Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

No-one wishes to open their dishwasher and discover standing water but, try not to panic just yet. You may be able to rectify the fault before you have to call a repair person or invest in a new dishwasher.

Your machine declining to empty can be caused by any number of things a proportion of which are easy to fix. So, in advance of calling a dishwasher repair service here is a selection of possible things you could correct by yourself. A few of which aren’t even a fault of the machine itself.

Check the dishwasher wasn’t interrupted mid-cycle

It is probable that there is nothing stopping your machine from emptying. Alternatively, the cycle could have been cut short.

The program might have been cut short for a number of of reasons. Children pushing buttons, mistakenly pressing on the controls, a power cut or opening the machine mid-cycle might all stop the program from completing and mean your dishwasher doesn’t drain.

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

Some machines might have an empty function so it’s worthwhile checking your owners manual or checking online to find out.

Inspect the garbage disposal

If your dishwasher is attached to your disposal check this first as an obstructed waste disposal will stop the dishwasher from emptying. Turn on the waste disposal with plenty of water to make sure there are no obstructions.

If you do find an issue drain unclogger or a natural alternative may be used to remove the obstruction and so this may rectify the error.

Examine the sink waste for issues

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

In the case that the kitchen sink is emptying reluctantly you could attempt putting some bicarb and vinegar down the plughole, letting it sit for a few minutes, then rinsing it through with boiling water.

A plunger could also be employed to attempt to remove the blockage.

This might be enough to let your dishwasher to work again so run a quick program to check. If this hasn’t worked you can manually remove the dirty water using a bowl and a sponge and check the next few possible issues.

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

If while you are carrying out one of these examinations you suspect you may have discovered and repaired the fault there is no need to continue to the next step. Just start an empty program to make sure the dishwasher is once again emptying as it should.

Inspect and scrub the filters

Corn Kernels, paper from food jars, film lids and smashed glass, plus food debris, could all obstruct the machine filter. Clear film can also be difficult to spot if you aren’t looking for it.

Remove the filter and give it a good scrub before replacing it. Not all machines have their filter in the same location so you could need to look at the instruction manual for this.

Is the drain pipe blocked?

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

Depending on the location of the hose (generally the corrugated one) you may have the means to look at it by removing the base alternatively you might have to move the machine away from under the counter.

Have a look at the hose first to see if it has been squashed or kinked. You may be able to fix these issues by hand which should solve the issue, but it’s worth noting that once this has occurred it is significantly more inclined to happen again so you could need to purchase a replacement hose.

If you are unable to find any obvious kinks or obstructions you may take off the waste pipe from the pump and blow into it to figure out if there are any blockages. Be sure to put down newspaper or towels before you remove the hose as there could still be water in the pipe.

If you can’t blow air through the waste pipe this might be the issue.

Remove the hose at the sink end in order to give it a thorough flush through to clear the obstruction. If you are unable to remove the blockage or the waste hose is cracked or worn acquire a brand-new one. If you can clear the obstruction then replace the hose and run a quick program to check that you have repaired the problem.

You can also examine where the pipe attaches under your sink. This is a common place for a build-up of gunk so if you happen to remove the hose give this point a thorough clean as well.

Inspect the drain valve

You could examine the drain valve by hand to check it hasn’t stopped working. The drain valve will most often be located at the base of the dishwasher on the valve bracket. Examine your instructions if you’re not sure.

Pushing down on the valve or wiggling it a bit will likely be enough to let you know if it’s seized. If you are able to see something blocking it remove this. If you can’t, this may be the right time to ring a repair person unless you are happy in purchasing and replacing the part on your own.

Check your pump is not broken

Your appliance pump uses impellers that can become obstructed by broken china or other objects. Check your pump isn’t obstructed by removing the safety cover and making sure the impellers can rotate freely.

Listen to your dishwasher while it’s on

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

Call a repair person

If you have been through the above list and the problem persists, or you think the pump, pump valve or motor are not working, it might be the right time to get the professionals.

At least having tried to investigate what is wrong you have prevented needing to pay a hefty repair charge for a clogged filter.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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