Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

No-one wishes to open their dishwasher and discover standing water but, don’t panic just yet. You may have the means to figure out the problem before you have to call a repair person or purchase a new machine.

Standing water in your dishwasher may be caused by any number of things a few of which are easy to figure out. Therefore, in advance of calling a dishwasher repair service try this list of possible issues you can troubleshoot on your own. A few of which are not even a fault of the machine itself.

Ensure the cycle wasn’t cut short

If you’re fortunate the standing water you have discovered may not be an issue at all. Rather, the cycle might have been cut short.

The program may have been interrupted for multiple of reasons. Kids pushing buttons, mistakenly leaning against the buttons, a power surge or opening the machine mid-cycle may all interrupt the program and mean your dishwasher doesn’t empty.

If you believe this might be the situation, or you think it could be worthwhile checking start your machine again on a short cycle.

Some dishwashers could have an empty function so it’s well worth checking your manual or doing a quick internet search to make sure.

Examine the waste disposal

If your dishwasher is attached to your waste disposal check this first as an obstructed disposal will stop the machine from draining. Turn on the disposal using plenty of water to check there are no blockages.

If you do uncover an obstruction drain un-blocker or a natural alternative can be sought after to remove the obstruction and this could solve the error.

Check the sink for blockages

If you sink is draining slowly this might signify an issue with the pipes instead of an error with your machine.

In the case that the kitchen sink is emptying inefficiently you can try putting a little bicarb and vinegar down the drain, leaving it for a few minutes, then washing it through with hot water.

A plunger might also be employed to try and shift the obstruction.

This might be all you need to do to let the appliance to drain so start a quick program at this point. If not you could remove the standing water by hand using a bowl and a towel and check the next few possible issues.

Make certain to unplug the machine to stay safe.

If during one of these checks you believe you have found and solved the problem there is no need to continue to the next step. Just start an empty program to make sure the dishwasher is once again draining as it used to.

Examine and scrub the filters

Any number of things could block the filters including popcorn, labels from containers, plastic covers and broken glass. Clear glass could also be hard to spot if you aren’t looking for it.

Remove the filter then give it a thorough scrub before replacing it. Not all filters are obvious and straightforward to remove so you may need to refer to the owners manual for this.

Is the waste hose obstructed?

The next place to examine is the drain hose. Stuck food, a kink in the hose or a crushed hose may all stop your dishwasher from emptying.

Subject to the position of the waste hose (usually the corrugated one) you may have the means to view it by removing the base or you could be required to move the machine out from the wall.

Look at the hose first to see if there are any kinks or it’s been squashed. You may be able to fix these issues by hand which will most likely fix the issue, however, it’s worth noting that once this has happened the chance of it happening again is significantly increased so you might need to order a replacement hose.

If you can’t see anything you can disconnect the waste pipe from the pump and blow through it to figure out if there are any blockages. Be sure to line the floor with newspaper or towels first as there may still be dirty water in the pipe.

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

Disconnect the other end of the hose and then give it a good clean to get rid of the obstruction. If you are unable to remove the obstruction or the hose is split or worn buy a new one. If you can get rid of the obstruction then replace the hose and run a quick cycle to double check that you have solved the fault.

You can also inspect the point where the waste hose attaches under your sink. This is a common point for a build-up of gunk so if you happen to take off the waste pipe give this area a good scrub as well.

Inspect the drain valve

You can inspect the drain valve by hand to make sure it isn’t seized. The drain valve will generally be located at the base of the machine on the valve bracket. Check your instruction manual if you’re not sure.

Depressing the valve or wiggling it a bit will likely be adequate to let you know if it’s stuck. If you are able to see something blocking it remove this. If you are unable to, this may be the right time to get in touch with a repair person unless you are undaunted by procuring and replacing the component on your own.

Inspect your pump is not broken

Your appliance pump uses impellers that can get obstructed by pieces of glass or other debris. Check your pump isn’t broken by removing 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 dishwasher pump or motor may be damaged and need replacing.

Call a repair person

If you have been through the above list and the issue persists, or you think the pump, pump valve or motor are not working, it could be time to call in the professionals.

This way though you will at least be able to give them more information and have managed to avoid needing to pay a hefty repair charge for a blocked hose.

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