Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

No-one is happy to open their dishwasher and discover it hasn’t drained fully but, don’t overreact just yet. You may manage rectify the error before you have to call a repair person or purchase a new machine.

Standing water in your machine can have a number of of causes some of which are easy to rectify. So, before you call a dishwasher repair service here is a selection of potential things you may correct on your own. A few of which are not even caused by the machine itself.

Ensure the dishwasher wasn’t interrupted mid-program

It is probable that there is nothing preventing your dishwasher from emptying. Instead, the program may have been interrupted.

The cycle could have been cut short for a number of of reasons. Little fingers pushing buttons, inadvertently pressing against the controls, a power outage or opening the machine mid-program could all prevent the cycle from completing and mean your dishwasher doesn’t drain.

If you think this could be the situation, or you think it may be a good idea to check run the dishwasher again on a short cycle.

A number appliances could have an empty function so it’s worth checking your manual or doing a quick internet search to check.

Examine the garbage disposal

If you have a disposal inspect this before you move on as a blocked waste disposal will prevent your machine from emptying. Turn on the waste disposal with lots of water to ensure there are no blockages.

If you do uncover an obstruction drain unclogger or a plunger may be sought after to unclog the blockage and so this may rectify the error.

Check the plumbing for blockages

If you sink is draining reluctantly this might suggest a plumbing issue instead of a fault with your machine.

If the kitchen sink is draining slowly you could attempt putting some bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar down the drain, leaving it for a while and then flushing it away with boiling water.

A plunger could also be utilized to attempt to remove the blockage.

This may be sufficient to permit your appliance to drain so start a short cycle to check. If this hasn’t worked you could remove the standing water by hand using a bowl and also a towel and troubleshoot a few more likely causes.

At this point make certain to unplug the machine to stay safe.

If during any one of these investigations you think you have discovered and solved the issue there is no need to continue to the next step. Just run an empty cycle to make sure your dishwasher is once again draining as it used to.

Inspect and scrub the filters

Popcorn, paper from tupperware, plastic film covers and broken glass, plus scraps of food, may all block the dishwasher filter. Clear plastic lids could also be hard to see if you aren’t looking for it.

Take out the filter and give it a thorough scrub before putting it back in place. Not all machines have their filter in the same location so you could need to look at the instruction manual for this.

Is the drain hose blocked?

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

Depending on the position of the hose (generally the corrugated one) you may be able to view it by means of removing the base alternatively you could need to move the machine away from under the counter.

Look at the hose in the first instance to discover if there are any kinks or it’s been squashed. You might have the means to fix these issues by hand which should deal with the issue, but it’s worth noting that when this has occurred it is much more inclined to happen again so you might need to buy a spare hose.

If you can’t see any obvious kinks or obstructions you could take off the drain pipe from the pump and blow into it to figure out if there are any blockages. Be sure to line the floor with newspaper or towels first as even if you have emptied the machine there may still be dirty water in the hose.

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

Take off the hose at the sink end in order to give it a good clean to get rid of the blockage. If you can’t remove the blockage or the waste hose is slit or worn buy a new one. If you can get rid of the blockage then re-attach the hose and start a short cycle to make sure you have solved the error.

You can also check the point where the waste pipe connects to the sink. This is a likely point for debris to build up so if you happen to remove the hose give this area a thorough scrub as well.

Examine the drain valve

You can inspect the drain valve by hand to ensure it hasn’t seized. The drain valve will often be found in the bottom of the dishwasher on the valve bracket. Examine your manual if you’re not sure.

Pressing down on the valve or giving it a jiggle should be sufficient to tell you if it’s seized. If you are able to see an object stopping it from moving carefully extract this. If you are unable to, this could be a good time to get in touch with a plumber unless you are undaunted by procuring and repairing the part on your own.

Inspect your pump is not broken

Your dishwasher pump makes use of impellers that may be blocked by broken glass or other objects. Check your pump isn’t blocked by taking off the safety cover and ensuring that the impellers are free to move.

Listen to your dishwasher while it’s running

If your dishwasher doesn’t sound normal your pump or motor may be broken and need replacing.

Call a plumber

If you have been through the above list and the error remains, or you think the pump, pump valve or motor are damaged, it might be a good time to get the professionals.

At least having attempted to investigate what is wrong you have managed to avoid having to pay a hefty call-out fee for a clogged filter.

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