Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

No-one wants to open their machine and discover standing water but, don’t panic just yet. You may have the means to solve the problem without having to call a repair person or invest in a new dishwasher.

Standing water in your machine may be caused by any number of issues a few of which are simple to solve. So, before you call a dishwasher repair service try this selection of possible components you can correct on your own. A number of which are not even a fault of the dishwasher itself.

Ensure the dishwasher wasn’t interrupted mid-cycle

It is probable that there is nothing stopping your machine from draining. Alternatively, the cycle could have been stopped mid-way.

The cycle might have been cut short for a number of of reasons. Little fingers pressing buttons, inadvertently pushing against the control panel, a power cut or opening the machine mid-cycle might all stop the cycle from completing and mean your dishwasher doesn’t drain.

If you suspect this may be the case, or you think it could be a good idea to check start your machine again on a quick cycle.

A proportion appliances could have a drain program meaning it’s worth checking your instructions or checking online to make sure.

Check the disposal

If you have a waste disposal check this before you do anything else as a blocked disposal will prevent your dishwasher from emptying. Run the disposal using lots of water to ensure there are no obstructions.

If you do find an obstruction drain cleaner or a natural alternative may be employed to clear the blockage and so this might rectify the fault.

Check the sink waste for issues

If you sink is draining inefficiently this could suggest a plumbing issue instead of a fault with your dishwasher.

In the case that the kitchen sink is draining reluctantly you can attempt putting some bicarb and vinegar down the drain, leaving it for a few minutes and then washing it away with hot water.

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

This might be enough to permit the dishwasher to empty so run a quick rinse and empty cycle now. If this hasn’t worked you could remove the dirty water by hand using a jug and a sponge and troubleshoot a few more likely causes.

At this point make sure you disconnect the dishwasher to stay safe.

If while you are carrying out any of these checks you suspect you have detected and solved the error you don’t need to go through the rest of the steps. Just run an empty cycle to make sure the machine is fixed.

Check and wash the filters

Popcorn, labels from containers, plastic film covers and smashed glass, as well as food debris, could all block the machine filter. Clear plastic lids could also be hard to see if you don’t look carefully.

Remove the filter then wash it thoroughly before replacing it. Not all filters are obvious and simple to remove so you could need to consult the instructions for this.

Is the waste water pipe obstructed?

The next area to examine is the drain pipe. Many things could cause a blockage including a build up of food debris, a kink in the hose, or a crushed hose. All of which could all stop your machine from draining.

Subject to the position of the waste pipe (usually the ribbed one) you might manage look at it by means of removing the kick board or you may need to pull the dishwasher away from under the counter.

Look at the pipe in the first instance to discover if there are any kinks or it’s been squashed. You might manage fix these issues by hand which should resolve the issue, however, it’s worth noting that once this has occurred it is significantly more inclined to happen again so you could need to buy a spare hose.

If you are unable to find an issue you may disconnect the waste water pipe from the pump and blow into it to check for any blockages. Be sure to line the floor with newspaper or towels first as even if you have emptied the dishwasher there could still be dirty water in the hose.

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

Disconnect the other end of the hose and then give it a good clean to remove the obstruction. If you can’t dislodge the blockage or the waste hose is slit or worn buy a new one. If you may clear the blockage then put the hose back and run a quick cycle to check that you have repaired the issue.

You could also check the point where the pipe connects under your sink as well. This is a typical spot for blockages to occur so if you do take off the waste pipe give this connection a thorough scrub as well.

Inspect the drain valve

You may manually inspect the drain valve to ensure it hasn’t got stuck. The drain valve will often be located at the base of the machine on the valve bracket. Examine your instructions if you’re not sure.

Pushing down on the valve or giving it a wiggle should be adequate to find out if it’s seized. If you are able to see any debris stopping it from moving remove this. If you are unable to, this could be a good time to call a repair person unless you are happy in ordering and replacing the component yourself.

Inspect your pump is not broken

Your appliance pump uses impellers that could be blocked by broken china or other objects. Check your pump isn’t obstructed by removing the safety cover and making sure the impellers can be easily rotated.

Run your dishwasher and listen for any unusual noises

If it doesn’t sound right your pump or motor might be damaged and need to be repaired.

Call a plumber

If you have been through the above list and the error persists, or you have reason to believe the pump, pump valve or motor are broken, it could be the right time to call for help.

At least having tried to troubleshoot you have avoided needing to pay a hefty repair fee for a blocked hose.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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