Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

Although it’s never a welcome sight to open a machine and discover the machine hasn’t drained properly, don’t panic just yet. You might manage deal with the fault before you have to call a repair person or invest in a new dishwasher.

Your dishwasher declining to drain can have multiple of causes some of which can be simple to figure out. Therefore, before you call a dishwasher repair service try this list of probable components you could troubleshoot on your own. A proportion of which are not even caused by the machine itself.

Check the dishwasher wasn’t stopped mid-cycle

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

The program might have been stopped mid-way for a number of of reasons. Kids pressing controls, inadvertently pressing on the buttons, a power cut or opening the machine mid-program may all prevent the cycle from completing and mean your dishwasher doesn’t empty.

If you think this may be the case, or you think it might be worthwhile checking run your machine again on a short program.

A number dishwashers might have a drain function meaning it’s well worth having a look at your owners manual or doing a quick internet search to find out.

Examine the disposal

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

If you do find an issue drain cleaner or a plunger may be sought after to unclog the obstruction and so this could rectify the fault.

Check the sink for blockages

If you sink is emptying inefficiently this could indicate an issue with the plumbing as opposed to an error with your dishwasher.

In the case that the kitchen sink is emptying inefficiently you can attempt putting some bicarb and vinegar down the drain, letting it sit for a while and subsequently flushing it away with boiling water.

A plunger may also be employed to try and remove the obstruction.

This might be enough to let your dishwasher to empty so run a quick rinse and drain cycle at this point. If this hasn’t sorted the issue you could manually remove the standing water using a jug and a sponge and have a look at a few more likely causes.

Make sure you disconnect the machine to stay safe.

If during any of these examinations you believe you may have detected and fixed the error you don’t have to go through the remaining issues. Just complete an empty cycle to ensure your dishwasher is now draining as it should.

Check and wash the filters

Popcorn, paper from tupperware, plastic film lids and broken glass, as well as food debris, could all obstruct the machine filter. Clear plastic lids may also be hard to see if you don’t look carefully.

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

Is the waste pipe blocked?

The next area to check 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 waste pipe (usually the ribbed one) you may have the means to view it by lifting away the kick plate or you might have to move the machine out from the wall.

Have a look at the hose first to see if it has been crushed or kinked. You might be able to manually remove any kinks which will most likely fix the issue, but it’s worth noting that once this has occurred it is significantly more inclined to happen again so you might wish to buy a replacement hose.

If you are unable to see anything you can disconnect the drain hose from the dishwasher and blow into it to figure out if there are 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 could still be water in the hose.

If you can’t blow through the hose this may be the problem.

Disconnect the other end of the hose and then give it a good clean to get rid of the obstruction. If you are unable to remove the blockage or the waste hose is split or degraded invest in a brand-new one. If you can get rid of the obstruction then re-attach the hose and run a short cycle to check that you have solved the problem.

You may also examine where the waste hose connects under your sink. This is a common point for blockages to occur so if you do remove the hose give this area a thorough clean as well.

Inspect the drain valve

You could manually inspect the drain valve to make sure it isn’t stopped working. The drain valve will usually be situated at the base of the dishwasher on the valve bracket. Check your manual if you can’t see it.

Pushing down on the valve or wiggling it a bit will likely be adequate to let you know if it’s stuck. If you are able to see anything blocking it remove this. If you are unable to, this may be when you should ring a plumber unless you are undaunted by procuring and repairing the valve on your own.

Check your pump is not blocked

Your appliance pump uses impellers that can become obstructed by pieces of glass or other debris. Check your impellers aren’t broken by removing the safety cover and making sure the impellers are free to move.

Run your dishwasher and listen for any unusual noises

If the dishwasher is making funny noises your pump or motor may be damaged and need to be repaired.

Call a repair person

If none of the above examinations has repaired the error, or you think the pump, pump valve or motor are not working, it might be a good time to get the professionals.

At least having attempted to troubleshoot you have prevented needing to pay a big repair charge for a blocked hose.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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