Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

Although it’s always irritating to open the machine and find out it is still full of water, try not to overreact just yet. You might manage fix the error by yourself, without having to call a repair person or purchase a brand-new machine.

Your dishwasher refusing to empty could be caused by multiple issues a number of which are simple to fix. So, in advance of calling a dishwasher repair service try this list of possible components you may troubleshoot yourself. Some of which are not even caused by the machine itself.

Check the program wasn’t stopped mid-way

If you’re fortunate the fact your dishwasher hasn’t emptied may not be a problem at all. Rather, the cycle might have been stopped mid-way.

The cycle might have been cut short for a number of of reasons. Kids pressing buttons, accidentally pushing against the control panel, a power surge or opening the machine mid-program might all interrupt the program and mean your machine doesn’t drain.

If you think this may be the case, or you just want to be sure it’s not the issue start your machine again on a short program.

Some dishwashers could have an empty function so it’s well worth checking your manual or doing a quick internet search to find out.

Inspect the waste disposal

If your dishwasher is connected to a garbage disposal examine this before you do anything else as a blocked garbage disposal will prevent the dishwasher from emptying. Run the disposal using lots of water to ensure there are no blockages.

If you do uncover an issue drain cleaner or a natural alternative may be employed to remove the blockage and so this may resolve the issue.

Examine the sink for blockages

If you kitchen sink is emptying slowly this could signify an issue with the drains as opposed to a fault with your dishwasher.

In the case that the kitchen sink is draining reluctantly you could attempt putting a little bicarb and white vinegar down the drain, leaving it for a few minutes and then rinsing it away with hot water.

A plunger might also be utilized to attempt to dislodge the blockage.

This could be enough to allow your appliance to empty so run a quick program to check. If not you can remove the dirty water by hand using a bowl and a sponge and check a few more areas.

At this point make sure you unplug the dishwasher to prevent electrocution.

If while you are carrying out any of these checks you think you have found and solved the error there is no need to continue to the next step. Just run an empty cycle to ensure your machine is once again draining as it should.

Examine and rinse the filters

Popcorn, labels from tupperware, plastic film lids and smashed glass, plus scraps of food, could all obstruct the machine filter. Clear film can also be hard to spot if you don’t look closely.

Take out the filter and give it a good wash before replacing it. Not all dishwashers have their filter in the same place so you could need to consult the instruction manual for this.

Is the waste water pipe obstructed?

The next component to check is the drain hose. Stuck food, a kink in the hose or a crushed hose may all impede your dishwasher from emptying.

Subject to the location of the hose (usually the ribbed one) you may be able to view it by means of removing the base alternatively you might have to pull the machine away from the wall.

Have a look at the pipe first to find out if it has been squashed or kinked. You might be able to fix these issues by hand which is likely to deal with the issue, but it’s worth noting that when this has occurred it is much more likely to happen again so you might need to buy a spare hose.

If you can’t see any obvious kinks or obstructions you can remove the drain hose from the machine and blow into it to figure out if there are any blockages. Make sure you line the floor with newspaper or towels first as even if you have emptied the machine there could still be water in the pipe.

If you can’t blow air through the waste pipe this might be the problem.

Take off the hose at the sink end and then give it a good flush through to clear the obstruction. If you are unable to get rid of the blockage or the waste hose is split or degraded buy a brand-new one. If you could clear the blockage then put the hose back and run a short program to double check that you have repaired the error.

You could also examine the point where the hose connects under your sink as well. This is a likely spot for debris to build up so if you do take off the pipe give this point a good scrub as well.

Examine the drain valve

You may inspect the drain valve by hand to check it isn’t stopped working. The drain valve will usually be situated in the bottom of the dishwasher on the valve bracket. Examine your instruction manual if you’re not sure.

Depressing the valve or wiggling it a bit should be sufficient to find out if it’s seized. If you can see something stopping it from moving remove this. If you can’t, this could be a good time to get in touch with a plumber unless you are undaunted by purchasing and replacing the valve yourself.

Inspect your pump is not blocked

Your water pump uses impellers that could become blocked by pieces of glass or other debris. Check your pump isn’t obstructed by removing the safety cover and ensuring that the impellers are free to move.

Run your machine and listen for any unusual noises

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

Call a repair person

If you have been through the above list and the fault persists, or you suspect the pump, pump valve or motor are broken, it could be the moment you need to call for help.

At least having attempted to investigate what is wrong you have avoided having 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