Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

No-one is happy to open their dishwasher and discover it hasn’t emptied fully but, try not to panic just yet. You may be able to fix the fault before you have to call a plumber or acquire a brand-new dishwasher.

Your dishwasher refusing to empty could be caused by any number of things some of which can be easy to deal with. Therefore, in advance of calling a dishwasher repair service here is a lineup of possible issues you can correct yourself. A proportion of which aren’t even related to the machine itself.

Ensure the program wasn’t interrupted

If you’re lucky the standing water you have discovered may not be an issue at all. Alternatively, the cycle might have been stopped mid-way.

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

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

A few dishwashers may have an empty capacity meaning it’s worthwhile consulting your manual or checking online to find out.

Examine the garbage disposal

If your dishwasher is attached to the garbage disposal check this before you do anything else as an obstructed waste disposal will prevent the dishwasher from emptying. Turn on the waste disposal with plenty of water to make sure there are no issues.

If you do find a blockage drain un-blocker or a plunger could be used to remove the obstruction and so this might solve the error.

Inspect the sink waste for blockages

If you kitchen sink is draining slowly this might indicate an issue with the pipes rather than an error with your dishwasher.

In the case that the kitchen sink is draining slowly you could attempt putting a little bicarb and white vinegar down the drain, letting it sit for a while and subsequently washing it through with boiling water.

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

This may be enough to allow your appliance to empty so start a short rinse and drain cycle to check. If not you may manually drain the dishwasher using a cup and also a sponge and have a look at the next few possible issues.

Make sure you unplug the machine to stay safe.

If during any one of these checks you suspect you have found and repaired the problem there is no need to continue to the next issue. Just start an empty cycle to check the machine is fixed.

Check and scrub the filters

Any number of things could block the filters including popcorn, paper from tupperware, film lids and smashed glass. Clear glass may also be difficult to spot if you don’t look closely.

Remove the filter and give it a good scrub before putting it back in place. Not all filters are obvious and straightforward to remove so you might need to consult the instructions for this.

Is the waste pipe obstructed?

The next component to examine is the waste water pipe. Stuck food, a kink in the hose or a crushed hose may all impede your dishwasher from draining.

Depending on the position of the hose (usually the ribbed one) you may be able to look at it simply by taking off the base or you could be required to move the machine out from under the counter.

Visually examine the hose first to discover if there are any kinks or it’s been squashed. You could manage manually fix any kinks which should deal with the issue, but be aware that once this has happened the probability of it happening again is greatly increased so you could wish to purchase a spare hose.

If you can’t see any obvious kinks or obstructions you may disconnect the waste pipe from the pump and blow through it to discover any blockages. Make sure you put down newspaper or towels before you remove the hose as even if you have emptied the machine there may still be dirty water in the pipe.

If you can’t blow through the waste hose this might be the issue.

Take off the hose at the sink end in order to give it a good flush through to remove the obstruction. If you are unable to remove the blockage or the pipe is cracked or damaged buy a new one. If you may get rid of the obstruction then replace the hose and run a quick cycle to check that you have repaired the problem.

You can also checkthe point where the hose attaches to the sink as well. This is a typical point for blockages to occur so if you happen to remove the hose give this connection a thorough clean as well.

Check the drain valve

You can manually check the drain valve to check it hasn’t stopped working. The drain valve will often be found in the bottom of the dishwasher on the valve bracket. Check your owners manual if you can’t see it.

Pressing down on the valve or wiggling it a bit will likely be enough to tell you if it’s stuck. If you can see any debris stopping it from moving get rid of this. If you are unable to, this could be a good time to get in touch with a plumber unless you are confident in ordering and replacing the valve on your own.

Examine your pump is not blocked

Your appliance pump makes use of impellers that may be blocked by broken china or other objects. Check your impellers aren’t blocked by removing the safety cover and checking that the impellers can be easily rotated.

Run your dishwasher and listen for any unusual sounds

If it is making funny noises your pump or motor could be faulty and need to be repaired.

Call a repair person

If none of the above checks has fixed the error, or you suspect the pump, pump valve or motor are broken, it could be the moment you need to call for help.

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

More Dishwasher Problems: