Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

No-one wants to open their machine and discover it hasn’t drained fully but, don’t overreact just yet. You may manage rectify the problem without having to call a plumber or acquire a brand-new dishwasher.

Your machine declining to empty may be induced by multiple things a proportion of which are straightforward to fix. So, in advance of calling a dishwasher repair service here is a lineup of possible things you can correct yourself. A few of which aren’t even caused by the machine itself.

Check the dishwasher wasn’t interrupted mid-cycle

It is possible that there is nothing stopping your dishwasher from draining. Alternatively, the cycle might have been cut short.

The program could have been cut short for a number of of reasons. Little fingers pushing controls, mistakenly leaning on the buttons, a power cut or opening the dishwasher mid-program may all prevent the cycle from completing and mean your dishwasher doesn’t empty.

If you think this might be the case, or you feel it could be a good idea to check run your dishwasher again on a quick cycle.

A number dishwashers could have a drain program so it’s worthwhile having a look at your manual or doing a quick internet search to check.

Examine the waste disposal

If your dishwasher is connected to your waste disposal examine this before you do anything else as an obstructed disposal will prevent your machine from draining. Run the garbage disposal using lots of water to make sure there are no issues.

If you do discover an issue drain un-blocker or a natural alternative could be employed to remove the obstruction and so this could deal with the problem.

Inspect the sink waste for issues

If you sink is emptying slowly this might indicate a plumbing issue rather than a fault with your dishwasher.

In the case that the kitchen sink is draining inefficiently you could try putting a little bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar down the plughole, leaving it for a while, then flushing it away with hot water.

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

This might be sufficient to allow your machine to drain so start a short rinse and empty cycle to check. If this hasn’t solved the problem you may manually empty the dishwasher using a bowl as well as a sponge and check 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 think you have detected and repaired the fault there is no need to continue to the next issue. Just run an empty program to ensure the dishwasher is repaired.

Check and wash the filters

Corn Kernels, labels from tupperware, film covers and broken glass, plus food debris, may all obstruct the machine filter. Clear film can also be hard to see if you aren’t looking for it.

Remove the filter and give it a thorough wash before putting it back in place. Not all filters are obvious and easy to remove so you could need to look at the owners manual for this.

Is the waste water hose obstructed?

The next area to inspect is the waste water hose. 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 prevent your machine from emptying.

Subject to the location of the waste hose (generally the corrugated one) you could manage inspect it by taking off the base alternatively you might need to pull the dishwasher out from under the counter.

Look at the hose in the first instance to find out if it has been crushed or kinked. You could be able to manually remove any kinks which is likely to deal with the issue, but be aware that when this has occurred the chance of it occurring again is greatly increased so you could wish to order a replacement hose.

If you are unable to see anything you can remove the waste hose from the machine and blow into it to discover any blockages. Make sure you put down newspaper or towels before you remove the hose as there might still be waste water in the pipe.

If you are unable to blow air through the waste hose this may be the issue.

Remove the other end of the hose and give it a good clean to get rid of the blockage. If you are unable to get rid of the obstruction or the pipe is slit or degraded buy a brand-new one. If you can remove the obstruction then re-attach the hose and start a short program to check that you have solved the error.

You could also inspect where the waste pipe connects under your sink. This is a likely spot for a build-up of gunk so if you happen to remove the pipe give this point a thorough clean as well.

Examine the drain valve

You could examine the drain valve by hand to ensure it hasn’t stopped working. The drain valve will most often be situated in the bottom of the machine on the valve bracket. Check your instructions if you’re not sure.

Pushing down on the valve or giving it a wiggle should be enough to tell you if it’s seized. If you are able to see anything blocking it remove this. If you are unable to, this might be the right time to call a repair person unless you are undaunted by ordering and swapping out the component yourself.

Check your pump is not broken

Your water pump makes use of impellers that may be blocked by broken glass or other debris. Check your pump isn’t blocked by taking off the cover and ensuring that the impellers can rotate freely.

Run your machine and listen for any unusual noises

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

Call a plumber

If none of the above checks has fixed the issue, or you think the pump, pump valve or motor are broken, it could be the moment you need to call a plumber.

This way though you will at least be able to give them more information and have avoided needing to pay a hefty call-out charge for a blocked drain.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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