Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

Although it’s never a welcome sight to open the dishwasher and discover it is still full of water, don’t overreact just yet. You might have the means to solve the fault without having to call a repair person or purchase a brand-new dishwasher.

Your machine declining to drain could be caused by a number of things a proportion of which are simple to deal with. So, in advance of calling a dishwasher repair service here is a lineup of possible things you may troubleshoot yourself. Some of which are not even related to the machine itself.

Check the cycle wasn’t stopped mid-way

It is probable that there is nothing stopping your machine from emptying. Instead, the cycle may have been interrupted.

The cycle might have been cut short for multiple of reasons. Kids pushing buttons, mistakenly pushing on the buttons, a power cut or opening the dishwasher mid-cycle could all interrupt the program and mean your dishwasher doesn’t drain.

If you suspect this may be the situation, or you just want to be sure it’s not the issue start your dishwasher again on a quick program.

A number machines may have an empty cycle so it’s well worth checking your owners manual or checking online to check.

Inspect the disposal

If you have a disposal examine this before you do anything else as a blocked disposal will block your machine from draining. Run the garbage disposal with fast running water to ensure there are no issues.

If you do find an obstruction drain un-blocker or a natural alternative could be used to remove the blockage and this could resolve the fault.

Inspect the sink waste for blockages

If you kitchen sink is emptying inefficiently this could suggest an issue with the plumbing rather than an error with your machine.

In the case that the kitchen sink is draining inefficiently you can attempt putting a little bicarb and white vinegar down the drain, letting it sit for a few minutes and then flushing it away with hot water.

A sink plunger could also be used to attempt to dislodge the blockage.

This could be enough to allow your appliance to drain so run a short rinse and drain cycle at this point. If not you can manually remove the water using a jug as well as a towel and check a few more possible issues.

At this point make certain to disconnect the machine to prevent electrocution.

If while you are carrying out one of these checks you think you have discovered and fixed the issue you don’t need to go through the remaining steps. Just complete an empty cycle to make sure the machine is once again draining as it used to.

Inspect and scrub the filters

Any number of things could block the filters including corn kernels, paper from food jars, plastic film lids and broken glass. Clear film can also be difficult to see if you aren’t looking for it.

Take out the filter and give it a good clean before replacing it. Not all machines have their filter in the same location so you might need to consult the owners manual for this.

Is the waste pipe obstructed?

The next area to examine is the waste water pipe. Stuck food, a kink in the hose or a crushed hose could all prevent your machine from draining.

Subject to the location of the hose (usually the ribbed one) you could have the means to inspect it by removing the base or you could have to pull the machine out from under the counter.

Have a look at the hose in the first instance to find out if it has been crushed or kinked. You may be able to fix these issues by hand which will most likely fix the issue, but it’s worth noting that when this has happened it is much more inclined to happen again so you could need to buy a replacement hose.

If you can’t find an issue you could disconnect the waste pipe from the dishwasher 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 might still be water in the hose.

If you can’t blow air through the pipe this may be the problem.

Disconnect the hose at the sink end and then give it a thorough flush through to clear the blockage. If you can’t get rid of the obstruction or the hose is cracked or degraded acquire a brand-new one. If you can clear the blockage then put the hose back and run a short cycle to make sure you have fixed the issue.

You may also inspect where the pipe connects to the sink. This is a common spot for blockages to occur so if you do remove the pipe give this connection a thorough clean as well.

Examine the drain valve

You may check the drain valve by hand to make sure it hasn’t got stuck. The drain valve will most often be found at the base of the dishwasher on the valve bracket. Consult your instruction manual if you’re unsure.

Pushing down on the valve or giving it a wiggle should be sufficient to find out if it’s stuck. If you are able to see anything blocking it remove this. If you are unable to, this may be when you should ring a plumber unless you are happy in purchasing and replacing the part yourself.

Examine your pump is not broken

Your appliance pump makes use of impellers that can be obstructed by pieces of glass or other objects. Check your impellers aren’t broken by taking off the cover and checking that the impellers are free to move.

Listen to your dishwasher while it’s running

If it doesn’t sound normal your dishwasher pump or motor may be faulty and need to be repaired.

Call a repair person

If you have been through the above list and the fault remains, or you have reason to believe the pump, pump valve or motor are not working, it could be the moment you need to call your local repair person.

At least having tried to troubleshoot you have avoided having to pay a hefty call-out fee for a blocked drain.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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