Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

No-one wants to open their machine and discover standing water but, try not to overreact just yet. You could have the means to deal with the error without having to call a plumber or invest in a new dishwasher.

Standing water in your machine may be caused by any number of components some of which are easy to resolve. So, before you call a dishwasher repair service try this selection of potential components you can correct by yourself. Some of which aren’t even related to the dishwasher itself.

Check the dishwasher wasn’t stopped mid-program

If you’re fortunate the standing water you have discovered may not be a problem at all. Alternatively, the cycle could have been stopped mid-way.

The program might have been stopped mid-way for a number of of reasons. Children pushing controls, inadvertently pushing against the buttons, a power outage or opening the dishwasher mid-cycle may all stop the program from completing and mean your dishwasher doesn’t drain.

If you suspect this could be the situation, or you feel it might be a good idea to check run the machine again on a short program.

A proportion dishwashers might have a drain program meaning it’s worth consulting your instructions or consulting google to find out.

Inspect the waste disposal

If your dishwasher is attached to your waste disposal check this before you move on as an obstructed waste disposal will block your machine from draining. Run the waste disposal using fast running water to ensure there are no obstructions.

If you do discover an obstruction drain unclogger or a natural alternative could be sought after to clear the blockage and this may deal with the error.

Inspect the sink waste for clogs

If you sink is emptying inefficiently this might suggest an issue with the drains as opposed to an error with your machine.

If the kitchen sink is draining reluctantly you can try putting some bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar down the plughole, leaving it for a few minutes and then washing it away with hot water.

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

This may be enough to permit the appliance to drain so run a quick rinse and empty cycle to check. If not you may manually get rid of the dirty water using a jug as well as a sponge and have a look at the next few possible issues.

At this point make certain to turn off the machine to stay safe.

If in the process of any of these investigations you suspect you have detected and repaired the issue there is no need to continue to the next step. Just complete an empty cycle to ensure your machine is repaired.

Check and wash the filters

Popcorn, labels from containers, plastic lids and smashed glass, plus scraps of food, may all block the machine filter. Clear glass can also be difficult to see if you aren’t looking for it.

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

Is the waste water pipe obstructed?

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

Contingent upon the location of the hose (generally the ribbed one) you may manage inspect it by lifting away the base or you could be required to move the machine away from under the counter.

Look at the hose first to find out if there are any kinks or it’s been squashed. You may have the means to fix these issues by hand which should solve the issue, however, be aware that when this has occurred the probability of it occurring again is greatly increased so you might wish to buy a replacement hose.

If you are unable to see anything you can take off the waste pipe from the dishwasher and blow into it to discover any blockages. Make sure you put down newspaper or towels before you remove the hose as even if you have emptied the dishwasher there might still be waste water in the pipe.

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

Remove the hose at the sink end and give it a good flush through to get rid of the obstruction. If you can’t remove the blockage or the hose is split or worn acquire a new one. If you can clear the obstruction then re-attach the hose and start a quick program to check that you have solved the problem.

You can also check the point where the pipe connects under your sink. This is a typical place for blockages to occur so if you do take off the pipe give this area a good clean as well.

Check the drain valve

You can manually check the drain valve to check it hasn’t got stuck. The drain valve will usually be found at the base of the dishwasher on the valve bracket. Examine your instructions if you’re unsure.

Pressing down on the valve or giving it a jiggle will likely be enough to tell you if it’s stuck. If you can see an object stopping it from moving carefully extract this. If you are unable to, this may be a good time to get in touch with a plumber unless you are happy in ordering and replacing the part yourself.

Examine your pump is not blocked

Your water pump makes use of impellers that could become blocked by pieces of china or other objects. Check your pump isn’t obstructed by taking off the safety cover and ensuring that the impellers are free to move.

Listen to your dishwasher while it’s running

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

Call a repair person

If none of the above examinations has repaired the fault, or you think the pump, pump valve or motor are not working, it may be the moment you need to get the professionals.

This way though you will at least be able to give them more information and have avoided having to pay a hefty repair fee for a clogged filter.

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