Why is My Dishwasher Not Draining?

Although it’s always annoying to open the machine and find out it is still full of water, try not to panic just yet. You could have the means to solve the issue without having to call a repair person or invest in a brand-new dishwasher.

Your machine failing to empty can be caused by multiple issues a number of which are straightforward to fix. So, in advance of calling a dishwasher repair service here is a lineup of probable things you can correct yourself. A few of which are not even related to the machine itself.

Check the dishwasher wasn’t stopped mid-program

If you’re lucky the fact your dishwasher hasn’t emptied may not be a fault at all. Rather, the program might have been interrupted.

The program could have been stopped mid-way for a number of of reasons. Kids pressing buttons, mistakenly leaning against the control panel, a power cut or opening the machine mid-program may all interrupt the cycle and mean your dishwasher doesn’t drain.

If you believe this might be the case, or you feel it might be a good idea to check start the machine again on a quick program.

A number dishwashers could have an empty function meaning it’s worth having a look at your instruction manual or consulting google to find out.

Inspect the waste disposal

If you have a garbage disposal inspect this before you do anything else as a blocked disposal will prevent your machine from emptying. Run the disposal with fast running water to ensure there are no blockages.

If you do find an obstruction drain un-blocker or a natural alternative may be used to unclog the blockage and this may solve the error.

Check the sink for clogs

If you sink is emptying reluctantly this could suggest an issue with the drains rather than a problem with your machine.

If the sink is draining reluctantly you could try putting a little bicarb and vinegar down the plughole, leaving it for a while and then flushing it through with boiling water.

A sink plunger could also be utilized to try and dislodge the obstruction.

This might be enough to allow the machine to work again so run a short rinse and empty program at this point. If this hasn’t worked you may remove the standing water by hand using a cup as well as a sponge and troubleshoot a few more possible issues.

At this point make sure you disconnect the machine to stay safe.

If during any one of these checks you think you have found and repaired the error there is no need to continue to the next step. Just run an empty cycle to make sure the dishwasher is fixed.

Examine and clean the filters

Any number of things could block the filters including corn kernels, labels from tupperware, film lids and smashed glass. Clear film may also be hard to see if you aren’t looking for it.

Take out the filter and wash it thoroughly before replacing it. Not all filters are obvious and easy to remove so you could need to look at the owners manual for this.

Is the drain pipe blocked?

The next component to examine is the waste hose. Many things could cause an obstruction including a build up of food debris, a kink in the hose, or a crushed hose. All of which could all impede your machine from draining.

Depending on the position of the waste pipe (generally the corrugated one) you could be able to look at it by lifting away the base or you could need to move the machine out from under the counter.

Visually inspect the pipe in the first instance to see if there are any kinks or it’s been squashed. You might have the means to fix these issues by hand which should resolve the issue, but be aware that when this has occurred the probability of it occurring again is greatly increased so you may need to purchase a replacement hose.

If you are unable to find any obvious kinks or obstructions you can take off the waste water pipe from the machine and blow into it to figure out if there are any blockages. Be sure to put down newspaper or towels first as there could still be waste water in the pipe.

If you are unable to blow air through the waste pipe this might be the reason your machine isn’t draining.

Remove the hose at the sink end in order to give it a good flush through to get rid of the blockage. If you can’t shift the blockage or the waste hose is cracked or worn acquire a new one. If you may remove the blockage then put the hose back and run a quick program to find out if you have repaired the problem.

You could also inspect the point where the pipe connects under your sink as well. This is a typical spot for debris to build up so if you do remove the waste hose give this area a good scrub as well.

Examine the drain valve

You may manually check the drain valve to make sure it hasn’t seized. The drain valve will most often be located at the base of the dishwasher on the valve bracket. Examine your instructions if you’re not sure.

Pressing down on the valve or wiggling it a bit will likely be sufficient to let you know if it’s stuck. If you can see anything blocking it get rid of this. If you are unable to, this might be a good time to ring a repair person unless you are undaunted by ordering and replacing the component yourself.

Examine your pump is not blocked

Your water pump makes use of impellers that may become obstructed by broken china or other debris. Check your impellers aren’t obstructed by removing the safety cover and checking that the impellers are free to move.

Run your dishwasher and listen for any unusual sounds

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

Call a plumber

If none of the above checks has solved the issue, or you suspect the pump, pump valve or motor are not working, it could be a good time to call in the professionals.

This way though you will at least have the means to give them more information and have prevented needing 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