Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

No-one wants to open their dishwasher and discover it hasn’t emptied correctly but, try not to panic just yet. You could manage figure out the error before you have to call a plumber or invest in a brand-new dishwasher.

Your machine refusing to drain could be bought about by any number of issues some of which can be simple to figure out. Therefore, before you call a dishwasher repair service try this list of potential issues you may troubleshoot by yourself. Some of which aren’t even caused by the dishwasher itself.

Ensure the dishwasher wasn’t interrupted mid-cycle

If you’re lucky the fact your dishwasher hasn’t emptied may not be an issue at all. Alternatively, the program might have been stopped mid-way.

The program may have been interrupted for multiple of reasons. Kids pressing buttons, inadvertently leaning against the buttons, a power surge or opening the dishwasher mid-cycle may all stop the cycle from completing and mean your dishwasher doesn’t empty.

If you think this could be the situation, or you just want to be sure it’s not the issue start your machine again on a quick cycle.

A few appliances may have a drain function meaning it’s worth checking your instructions or doing a quick internet search to check.

Examine the garbage disposal

If you have a waste disposal check this first as a blocked disposal will block the dishwasher from emptying. Turn on the disposal with fast running water to check there are no issues.

If you do uncover an issue drain unclogger or a natural alternative may be employed to clear the blockage and this could deal with the issue.

Check the plumbing for clogs

If you sink is draining reluctantly this may signify an issue with the plumbing rather than an error with your dishwasher.

If the sink is emptying reluctantly you may attempt putting some bicarbonate of soda and vinegar down the plughole, leaving it for a while and then washing it through with hot water.

A sink plunger could also be employed to attempt to remove the obstruction.

This might be enough to let your machine to empty so run a quick program at this point. If this hasn’t sorted the issue you could manually drain the dishwasher using a jug and also a sponge and troubleshoot a few more possible issues.

At this point make sure you unplug the machine to stay safe.

If while you are carrying out any one of these investigations you suspect you have found and solved the issue there is no need to continue to the next step. Just complete an empty cycle to make sure your machine is fixed.

Examine and rinse the filters

Popcorn, paper from tupperware, film covers and broken glass, plus food debris, could all obstruct the dishwasher filter. Clear glass could also be difficult to see if you don’t look closely.

Remove the filter and wash it thoroughly before putting it back in place. Not all filters are obvious and easy to remove so you could need to look at the owners manual for this.

Is the waste water pipe obstructed?

The next place to inspect is the drain pipe. 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 can all impede your machine from emptying.

Contingent upon the location of the waste pipe (usually the ribbed one) you may have the means to view it simply by taking off the kick plate alternatively you could need to move the dishwasher away from the wall.

Look at the pipe first to see if there are any kinks or it’s been squashed. You might be able to fix these issues by hand which should deal with the issue, however, be aware that once this has occurred the probability of it occurring again is significantly increased so you might wish to order a spare hose.

If you are unable to see an issue you may disconnect the waste water pipe from the machine and blow through it to figure out if there are any blockages. Be sure to line the floor with newspaper or towels first as there may still be water in the hose.

If you can’t blow air through the waste pipe this might be the reason your machine isn’t draining.

Take off the hose at the sink end in order to give it a good flush through to get rid of the obstruction. If you are unable to shift the obstruction or the waste pipe is slit or degraded invest in a new one. If you could remove the blockage then put the hose back and run a short program to check that you have repaired the error.

You could also examine where the pipe connects to the sink. This is a typical point for debris to build up so if you do remove the waste pipe give this connection a good scrub as well.

Check the drain valve

You may manually examine the drain valve to check it isn’t got stuck. The drain valve will generally be situated in the bottom of the machine on the valve bracket. Consult your manual if you can’t see it.

Pressing down on the valve or giving it a jiggle will likely be sufficient to let you know if it’s stuck. If you are able to see something blocking it carefully extract this. If you can’t, this could be a good time to call a repair person unless you are undaunted by ordering and swapping out the valve on your own.

Check your pump is not blocked

Your dishwasher pump makes use of impellers that may become blocked by pieces of china or other debris. Check your pump isn’t blocked by taking off the cover and making sure the impellers can rotate freely.

Run your machine and listen for any unusual noises

If it doesn’t sound normal your dishwasher pump or motor might be faulty and need to be repaired.

Call a repair person

If none of the above investigations has solved the issue, or you suspect the pump, pump valve or motor are broken, it might be the right time to call a plumber.

At least having attempted to fix the problem yourself you have managed to avoid needing to pay a big call-out charge for a blocked hose.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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