Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

No-one wants to open their machine and discover standing water but, don’t overreact just yet. You may have the means to solve the error before you have to call a plumber or buy a new dishwasher.

Standing water in your dishwasher can be caused by multiple things some of which can be straightforward to resolve. So, before you call a dishwasher repair service try this lineup of potential issues you could correct yourself. A number of which aren’t even a fault of the machine itself.

Check the cycle wasn’t stopped mid-way

If you’re fortunate the standing water you have discovered may not be a problem at all. Rather, the program may have been cut short.

The cycle could have been interrupted for multiple of reasons. Little fingers pushing controls, inadvertently pushing on the control panel, a power outage or opening the machine mid-cycle might all interrupt the program and mean your machine doesn’t empty.

If you believe this might be the situation, or you feel it could be a good idea to check start your dishwasher again on a quick program.

A number appliances might have an empty cycle meaning it’s worth consulting your manual or doing a quick internet search to make sure.

Examine the disposal

If you have a garbage disposal inspect this first as an obstructed waste disposal will stop your dishwasher from emptying. Turn on the disposal using fast running water to check there are no issues.

If you do discover an obstruction drain un-blocker or a natural alternative can be used to remove the obstruction and so this could solve the fault.

Check the sink waste for clogs

If you kitchen sink is emptying slowly this may indicate an issue with the drains instead of an issue with your machine.

In the case that the sink is emptying inefficiently you could attempt putting a little bicarb and white vinegar down the plughole, leaving it for a while and subsequently washing it through with hot water.

A sink plunger may also be employed to attempt to dislodge the obstruction.

This might be enough to permit your appliance to empty so start a quick rinse and drain program now. If not you could remove the standing water by hand using a jug and a towel and have a look at the next few possible issues.

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

If while you are carrying out one of these examinations you think you have detected and repaired the error there is no need to continue to the next issue. Just run an empty cycle to make sure your machine is repaired.

Check and wash the filters

Corn Kernels, paper from tupperware, plastic covers and broken glass, plus food debris, can all obstruct the machine filter. Clear plastic lids could also be difficult to spot if you aren’t looking for it.

Take out the filter then give it a thorough clean before replacing it. Not all filters are obvious and easy to remove so you might need to look at the instructions for this.

Is the waste hose obstructed?

The next component to inspect is the drain pipe. Stuck food, a kink in the hose or a crushed hose may all prevent your machine from emptying.

Depending on the location of the waste pipe (usually the corrugated one) you might have the means to view it by means of removing the base or you might need to pull the machine out from the wall.

Have a look at the pipe in the first instance to discover if it has been crushed or kinked. You could have the means to manually remove any kinks which should rectify the issue, however, it’s worth noting that once this has happened it is significantly more likely to happen again so you might need to purchase a replacement hose.

If you are unable to find any obvious kinks or obstructions you could remove the waste pipe from the machine and blow through it to check for any blockages. Be sure to line the floor with newspaper or towels first as there may still be waste water in the hose.

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

Remove the hose at the sink end and give it a thorough clean to remove the obstruction. If you can’t remove the obstruction or the pipe is slit or degraded buy a new one. If you may clear the obstruction then put the hose back and start a short cycle to find out if you have fixed the fault.

You can also inspect the point where the waste hose connects under your sink. This is a likely place for a build-up of gunk so if you do remove the waste hose give this area a thorough scrub as well.

Examine the drain valve

You may manually examine the drain valve to check it isn’t got stuck. The drain valve will generally be located at the base of the dishwasher on the valve bracket. Examine your owners manual if you can’t see it.

Pushing down on the valve or giving it a jiggle should be sufficient to tell you if it’s seized. If you can see any debris stopping it from moving get rid of this. If you can’t, this could be when you should ring a plumber unless you are undaunted by procuring and repairing the part on your own.

Inspect your pump is not blocked

Your dishwasher pump makes use of impellers that can get obstructed by broken glass or other debris. Check your impellers aren’t obstructed by taking off the safety cover and making sure the impellers can be easily rotated.

Run your machine and listen for any unusual noises

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

Call a repair person

If none of the above examinations has fixed the fault, or you suspect the pump, pump valve or motor are broken, it could be the right time to call for help.

At least having tried to investigate what is wrong you have prevented having to pay a big repair fee for a blocked drain.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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