Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

No-one wants to open their machine and discover standing water but, try not to lose it just yet. You may have the means to figure out the error before you have to call a plumber or buy a new dishwasher.

Your dishwasher declining to drain may be caused by a number of issues a number of which are straightforward to deal with. Therefore, before you call a dishwasher repair service here is a selection of potential issues you may identify on your own. A number of which are not even related to the dishwasher itself.

Check the cycle wasn’t interrupted

If you’re lucky the standing water you have discovered may not be a fault at all. Instead, the program may have been interrupted.

The cycle could have been stopped mid-way for any number of of reasons. Kids pushing controls, accidentally pressing on the buttons, a power outage or opening the machine mid-program might all interrupt the program and mean your dishwasher doesn’t drain.

If you believe this might be the case, or you just want to be sure it’s not the issue start your machine again on a short cycle.

A proportion dishwashers could have a drain capacity meaning it’s well worth checking your instructions or checking online to find out.

Inspect the waste disposal

If you have a waste disposal examine this first as an obstructed waste disposal will stop your machine from draining. Run the disposal using plenty of water to make sure there are no issues.

If you do find an issue drain unclogger or a plunger can be employed to remove the blockage and this could deal with the error.

Inspect the sink for clogs

If you sink is emptying slowly this may indicate a plumbing issue rather than an error with your dishwasher.

In the case that the kitchen sink is draining slowly you can try putting some bicarb and white vinegar down the drain, letting it sit for a few minutes and subsequently flushing it away with hot water.

A sink plunger may also be utilized to try and shift the blockage.

This could be sufficient to permit the machine to drain so run a short rinse and empty cycle to check. If this hasn’t solved the problem you may remove the water by hand using a cup and a towel and check the next few possible issues.

Make certain to turn off the machine to stay safe.

If while you are carrying out any of these investigations you suspect you have found and repaired the error there is no need to continue to the next step. Just start an empty cycle to check your dishwasher is fixed.

Inspect and clean the filters

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

Remove the filter and give it a good clean before putting it back in place. Not all filters are obvious and simple to remove so you may need to refer to the owners manual for this.

Is the waste pipe blocked?

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

Depending on the position of the waste hose (normally the ribbed one) you might have the means to inspect it simply by removing the base alternatively you may have to pull the machine away from under the counter.

Have a look at the hose first to find out if there are any kinks or it’s been squashed. You might have the means to fix these issues by hand which will most likely deal with the issue, but be aware that when this has happened it is significantly more likely to happen again so you may wish to purchase a replacement hose.

If you are unable to see anything you can remove the drain hose from the machine and blow through it to discover any blockages. Make sure you put down newspaper or towels first as there may still be dirty water in the hose.

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

Remove the hose at the sink end and then give it a good clean to get rid of the blockage. If you are unable to dislodge the obstruction or the pipe is slit or degraded invest in a new one. If you may get rid of the blockage then re-attach the hose and start a quick cycle to check that you have solved the issue.

You can also inspect where the pipe connects under your sink. This is a typical place for a build-up of gunk so if you happen to take off the waste pipe give this connection a good clean as well.

Inspect the drain valve

You may manually inspect the drain valve to make sure it hasn’t stopped working. The drain valve will most often be found in the bottom of the dishwasher on the valve bracket. Consult your instruction manual if you’re unsure.

Depressing the valve or giving it a jiggle should be adequate to tell you if it’s seized. If you are able to see an object blocking it remove this. If you can’t, this might be when you should get in touch with a plumber unless you are undaunted by purchasing and repairing the part yourself.

Inspect your pump is not blocked

Your dishwasher pump uses impellers that may be blocked by broken glass or other objects. Check your impellers aren’t obstructed by taking off the cover and checking that the impellers can rotate freely.

Run your dishwasher and listen for any unusual sounds

If your dishwasher is making funny noises your pump or motor might be damaged and need to be repaired.

Call a plumber

If none of the above examinations has fixed the error, or you think the pump, pump valve or motor are not working, it may be time to call in the professionals.

At least having done your best to troubleshoot you have managed to avoid needing to pay a big call-out charge for a blocked drain.

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