Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

No-one wants to open their machine and discover it hasn’t emptied correctly but, don’t overreact just yet. You could manage rectify the fault before you have to call a plumber or buy a new dishwasher.

Your machine failing to empty could have a number of of causes a few of which can be simple to figure out. Therefore, before you call a dishwasher repair service here is a lineup of possible components you may troubleshoot by yourself. A few of which are not even a fault of the dishwasher itself.

Ensure the dishwasher wasn’t interrupted mid-program

It is possible that there is nothing preventing your machine from draining. Rather, the program may have been cut short.

The program may have been cut short for any number of of reasons. Little fingers pushing buttons, mistakenly leaning on the buttons, a power cut or opening the dishwasher mid-cycle may all interrupt the program and mean your machine doesn’t drain.

If you suspect this could be the case, or you think it could be a good idea to check start your dishwasher again on a quick program.

Some machines may have an empty function meaning it’s worth having a look at your instructions or consulting google to check.

Inspect the garbage disposal

If you have a disposal examine this before you do anything else as a blocked garbage disposal will stop your dishwasher from draining. Turn on the disposal using plenty of water to check there are no obstructions.

If you do discover an issue drain unclogger or a plunger could be employed to clear the obstruction and this may resolve the error.

Inspect the sink for blockages

If you kitchen sink is emptying slowly this may suggest an issue with the plumbing as opposed to a fault with your dishwasher.

If the sink is draining reluctantly you may attempt putting some bicarb and vinegar down the drain, letting it sit for a while and then flushing it away with hot water.

A sink plunger may also be employed to attempt to shift the blockage.

This might be all you need to do to let your dishwasher to work again so start a short rinse and drain program at this point. If not you can remove the dirty water by hand using a bowl and also a sponge and check a few more possible issues.

Make sure you disconnect the machine to stay safe.

If during any one of these checks you think you have detected and solved the issue there is no need to continue to the next issue. Just run an empty program to ensure the machine is now draining as it should.

Inspect and wash the filters

Any number of things could block the filters including popcorn, paper from containers, plastic film covers and smashed glass. Clear film can also be difficult to see if you aren’t looking for it.

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

Is the waste water pipe obstructed?

The next area to examine is the waste water pipe. Stuck food, a kink in the hose or a crushed hose may all stop your dishwasher from emptying.

Depending on the location of the waste pipe (normally the corrugated one) you may manage inspect it simply by removing the base or you could need to pull the machine away from under the counter.

Have a look at the pipe in the first instance to discover if there are any kinks or it’s been squashed. You might manage fix these issues by hand which is likely to fix the issue, but it’s worth noting that once this has happened it is significantly more likely to happen again so you may need to purchase a spare hose.

If you are unable to see any obvious kinks or obstructions you may disconnect the waste water pipe from the dishwasher and blow through it to check for any blockages. Make sure you line the floor with newspaper or towels first as even if you have emptied the machine there may still be waste water in the hose.

If you can’t blow air through the waste hose this could be the reason your dishwasher isn’t emptying.

Disconnect the other end of the hose and give it a thorough flush through to get rid of the obstruction. If you can’t get rid of the obstruction or the waste pipe is slit or worn acquire a brand-new one. If you may get rid of the blockage then replace the hose and start a quick program to find out if you have solved the issue.

You could also inspect the point where the waste hose connects to the sink. This is a likely spot for blockages to occur so if you do take off the waste hose give this connection a good scrub as well.

Check the drain valve

You could manually inspect the drain valve to make sure it hasn’t got stuck. The drain valve will often be located at the base of the dishwasher on the valve bracket. Examine your manual if you’re not sure.

Depressing the valve or wiggling it a bit should be sufficient to tell you if it’s seized. If you can see something blocking it remove this. If you can’t, this may be the right time to get in touch with a repair person unless you are happy in procuring and repairing the valve yourself.

Examine your pump is not broken

Your dishwasher pump uses impellers that could get blocked by pieces of glass or other debris. Check your impellers aren’t broken by taking off the cover and checking that the impellers are free to move.

Listen to your dishwasher while it’s running

If your dishwasher sounds unusual your dishwasher pump or motor could be damaged and need replacing.

Call a repair person

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

This way though you will at least have the means to give them more information and have avoided needing to pay a hefty call-out charge for a blocked drain.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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