Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

Although it’s never a pleasant sight to open a dishwasher and realize it is still full of water, try not to lose it just yet. You could have the means to figure out the issue before you have to call a plumber or acquire a brand-new machine.

Your dishwasher failing to empty may be caused by any number of things a proportion of which are straightforward to solve. So, in advance of calling a dishwasher repair service here is a lineup of potential components you may troubleshoot yourself. Some of which are not even a fault of the machine itself.

Check the dishwasher wasn’t stopped mid-program

It is possible that there is nothing preventing your machine from emptying. Alternatively, the program could have been stopped mid-way.

The cycle might have been stopped mid-way for a number of of reasons. Little fingers pushing controls, accidentally pressing on the controls, a power cut or opening the machine mid-program may all interrupt the cycle and mean your machine doesn’t drain.

If you believe this could be the case, or you feel it might be a good idea to check start the machine again on a short cycle.

A proportion machines may have an empty cycle meaning it’s well worth checking your owners manual or consulting google to find out.

Inspect the waste disposal

If you have a waste disposal examine this before you move on as a blocked disposal will block the dishwasher from emptying. Turn on the garbage disposal using plenty of water to check there are no obstructions.

If you do find an obstruction drain un-blocker or a natural alternative can be used to unclog the blockage and this might resolve the problem.

Examine the plumbing for blockages

If you sink is emptying slowly this might suggest a plumbing issue instead of a fault with your dishwasher.

If the sink is draining inefficiently you could attempt putting a little bicarb and vinegar down the plughole, letting it sit for a while and subsequently rinsing it away with boiling water.

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

This could be sufficient to let your appliance to work again so run a quick cycle to check. If not you can manually drain the dishwasher using a bowl as well as a towel and have a look at the next few possible issues.

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

If during any one of these investigations you think you have detected and solved the fault you don’t need to go through the rest of the issues. Just start an empty cycle to check your dishwasher is fixed.

Inspect and rinse the filters

Corn Kernels, paper from containers, plastic lids and smashed glass, plus scraps of food, may all block the dishwasher filter. Clear glass may also be hard to see if you don’t look carefully.

Remove the filter then give it a good wash before putting it back in place. Not all filters are obvious and simple to remove so you could need to look at the manual for this.

Is the waste water hose blocked?

The next place to inspect is the waste hose. 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 machine from draining.

Subject to the position of the hose (generally the ribbed one) you may manage view it simply by removing the kick plate or you might be required to pull the dishwasher out from under the counter.

Visually examine the pipe first to see if it has been crushed or kinked. You could have the means to manually remove any kinks which will most likely deal with the issue, but it’s worth noting that when this has happened it is significantly more likely to happen again so you may wish to purchase a replacement hose.

If you are unable to find any obvious kinks or obstructions you could disconnect the drain hose from the pump and blow through it to check for any blockages. Make sure you put down newspaper or towels before you remove the hose as even if you have emptied the machine there could still be waste water in the pipe.

If you are unable to blow through the pipe this may be the issue.

Remove the hose at the sink end and give it a thorough clean to get rid of the obstruction. If you are unable to shift the blockage or the waste hose is slit or degraded buy a new one. If you could remove the blockage then put the hose back and start a quick cycle to make sure you have repaired the error.

You can also examine where the pipe attaches under your sink as well. This is a common point for debris to build up so if you do remove the waste pipe give this connection a thorough clean as well.

Inspect the drain valve

You could manually check the drain valve to ensure it hasn’t stopped working. The drain valve will generally be situated in the bottom of the machine on the valve bracket. Consult your instruction manual if you can’t see it.

Pressing down on the valve or giving it a wiggle will likely be enough to let you know if it’s seized. If you can see anything blocking it remove this. If you can’t, this might be when you should ring a plumber unless you are confident in procuring and repairing the component yourself.

Check your pump is not blocked

Your appliance pump makes use of impellers that can get blocked by pieces of china or other objects. Check your pump isn’t broken by removing the safety cover and checking that the impellers are free to move.

Listen to your dishwasher while it’s on

If the dishwasher sounds unusual your pump or motor could be faulty and need to be repaired.

Call a plumber

If none of the above checks has repaired the problem, or you suspect the pump, pump valve or motor are broken, it could be the moment you need to call a plumber.

At least having done your best to investigate what is wrong you have managed to avoid having to pay a hefty repair fee for a blocked hose.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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