Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

No-one wants to open their dishwasher and discover standing water but, try not to panic just yet. You might have the means to rectify the fault before you have to call a plumber or acquire a brand-new dishwasher.

Standing water in your machine can be induced by any number of things a number of which can be easy to fix. Therefore, before you call a dishwasher repair service here is a selection of potential things you could troubleshoot yourself. A few of which aren’t even related to the dishwasher itself.

Ensure the cycle wasn’t cut short

It is probable that there is nothing preventing your machine from emptying. Alternatively, the program may have been stopped mid-way.

The cycle could have been stopped mid-way for multiple of reasons. Little fingers pushing buttons, mistakenly pressing against the buttons, a power outage or opening the dishwasher mid-program may all interrupt the program and mean your machine doesn’t drain.

If you think this might be the situation, or you just want to be sure it’s not the issue run your machine again on a short program.

A proportion dishwashers could have an empty function meaning it’s worth checking your instructions or doing a quick internet search to check.

Check the disposal

If you have a disposal inspect this before you move on as an obstructed garbage disposal will stop the dishwasher from draining. Run the waste disposal with plenty of water to ensure there are no obstructions.

If you do discover an obstruction drain unclogger or a natural alternative may be sought after to remove the blockage and this might deal with the problem.

Check the plumbing for blockages

If you kitchen sink is draining slowly this may indicate an issue with the drains rather than a problem with your dishwasher.

In the case that the sink is emptying slowly you can try putting some bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar down the plughole, leaving it for a few minutes and then washing it through with boiling water.

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

This may be all you need to do to allow your machine to empty so run a short rinse and empty program at this point. If this hasn’t sorted the issue you can manually remove the standing water using a cup as well as a sponge and check a few more likely causes.

Make certain to unplug the machine to stay safe.

If in the process of any of these investigations you believe you may have discovered and solved the issue there is no need to continue to the next step. Just start an empty cycle to check your dishwasher is fixed.

Inspect and rinse the filters

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

Take out the filter then give it a good wash before putting it back in place. Not all filters are obvious and straightforward to remove so you could need to refer to the instructions for this.

Is the drain hose obstructed?

The next area to inspect is the waste hose. 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 may all stop your dishwasher from draining.

Contingent upon the location of the waste hose (normally the corrugated one) you might be able to inspect it simply by taking off the kick board alternatively you could be required to pull the dishwasher away from the wall.

Visually examine the hose first to find out if it has been crushed or kinked. You may manage fix these issues by hand which will most likely fix the issue, but be aware that when this has occurred the probability of it occurring again is greatly increased so you could wish to purchase a spare hose.

If you can’t see an issue you may remove the drain hose from the machine and blow through it to check for any blockages. Make sure you put down newspaper or towels before you remove the hose as there could still be water in the pipe.

If you are unable to blow air through the hose this might be the reason your dishwasher isn’t draining.

Disconnect the other end of the hose and then give it a thorough flush through to get rid of the obstruction. If you can’t remove the obstruction or the waste hose is slit or worn buy a brand-new one. If you could clear the blockage then put the hose back and run a quick cycle to find out if you have fixed the problem.

You can also check where the waste hose attaches under your sink as well. This is a common place for a build-up of gunk so if you do take off the waste hose give this area a thorough clean as well.

Examine the drain valve

You can check the drain valve by hand to make sure it hasn’t seized. The drain valve will most often be found at the base of the machine on the valve bracket. Examine your instruction manual if you can’t see it.

Depressing the valve or giving it a wiggle will likely be sufficient to tell you if it’s stuck. If you can see anything stopping it from moving remove this. If you can’t, this may be a good time to call a plumber unless you are undaunted by ordering and replacing the valve yourself.

Check your pump is not blocked

Your dishwasher pump makes use of impellers that can become obstructed by pieces of china or other debris. Check your impellers aren’t obstructed by removing the safety cover and making sure the impellers are free to move.

Listen to your dishwasher while it’s running

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

Call a plumber

If none of the above investigations has fixed the issue, or you think the pump, pump valve or motor are damaged, it might be the moment you need to get the professionals.

This way though you will at least be able to give them more information and have avoided needing to pay a big 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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