is making funny noises your pump or motor could be damaged and need replacing.

Call a repair person

If none of the above investigations has fixed the problem, or you think the pump, pump valve or motor are broken, it could be time to call in the professionals.

At least having attempted to troubleshoot you 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