Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

Although it’s never a welcome sight to open your dishwasher and find out the machine is still full of water, try not to panic just yet. You could be able to fix the error by yourself, without having to call a plumber or purchase a brand-new dishwasher.

Your machine failing to drain may have multiple of causes some of which are easy to fix. So, in advance of calling a dishwasher repair service here is a list of probable components you could troubleshoot by yourself. A few of which are not even a fault of the machine itself.

Ensure the dishwasher wasn’t stopped mid-cycle

If you’re fortunate the fact your dishwasher hasn’t drained may not be a fault at all. Instead, the program might have been interrupted.

The cycle could have been interrupted for multiple of reasons. Children pushing controls, inadvertently pressing on the control panel, a power cut or opening the dishwasher mid-program could all prevent the program from completing and mean your machine doesn’t drain.

If you suspect this might be the situation, or you think it might be a good idea to check run your machine again on a quick program.

Some dishwashers could have a drain program so it’s worthwhile consulting your instruction manual or checking online to make sure.

Check the waste disposal

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

If you do uncover a blockage drain cleaner or a plunger may be used to clear the blockage and this may rectify the error.

Inspect the plumbing for clogs

If you kitchen sink is draining inefficiently this might suggest a plumbing issue as opposed to a fault with your dishwasher.

In the case that the sink is draining inefficiently you could attempt putting some bicarb and white vinegar down the plughole, leaving it for a while and subsequently washing it through with boiling water.

A sink plunger may also be utilized to attempt to remove the blockage.

This might be all you need to do to allow your dishwasher to work again so start a short cycle at this point. If this hasn’t sorted the issue you could manually get rid of the water using a jug and also a sponge and troubleshoot the next few possible issues.

At this point make sure you disconnect the dishwasher to avoid electrocution.

If in the process of any of these investigations you believe you may have detected and repaired the problem you don’t have to go through the rest of the steps. Just complete an empty cycle to check your dishwasher is now emptying as it should.

Inspect and clean the filters

Popcorn, labels from containers, film lids and smashed glass, plus food debris, may all obstruct the machine filter. Clear plastic lids could also be hard to see if you don’t look carefully.

Remove the filter and scrub it thoroughly before replacing it. Not all filters are obvious and easy to remove so you could need to refer to the instructions for this.

Is the waste water pipe obstructed?

The next area to examine is the drain hose. Stuck food, a kink in the hose or a crushed hose can all prevent your machine from draining.

Contingent upon the position of the waste pipe (normally the corrugated one) you might be able to view it by taking off the kick plate or you might be required to move the dishwasher away from the wall.

Look at the pipe in the first instance to see if it has been squashed or kinked. You may have the means to fix these issues by hand which is likely to deal with the issue, however, be aware that once this has happened it is much more inclined to happen again so you could wish to order a new hose.

If you are unable to see an issue you could take off the waste 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 even if you have emptied the machine there could still be dirty water in the pipe.

If you can’t blow through the waste hose this may be the reason your dishwasher isn’t draining.

Disconnect the other end of the hose in order to give it a thorough flush through to remove the obstruction. If you can’t remove the obstruction or the hose is split or worn buy a brand-new one. If you may remove the obstruction then replace the hose and start a quick cycle to make sure you have repaired the problem.

You could also check where the waste pipe attaches under your sink as well. This is a common place for debris to build up so if you do remove the hose give this area a thorough scrub as well.

Examine the drain valve

You could manually check the drain valve to ensure it hasn’t stopped working. The drain valve will usually be found in the bottom of the machine on the valve bracket. Check your instruction manual if you’re unsure.

Depressing the valve or giving it a wiggle should be sufficient to tell you if it’s seized. If you can see something stopping it from moving carefully extract this. If you can’t, this might be when you should call a repair person unless you are confident in ordering and replacing the part on your own.

Examine your pump is not blocked

Your appliance pump uses impellers that could become blocked by pieces of glass or other debris. Check your pump isn’t blocked by taking off the cover and making sure the impellers are free to move.

Listen to your dishwasher while it’s on

If the dishwasher is making funny noises your pump or motor might be damaged and need to be repaired.

Call a plumber

If you have been through the above list and the fault persists, or you suspect the pump, pump valve or motor are damaged, it could be a good 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 hefty call-out fee for a blocked drain.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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