Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

No-one is happy to open their machine and discover standing water but, try not to overreact just yet. You might be able to rectify the fault by yourself, without having to call a repair person or purchase a brand-new machine.

Your machine failing to drain could have a number of of causes a few of which are simple to fix. So, before you call a dishwasher repair service try this list of possible components you can correct on your own. Some of which aren’t even caused by the dishwasher itself.

Ensure the dishwasher wasn’t stopped mid-cycle

If you’re lucky the standing water you have discovered may not be a fault at all. Instead, the cycle could have been stopped mid-way.

The program may have been interrupted for multiple of reasons. Little fingers pressing buttons, accidentally pushing on the controls, a power cut or opening the machine mid-cycle might all interrupt the program and mean your machine doesn’t empty.

If you suspect this may be the case, or you feel it could be a good idea to check run the machine again on a short cycle.

A few dishwashers might have a drain program meaning it’s well worth consulting your instruction manual or consulting google to find out.

Examine the waste disposal

If your dishwasher is connected to a waste disposal inspect this before you do anything else as an obstructed disposal will prevent the dishwasher from draining. Turn on the waste disposal with plenty of water to ensure there are no obstructions.

If you do find a blockage drain unclogger or a plunger could be used to clear the obstruction and this may deal with the issue.

Check the plumbing for clogs

If you kitchen sink is draining inefficiently this might suggest a plumbing issue instead of an error with your dishwasher.

If the sink is emptying inefficiently you could attempt putting some bicarbonate of soda and vinegar down the plughole, leaving it for a few minutes and then flushing it away with boiling water.

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

This could be sufficient to permit your dishwasher to work again so start a short rinse and drain program to check. If this hasn’t solved the problem you could remove the standing water by hand using a cup and also a towel and have a look at the next few possible issues.

Make certain to disconnect the machine to stay safe.

If in the process of any of these examinations you suspect you have found and fixed the fault you don’t have to go through the remaining steps. Just start an empty program to ensure your dishwasher is fixed.

Examine and clean the filters

Popcorn, paper from containers, plastic film covers and broken glass, as well as scraps of food, may all obstruct the machine filter. Clear film may also be hard to see if you don’t look closely.

Remove the filter and scrub 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 blocked?

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

Depending on the position of the waste hose (usually the ribbed one) you could be able to inspect it by removing the kick board or you might be required to pull the dishwasher away from the wall.

Look at the pipe in the first instance to find out if it has been squashed or kinked. You could be able to manually fix any kinks which should resolve the issue, but be aware that when this has happened it is much more inclined to happen again so you could need to purchase a new hose.

If you are unable to find any obvious kinks or obstructions you could take off the drain hose from the pump and blow through it to figure out if there are any blockages. Be sure to line the floor with newspaper or towels first as there may still be dirty water in the pipe.

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

Remove the hose at the sink end in order to give it a thorough flush through to get rid of the obstruction. If you are unable to dislodge the obstruction or the hose is split or damaged purchase a new one. If you could remove the obstruction then put the hose back and start a quick cycle to find out if you have solved the fault.

You could also inspectthe point where the hose connects to the waste disposal as well. This is a common point for debris to build up so if you do take off the waste hose give this point a good clean as well.

Examine the drain valve

You may manually check the drain valve to ensure it isn’t got stuck. The drain valve will generally be situated in the bottom of the machine on the valve bracket. Examine your instruction manual if you’re not sure.

Depressing the valve or giving it a jiggle should be adequate to tell you if it’s stuck. If you can see anything stopping it from moving remove this. If you can’t, this could be the right time to ring a plumber unless you are happy in ordering and repairing the part on your own.

Examine your pump is not broken

Your appliance pump uses impellers that can get obstructed by broken glass or other objects. Check your impellers aren’t obstructed by removing the safety cover and ensuring that the impellers can be easily rotated.

Listen to your dishwasher while it’s on

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

Call a repair person

If you have been through the above list and the error remains, or you think the pump, pump valve or motor are not working, it could be the right time to call in the professionals.

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 clogged filter.

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