Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

Although it’s never a pleasant sight to open the machine and realize the machine hasn’t emptied properly, try not to panic just yet. You could have the means to figure out the error without having to call a repair person or purchase a new dishwasher.

Your machine refusing to drain may be caused by a number of issues a few of which are simple to deal with. Therefore, in advance of calling a dishwasher repair service here is a lineup of potential things you can troubleshoot yourself. A number of which aren’t even related to the machine itself.

Check the cycle wasn’t cut short

It is probable that there is nothing preventing your dishwasher from emptying. Rather, the cycle could have been cut short.

The cycle might have been interrupted for any number of of reasons. Children pressing buttons, mistakenly pressing against the control panel, a power cut or opening the dishwasher mid-program may all stop the program from completing and mean your dishwasher doesn’t empty.

If you think this could be the case, or you feel it could be worthwhile checking run the dishwasher again on a quick cycle.

A few machines may have an empty capacity meaning it’s worth having a look at your owners manual or checking online to make sure.

Check the waste disposal

If you have a disposal inspect this before you do anything else as an obstructed disposal will block the machine from draining. Turn on the waste disposal with lots of water to make sure there are no obstructions.

If you do uncover an obstruction drain un-blocker or a natural alternative may be sought after to remove the obstruction and this may rectify the fault.

Inspect the sink for clogs

If you kitchen sink is emptying inefficiently this could indicate an issue with the plumbing instead of a fault with your dishwasher.

In the case that the sink is draining reluctantly you could try putting some bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar down the drain, letting it sit for a few minutes, then flushing it through with boiling water.

A plunger may also be used to try and remove the blockage.

This could be enough to permit your machine to drain so start a short rinse and empty program now. If this hasn’t solved the problem you may remove the standing water by hand using a jug as well as a sponge and troubleshoot a few more possible issues.

Make sure you turn off the machine to prevent electrocution.

If in the process of any one of these checks you suspect you may have detected and repaired the problem there is no need to continue to the next issue. Just complete an empty cycle to make sure the dishwasher is repaired.

Inspect and clean the filters

Any number of things could block the filters including popcorn, labels from containers, plastic film covers and broken glass. Clear plastic lids may also be hard to see if you don’t look closely.

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

Is the waste water hose obstructed?

The next place to check is the waste water pipe. Stuck food, a kink in the hose or a crushed hose can all stop your dishwasher from emptying.

Depending on the location of the waste hose (generally the corrugated one) you could manage look at it by taking off the base alternatively you might have to move the dishwasher out from under the counter.

Have a look at the pipe in the first instance to discover if there are any kinks or it’s been squashed. You may have the means to manually fix any kinks which should fix the issue, however, be aware that once this has occurred the chance of it occurring again is significantly increased so you may need to buy a spare hose.

If you can’t find an issue you may disconnect the waste water pipe from the machine and blow through it to check for any blockages. Make sure you line the floor with newspaper or towels first as even if you have emptied the machine there could still be waste water in the hose.

If you are unable to blow through the waste pipe this could be the reason your dishwasher isn’t draining.

Disconnect the hose at the sink end in order to give it a good clean to remove the blockage. If you are unable to shift the blockage or the pipe is split or degraded buy a new one. If you can clear the obstruction then re-attach the hose and run a short cycle to double check that you have fixed the fault.

You could also examine the point where the hose attaches under your sink. This is a common place for debris to build up so if you happen to take off the waste hose give this point a thorough clean as well.

Check the drain valve

You could manually check the drain valve to check it hasn’t got stuck. The drain valve will usually be found at the base of the machine on the valve bracket. Consult your instruction manual if you can’t see it.

Pushing down on the valve or giving it a jiggle will likely be adequate to let you know if it’s stuck. If you can see an object stopping it from moving carefully extract this. If you can’t, this might be a good time to ring a plumber unless you are happy in ordering and replacing the valve on your own.

Inspect your pump is not blocked

Your appliance pump uses impellers that could become obstructed by pieces of glass or other objects. Check your pump isn’t blocked by taking off the safety cover and making sure the impellers are free to move.

Listen to your dishwasher while it’s running

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

Call a repair person

If you have been through the above list and the problem remains, or you have reason to believe the pump, pump valve or motor are damaged, it might be a good time to call for help.

This way though you will at least manage give them more information and have managed to avoid needing to pay a hefty call-out fee for a clogged filter.

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