Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

Although it’s always irritating to open a machine and find out the machine is still full of water, don’t panic just yet. You might be able to fix the error before you have to call a repair person or purchase a new machine.

Your machine refusing to drain could be caused by multiple things a few of which can be simple to deal with. Therefore, in advance of calling a dishwasher repair service here is a selection of potential components you could identify by yourself. Some of which aren’t even related to the machine itself.

Check the dishwasher wasn’t interrupted mid-cycle

It is probable that there is nothing preventing your machine from draining. Instead, the cycle may have been cut short.

The cycle might have been stopped mid-way for a number of of reasons. Children pressing buttons, inadvertently leaning against the control panel, a power outage or opening the dishwasher mid-program could all prevent the cycle from completing and mean your machine doesn’t drain.

If you think this could be the situation, or you think it could be worthwhile checking run your machine again on a short program.

A proportion appliances may have a drain capacity meaning it’s worth consulting your manual or doing a quick internet search to find out.

Check the garbage disposal

If your dishwasher is connected to your garbage disposal examine this first as an obstructed disposal will prevent the dishwasher from emptying. Run the garbage disposal using fast running water to make sure there are no blockages.

If you do uncover an obstruction drain cleaner or a plunger can be sought after to remove the obstruction and this may rectify the issue.

Examine the plumbing for blockages

If you sink is draining slowly this might indicate a plumbing issue rather than an issue with your machine.

If the kitchen sink is draining inefficiently you could try putting some bicarb and white vinegar down the plughole, letting it sit for a while and then washing it away with hot water.

A plunger might also be employed to try and shift the blockage.

This might be sufficient to allow your appliance to work again so run a short cycle now. If not you can manually remove the water using a bowl and also a towel and have a look at the next few possible issues.

At this point make sure you turn off the machine to avoid electrocution.

If during any of these checks you suspect you may have found and fixed the fault there is no need to continue to the next step. Just complete an empty program to check the machine is now emptying as it should.

Check and rinse the filters

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

Take out the filter and scrub it thoroughly before putting it back in place. Not all filters are obvious and straightforward to remove so you could need to consult the owners manual for this.

Is the drain hose blocked?

The next place to check is the waste pipe. 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 can all prevent your machine from draining.

Depending on the position of the waste pipe (usually the corrugated one) you may have the means to inspect it simply by taking off the kick plate or you might have to move the dishwasher out from the wall.

Have a look at the hose first to see if it has been crushed or kinked. You could manage manually fix any kinks which should resolve the issue, however, it’s worth noting that when this has occurred it is much more inclined to happen again so you may wish to purchase a replacement hose.

If you are unable to see anything you may take off the drain pipe from the machine 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 even if you have emptied the machine there might still be water in the hose.

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

Disconnect the other end of the hose and then give it a good clean to clear the obstruction. If you can’t shift the obstruction or the waste hose is split or damaged acquire a brand-new one. If you can clear the blockage then replace the hose and start a quick cycle to double check that you have solved the error.

You may also examine where the pipe attaches under your sink as well. This is a common place for blockages to occur so if you happen to take off the waste hose give this connection a thorough clean as well.

Check the drain valve

You can manually examine the drain valve to check it hasn’t stopped working. The drain valve will usually be situated at the base of the dishwasher on the valve bracket. Check your owners manual if you can’t see it.

Depressing the valve or giving it a wiggle will likely be sufficient to let you know if it’s seized. If you can see anything stopping it from moving remove this. If you are unable to, this may be a good time to ring a repair person unless you are undaunted by ordering and replacing the part on your own.

Check your pump is not broken

Your water pump makes use of impellers that could be obstructed by pieces of glass or other objects. Check your pump isn’t blocked by removing the safety cover and ensuring that the impellers are free to move.

Listen to your dishwasher while it’s running

If your dishwasher sounds unusual your pump or motor may be damaged and need to be repaired.

Call a repair person

If none of the above investigations has solved the error, or you have reason to believe the pump, pump valve or motor are broken, it may be a good time to call in the professionals.

At least having tried to fix the problem yourself you have avoided needing to pay a big repair charge for a blocked hose.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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