Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

Although it’s never a welcome sight to open the dishwasher and realize it is still full of water, try not to panic just yet. You might be able to fix the problem by yourself, without having to call a repair person or buy a new dishwasher.

Your dishwasher declining to empty may have multiple of causes some of which can be straightforward to deal with. 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.

Check the dishwasher wasn’t interrupted mid-cycle

If you’re fortunate the fact your dishwasher hasn’t emptied may not be an issue at all. Rather, the cycle could have been cut short.

The cycle could have been stopped mid-way for a number of of reasons. Children pushing controls, inadvertently leaning on the control panel, a power outage or opening the machine mid-program may all interrupt the program and mean your machine doesn’t drain.

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

Some appliances may have an empty capacity meaning it’s worthwhile consulting your owners manual or doing a quick internet search to find out.

Check the garbage disposal

If your dishwasher is plumbed into the waste disposal inspect this first as an obstructed disposal will block the machine from emptying. Turn on the garbage disposal using plenty of water to check there are no obstructions.

If you do find an issue drain cleaner or a natural alternative could be used to remove the blockage and so this might rectify the error.

Examine the plumbing for blockages

If you sink is emptying slowly this could indicate an issue with the drains rather than a fault with your dishwasher.

In the case that the kitchen sink is draining reluctantly you can attempt putting some bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar down the plughole, letting it sit for a while and subsequently rinsing it through with hot water.

A sink plunger might also be used to attempt to shift the obstruction.

This could be sufficient to permit your dishwasher to empty so start a quick cycle now. If not you may manually remove the water using a bowl as well as a towel and have a look at the next few possible issues.

At this point make certain to turn off the machine to stay safe.

If during any of these examinations you suspect you may have discovered and fixed the issue you don’t need to go through the rest of the steps. Just start an empty program to check the machine is fixed.

Inspect and clean the filters

Any number of things could block the filters including corn kernels, paper from tupperware, plastic lids and smashed glass. Clear film could also be difficult to spot if you don’t look closely.

Take out the filter and give it a thorough scrub before replacing it. Not all filters are obvious and simple to remove so you may need to consult the instructions for this.

Is the drain pipe obstructed?

The next place to inspect is the drain hose. Stuck food, a kink in the hose or a crushed hose may all impede your machine from draining.

Subject to the location of the hose (usually the ribbed one) you could manage inspect it simply by removing the kick board alternatively you could be required to pull the machine out from the wall.

Look at the pipe in the first instance to find out if it has been crushed or kinked. You might manage manually fix any kinks which should solve the issue, however, be aware that once this has happened it is much more likely to happen again so you could wish to purchase a spare hose.

If you are unable to find anything you may remove the drain hose from the dishwasher and blow into it to discover any blockages. Make sure you line the floor with newspaper or towels before you remove the hose as even if you have emptied the machine there might still be waste water in the pipe.

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

Remove the other end of the hose and then give it a thorough clean to clear the obstruction. If you can’t shift the obstruction or the hose is cracked or degraded buy a new one. If you could clear the obstruction then put the hose back and start a quick cycle to double check that you have fixed the issue.

You may also inspect where the pipe attaches under your sink. This is a typical point for a build-up of gunk so if you happen to take off the waste pipe give this connection a thorough scrub as well.

Examine the drain valve

You may manually check the drain valve to make sure it hasn’t stopped working. The drain valve will most often be located at the base of the machine on the valve bracket. Examine your instructions if you can’t see it.

Pushing down on the valve or wiggling it a bit will likely be enough to tell you if it’s seized. If you can see an object stopping it from moving carefully extract this. If you are unable to, this could be when you should ring a repair person unless you are confident in procuring and swapping out the component on your own.

Inspect your pump is not broken

Your dishwasher pump makes use of impellers that could be obstructed by broken glass or other debris. Check your impellers aren’t blocked by removing the safety cover and ensuring that the impellers can be easily rotated.

Run your machine and listen for any unusual sounds

If it doesn’t sound normal your pump or motor might 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 have reason to believe the pump, pump valve or motor are damaged, it might be a good time to get the professionals.

At least having done your best to troubleshoot you have prevented needing to pay a big call-out fee for a blocked hose.

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