Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

No-one is happy to open their dishwasher and discover standing water but, try not to panic just yet. You might have the means to rectify the error by yourself, without having to call a plumber or purchase a new dishwasher.

Standing water in your machine could be caused by any number of things a number of which can be easy to deal with. Therefore, before you call a dishwasher repair service here is a list of potential issues you may correct by yourself. A number of which are not even a fault of the machine itself.

Ensure the dishwasher wasn’t stopped mid-cycle

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

The program could have been stopped mid-way for a number of of reasons. Little fingers pressing buttons, inadvertently leaning on the control panel, a power outage or opening the dishwasher mid-program may all interrupt the program and mean your dishwasher doesn’t empty.

If you believe this may be the situation, or you just want to be sure it’s not the issue run your machine again on a quick cycle.

A few dishwashers may have an empty cycle meaning it’s worth checking your owners manual or doing a quick internet search to find out.

Check the waste disposal

If you have a disposal inspect this first as a blocked disposal will block your dishwasher from draining. Turn on the waste disposal with plenty of water to ensure there are no obstructions.

If you do discover an obstruction drain cleaner or a natural alternative can be sought after to clear the obstruction and this might rectify the error.

Inspect the sink waste for clogs

If you sink is draining inefficiently this could suggest an issue with the drains as opposed to an error with your machine.

In the case that the kitchen sink is emptying inefficiently you could try putting some bicarbonate of soda and vinegar down the plughole, letting it sit for a few minutes and then flushing it through with hot water.

A sink plunger could also be utilized to attempt to shift the obstruction.

This may be all you need to do to let your appliance to empty so run a short rinse and empty program now. If not you may remove the dirty water by hand using a bowl and a sponge and have a look at a few more likely causes.

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

If in the process of one of these investigations you suspect you have detected and repaired the issue there is no need to continue to the next issue. Just start an empty cycle to check your dishwasher is repaired.

Inspect and rinse the filters

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

Take out the filter and wash it thoroughly before replacing it. Not all filters are obvious and simple to remove so you might need to look at the instructions for this.

Is the waste pipe obstructed?

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

Depending on the position of the waste hose (normally the corrugated one) you may be able to view it by means of lifting away the kick board alternatively you may be required to move the dishwasher out from under the counter.

Visually inspect the hose first to find out if it has been squashed or kinked. You may have the means to fix these issues by hand which is likely to fix the issue, however, be aware that when this has happened it is significantly more inclined to happen again so you might need to order a new hose.

If you can’t find anything you can take off the waste hose from the machine and blow into it to discover any blockages. Make sure you line the floor with newspaper or towels before you remove the hose as there might still be dirty water in the pipe.

If you are unable to blow air through the hose this might be the problem.

Disconnect the other end of the hose and give it a good flush through to clear the blockage. If you can’t remove the obstruction or the waste pipe is split or worn acquire a new one. If you could get rid of the obstruction then re-attach the hose and start a quick program to check that you have repaired the issue.

You could also examine the point where the hose attaches under your sink as well. This is a typical point for debris to build up so if you happen to take off the hose give this point a good clean as well.

Examine the drain valve

You can inspect the drain valve by hand to check it isn’t seized. The drain valve will generally be found in the bottom of the dishwasher on the valve bracket. Check your manual if you can’t see it.

Depressing 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 an object stopping it from moving carefully extract this. If you are unable to, this may be a good time to get in touch with a repair person unless you are undaunted by ordering and replacing the part on your own.

Inspect your pump is not blocked

Your water pump uses impellers that could get blocked by broken glass or other objects. Check your impellers aren’t broken by taking off the safety cover and checking that the impellers can be easily rotated.

Listen to your dishwasher while it’s on

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

Call a repair person

If you have been through the above list and the problem persists, or you suspect the pump, pump valve or motor are broken, it may be the moment you need to call for help.

This way though you will at least be able to give them more information and have prevented needing to pay a hefty repair fee for a blocked hose.

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