Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

Although it’s never a welcome sight to open a dishwasher and discover the machine is still full of water, don’t panic just yet. You could have the means to deal with the error by yourself, without having to call a repair person or invest in a new machine.

Standing water in your machine may have any number of of causes a number of which can be easy to rectify. So, in advance of calling a dishwasher repair service here is a selection of possible things you could identify by yourself. A number of which are not even caused by the machine itself.

Ensure the dishwasher wasn’t interrupted mid-program

It is probable that there is nothing preventing your dishwasher from emptying. Instead, the program might have been cut short.

The program might have been interrupted for any number of of reasons. Little fingers pushing buttons, accidentally leaning on the controls, a power cut or opening the machine mid-program may all stop the program from completing and mean your dishwasher doesn’t drain.

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

A number dishwashers might have a drain capacity so it’s worth checking your manual or doing a quick internet search to check.

Inspect the disposal

If your dishwasher is plumbed into the disposal inspect this before you do anything else as an obstructed disposal will block the machine from draining. Turn on the waste disposal with fast running water to make sure there are no blockages.

If you do find an obstruction drain unclogger or a natural alternative can be used to unclog the obstruction and so this could deal with the fault.

Examine the sink waste for clogs

If you sink is draining slowly this might signify an issue with the plumbing instead of an error with your machine.

In the case that the sink is draining slowly you may attempt putting a little bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar down the plughole, leaving it for a few minutes and subsequently rinsing it away with boiling water.

A sink plunger might also be used to try and dislodge the blockage.

This could be all you need to do to let the machine to work again so start a short rinse and empty program to check. If not you can manually get rid of the water using a cup and a towel and troubleshoot the next few possible issues.

At this point make certain to unplug the dishwasher to stay safe.

If during any one of these investigations you believe you have detected and fixed the error there is no need to continue to the next step. Just complete an empty cycle to make sure the machine is now draining as it used to.

Inspect and wash the filters

Corn Kernels, paper from containers, plastic lids and broken glass, as well as scraps of food, could all block the machine filter. Clear plastic lids could also be difficult to spot if you don’t look closely.

Take out the filter and clean it thoroughly before replacing it. Not all dishwashers have their filter in the same location so you may need to refer to the instruction manual for this.

Is the waste hose obstructed?

The next component to inspect is the waste hose. Stuck food, a kink in the hose or a crushed hose may all stop your dishwasher from emptying.

Depending on the position of the waste hose (normally the corrugated one) you could manage inspect it simply by removing the base alternatively you might need to pull the machine out from under the counter.

Have a look at the hose first to see if there are any kinks or it’s been squashed. You could manage manually remove any kinks which is likely to rectify the issue, however, it’s worth noting that once this has happened the chance of it happening again is significantly increased so you might need to purchase a spare hose.

If you can’t see an issue you can take off the waste hose 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 there could still be water in the hose.

If you can’t blow through the hose this could be the reason your machine isn’t emptying.

Take off the hose at the sink end and give it a thorough flush through to remove the blockage. If you can’t shift the blockage or the pipe is cracked or worn buy a new one. If you could get rid of the obstruction then re-attach the hose and run a short program to find out if you have repaired the error.

You could also inspect the point where the hose connects under your sink. This is a common place for debris to build up so if you do take off the hose give this area a good scrub as well.

Inspect the drain valve

You can manually check the drain valve to ensure it isn’t seized. The drain valve will most often be located in the bottom of the machine on the valve bracket. Examine your owners manual if you can’t see it.

Depressing the valve or giving it a jiggle will likely be enough to tell you if it’s seized. If you can see anything stopping it from moving remove this. If you can’t, this might be the right time to call a plumber unless you are undaunted by procuring and swapping out the valve on your own.

Check your pump is not blocked

Your appliance pump uses impellers that can get obstructed by pieces of china or other debris. Check your pump isn’t broken by removing the cover and checking that the impellers are free to move.

Listen to your dishwasher while it’s on

If the dishwasher sounds unusual your pump or motor could be damaged and need replacing.

Call a plumber

If you have been through the above list and the issue remains, or you suspect the pump, pump valve or motor are not working, it may be a good time to call for help.

At least having attempted to investigate what is wrong you have prevented having 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