Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

Although it’s always annoying to open the dishwasher and find out the machine hasn’t drained fully, try not to overreact just yet. You might be able to deal with the problem by yourself, without having to call a repair person or invest in a brand-new dishwasher.

Standing water in your dishwasher may be caused by multiple issues a proportion of which can be straightforward to solve. So, before you call a dishwasher repair service here is a list of possible things you can troubleshoot by yourself. Some of which aren’t even a fault of the machine itself.

Ensure the cycle wasn’t stopped mid-way

If you’re lucky the fact your dishwasher hasn’t drained may not be an issue at all. Alternatively, the program might have been cut short.

The cycle could have been stopped mid-way for a number of of reasons. Kids pressing controls, mistakenly pressing against the buttons, a power outage or opening the dishwasher mid-cycle may all prevent the program from completing and mean your dishwasher doesn’t drain.

If you believe this may be the situation, or you feel it might be worthwhile checking start your dishwasher again on a quick program.

Some machines might have an empty program meaning it’s worthwhile consulting your instruction manual or checking online to check.

Check the disposal

If you have a garbage disposal check this first as an obstructed garbage disposal will stop the dishwasher from emptying. Run the garbage disposal with lots of water to check there are no blockages.

If you do discover an obstruction drain unclogger or a plunger could be sought after to unclog the blockage and this might deal with the error.

Examine the sink for issues

If you sink is draining reluctantly this may signify a plumbing issue as opposed to an issue with your dishwasher.

If the kitchen sink is draining reluctantly you may attempt putting some bicarb and vinegar down the drain, leaving it for a few minutes and then rinsing it away with boiling water.

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

This may be all you need to do to let your appliance to empty so run a short rinse and drain program now. If this hasn’t sorted the issue you can manually drain the dishwasher using a jug and a towel and troubleshoot the next few possible issues.

Make sure you unplug the machine to stay safe.

If while you are carrying out any of these checks you suspect you have detected and repaired the fault you don’t have to go through the rest of the issues. Just start an empty program to ensure the dishwasher is fixed.

Examine and wash the filters

Any number of things could block the filters including corn kernels, paper from jars, film lids and smashed glass. Clear film can also be difficult to spot if you don’t look carefully.

Remove the filter then give it a good scrub before replacing it. Not all filters are obvious and straightforward to remove so you might need to refer to the instructions for this.

Is the drain pipe obstructed?

The next place to examine is the drain hose. Stuck food, a kink in the hose or a crushed hose could all stop your dishwasher from draining.

Depending on the location of the waste pipe (normally the ribbed one) you may be able to look at it by means of lifting away the kick board or you could have to pull the machine away from under the counter.

Look at the pipe first to discover if it has been crushed or kinked. You may have the means to manually fix any kinks which should fix the issue, but be aware that once this has occurred the probability of it occurring again is massively increased so you might need to order a spare hose.

If you can’t find anything you could take off the waste pipe from the pump and blow through it to figure out if there are any blockages. Be sure to line the floor with newspaper or towels first as even if you have emptied the machine there may still be dirty water in the pipe.

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

Disconnect the hose at the sink end and give it a thorough clean to get rid of the obstruction. If you can’t dislodge the blockage or the hose is slit or damaged buy a brand-new one. If you could clear the blockage then re-attach the hose and start a quick cycle to make sure you have repaired the issue.

You can also inspect the point where the hose connects to the waste disposal as well. This is a likely place for a build-up of gunk so if you happen to take off the waste hose give this point a good scrub as well.

Check the drain valve

You can examine the drain valve by hand to make sure it isn’t got stuck. The drain valve will often be found in the bottom of the machine on the valve bracket. Consult your instruction manual if you’re unsure.

Depressing the valve or wiggling it a bit will likely be enough to find out if it’s seized. If you are able to see any debris blocking it remove this. If you are unable to, this could be when you should call a plumber unless you are happy in ordering and repairing the valve on your own.

Inspect your pump is not blocked

Your water pump makes use of impellers that may get obstructed by broken china or other debris. Check your pump isn’t blocked by taking off the safety cover and ensuring that the impellers can be easily rotated.

Run your machine and listen for any unusual noises

If it doesn’t sound right your dishwasher pump or motor could be broken and need to be repaired.

Call a plumber

If none of the above investigations has repaired the problem, or you suspect the pump, pump valve or motor are not working, it might be time to get the professionals.

At least having tried to fix the problem yourself you have avoided having to pay a hefty repair charge for a blocked hose.

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