Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

dishwasher not draining

No one wants to open their machine to discover it hasn’t drained properly, but don’t lose it just yet. You can fix the problem yourself without having to call a handyman or buy a new dishwasher.

Your machine declining to empty can have several problems, some of which are easy to fix. So before you call a dishwasher repair service, try this list of potential solutions you can troubleshoot yourself. Some of these are not even failures of the machine itself.

DIY Solutions to address your dishwasher not draining concern:

Ensure the dishwasher wasn’t stopped mid-program

There’s probably nothing hindering your machine from draining. Instead, the program could have been interrupted.

The program may have stopped in the mid-process for various reasons. Children pressing controls, accidentally leaning on buttons, a power outage, or opening the dishwasher mid-cycle can prevent the program from completing and result in your dishwasher not emptying.

If you think this may be the case, or if it is worth checking, run the dishwasher again on a short cycle.

Some devices may have a drain capacity, so it’s worth checking your manual or looking it up on Google to be certain.

Examine the waste disposal

If you own a garbage disposal, check it before doing anything else as a clogged garbage disposal will prevent the machine from emptying. Turn on the waste disposal with rapid running water to ensure there are no obstructions.

If you discover a clogged drain cleaner or plunger, it could be sought after to unclog it and this could fix the problem.

Check the plumbing for issues

If your sink is draining inefficiently this could indicate a plumbing issue instead of an issue with your dishwasher.

In the case that the kitchen sink is emptying slowly you may try putting a little bicarb and white vinegar down the drain, letting it sit for a few minutes and then rinsing it away with boiling water.

A sink plunger could also be utilized to try and dislodge the blockage.

This could be sufficient to allow the machine to drain so run a quick rinse and empty cycle at this point. If this hasn’t sorted the issue you may manually empty the dishwasher using a bowl as well as a towel and check the next few possible issues.

Make sure you unplug the machine to stay safe.

If in the process of any of these checks you suspect you have detected and repaired the issue there is no need to continue to the next issue. Just start an empty cycle to check the dishwasher is fixed.

Check and clean the filters

Popcorn, container papers, plastic lids and broken glass, and food debris can clog the machine’s filter. The transparent film can also be difficult to see unless you look closely.

Take out the filter and clean it thoroughly before putting it back. Not all filters are obvious and easy to remove, so you may need to consult your owner’s manual.

Is the waste pipe obstructed?

The next place to inspect is the waste water hose. 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 could contribute to your dishwasher not draining.

Depending on the position of the waste hose (generally the corrugated one) you could have the means to view it simply by taking off the base or you could have to move the machine away from the wall.

Look at the pipe in the first instance to discover if it has been squashed or kinked. You may have the means to fix these issues by hand which should fix the issue, however, it’s worth noting that when this has occurred the probability of it happening again is massively increased so you could wish to purchase a replacement hose.

Remove the waste water pipe

If you are unable to see any obvious kinks or obstructions you can remove the waste water pipe from the machine and blow into it to figure out if there are any blockages. Be sure to line the floor with newspaper or towels first as there might still be water in the pipe.

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

Disconnect the hose at the sink end and then give it a good clean to get rid of the blockage. If you are unable to dislodge the obstruction or the waste pipe is cracked or worn acquire a new one. If you can get rid of the obstruction then put the hose back and start a quick program to find out if you have repaired the fault.

You may also inspect where the waste pipe connects to the sink. This is a typical place for a build-up of gunk so if you do remove the hose give this connection a thorough clean as well.

Inspect the drain valve

You may observe the drain valve through hand to ensure it hasn’t seized. The drain valve is normally placed at the bottom of the machine on the valve bracket. Examine your manual if you can’t see it.

Pushing down at the valve or giving it a wiggle need to be sufficient to help you understand if it’s seized. If you may see some thing preventing it from transferring, eliminate this. If you’re not able to, this is probably the best time you need to get in contact with a plumber. Or you may want to consider buying and replacing the valve on your own.

Examine your pump is not blocked

Your dishwasher pump uses impellers that can become obstructed by broken glass or other debris. Check your impellers aren’t obstructed by removing the cover and ensuring that the impellers can be easily rotated.

Listen to your dishwasher while it’s running

If it sounds unusual your pump or motor might be broken and need to be repaired.

Call a plumber

If you have been through the above listing and the fault still persists. Or if you suspect the pump, pump valve or motor are damaged. It would be best to call for a professional help.

At least having done your best to troubleshoot you have managed to keep away from needing to pay a hefty call-out charge for a clogged filter.

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