Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

Although it’s never a pleasant sight to open the dishwasher and discover the machine hasn’t emptied fully, don’t lose it just yet. You might be able to deal with the fault before you have to call a plumber or acquire a new dishwasher.

Your machine refusing to empty can be caused by a number of things a few of which can be straightforward to resolve. Therefore, before you call a dishwasher repair service try this lineup of potential components you can identify on your own. Some of which aren’t even caused by the machine itself.

Ensure the dishwasher wasn’t stopped mid-program

It is possible that there is nothing stopping your dishwasher from draining. Instead, the cycle may have been interrupted.

The program may have been interrupted for any number of of reasons. Children pressing controls, mistakenly leaning on the control panel, a power outage or opening the dishwasher mid-program could all interrupt the cycle and mean your machine doesn’t empty.

If you believe this could be the case, or you feel it may be worthwhile checking run your dishwasher again on a short program.

A number dishwashers may have an empty capacity so it’s worthwhile having a look at your owners manual or doing a quick internet search to make sure.

Check the disposal

If your dishwasher is connected to a disposal check this before you do anything else as an obstructed disposal will block the machine from emptying. Turn on the disposal using lots of water to ensure there are no issues.

If you do uncover an obstruction drain un-blocker or a plunger can be sought after to remove the obstruction and this may deal with the problem.

Examine the sink for clogs

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

In the case that the sink is draining inefficiently you may try putting a little bicarb and vinegar down the plughole, letting it sit for a while, then washing it away with boiling water.

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

This might be all you need to do to permit your dishwasher to drain so start a short program to check. If this hasn’t worked you could remove the water by hand using a bowl and also a sponge and have a look at the next few possible issues.

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

If in the process of one of these investigations you think you may have discovered and repaired the fault there is no need to continue to the next issue. Just start an empty cycle to make sure your machine is repaired.

Check and scrub the filters

Corn Kernels, labels from jars, plastic film covers and smashed glass, as well as food debris, can all obstruct the dishwasher filter. Clear glass could also be hard to spot if you aren’t looking for it.

Remove the filter and wash it thoroughly before putting it back in place. Not all dishwashers have their filter in the same location so you could need to consult the instruction manual for this.

Is the waste pipe blocked?

The next place to check is the waste water pipe. 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 stop your machine from draining.

Contingent upon the location of the waste pipe (usually the ribbed one) you may have the means to look at it by means of removing the base or you could be required to move the dishwasher out from under the counter.

Visually examine the pipe first to see if there are any kinks or it’s been squashed. You might manage manually straighten out any kinks which will most likely fix the issue, but be aware that when this has occurred the chance of it occurring again is massively increased so you may wish to purchase a spare hose.

If you can’t see any obvious kinks or obstructions you can take off the waste water hose from the pump 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 there might still be dirty water in the pipe.

If you are unable to blow through the hose this may be the problem.

Take off the other end of the hose and give it a good clean to clear the obstruction. If you can’t shift the obstruction or the hose is split or worn buy a brand-new one. If you could remove the obstruction then put the hose back and run a quick program to double check that you have solved the fault.

You may also inspect where the waste hose attaches to the sink as well. This is a typical place for debris to build up so if you happen to take off the waste pipe give this area a good scrub as well.

Inspect the drain valve

You could examine the drain valve by hand to ensure it hasn’t got stuck. The drain valve will generally be situated in the bottom of the dishwasher on the valve bracket. Check your owners manual if you’re not sure.

Depressing the valve or wiggling it a bit should be enough to let you know if it’s seized. If you can see any debris blocking it carefully extract this. If you are unable to, this may be a good time to call a repair person unless you are happy in purchasing and repairing the component yourself.

Inspect your pump is not blocked

Your appliance pump uses impellers that could be blocked by pieces of china or other objects. Check your pump isn’t blocked by taking off the cover and checking that the impellers can rotate freely.

Run your dishwasher and listen for any unusual noises

If your dishwasher sounds unusual your dishwasher pump or motor might be broken and need replacing.

Call a plumber

If you have been through the above list and the problem remains, or you have reason to believe the pump, pump valve or motor are damaged, it might be the right time to call for help.

This way though you will at least have the means to give them more information and have avoided needing to pay a big call-out fee for a clogged filter.

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