Thursday, February 15, 2024
HomeDrainWhy The Dishwasher Doesn't Drain

Why The Dishwasher Doesn’t Drain

When To Call A Professional

Dishwasher Not Draining | How to Fix a Dishwasher That Won’t Drain in 4 Steps

If you have a newer dishwasher that isn’t anywhere close to old enough for replacement, you will likely want to figure out how to fix the current one. If you’ve tried all of the above fixes and the dishwasher is still not draining, several dishwasher parts could be at fault. Most dishwasher replacement parts are widely available online use the machine’s model number to find the right parts. Likely culprits include:

  • Piston and nut assembly
  • Drain pump and drain motor

Other Types Of Blockage

If your dishwasher still isnt draining after ensuring the filter and sump are clear then there could be a blockage elsewhere.

The dishwasher waste pipe is a good place to check next and the easiest place to get access is where it connects to the pipework under your kitchen sink.

Its unlikely that any large pieces of debris have managed to find their way down the outlet, but as the water leaving the dishwasher cools down any grease or fat traveling along the pipe can begin to solidify and cause a blockage.

Before disconnecting anything its worth giving the hose a squeeze and a wiggle to see if you can break up any solids, and then running the dishwasher on its hottest program to wash away any remnants.

If the blockage is too stubborn to be shifted by the aforementioned squeeze and wiggle then the next step is to disconnect the waste pipe in order to find and clear the blockage .

As with filter blockages, you can avoid the outlet from becoming blocked in the future by regularly running the dishwasher on a hot washing cycle which will help clear away any residue buildup.

Down The Drain: 10 Reasons Why Your Dishwasher Isn’t Draining

When your dishwasher isn’t draining, it can add one more layer of stress to your life. Who wants to worry about dishes piling up or having to scrub by hand after every meal when you have bills to pay and a life to live?

In the following article, we’ll be helping you troubleshoot this annoying issue. Time to unload!

Also Check: How To Reset Ge Dishwasher

Reasons Why Your Dishwasher Doesnt Drain

Now that you have a better understanding of how different parts of your dishwasher work, lets find out the reasons why your dishwasher is not draining. Here are some possible reasons why your dishwasher doesnt drain:

1- Clogged Filter

The drain pump runs through a motor that is present inside of it with the drain impeller. If the motor isnt working, the drain pump will also stop working resulting in the dishwasher not draining itself.


Remove the drain pump from the dishwasher and check if its motor is working. If the motor isnt working, replace it with a new one.

2- Defective Drain Hose

Another common reason why your dishwasher might not drain is its defective drain hose. Loosen the clamps of the dishwasher drain hose and blow into it, if bubbles appear towards the dishwasher, the drain hose is working just fine. Check the dishwasher drain hose for any obstructions.


To avoid drained water from entering into the dishwasher again, there is a loop present in the drain hose. Make sure that the loop is present in the drain hose, if not, then the cause of standing water in your dishwasher is explanatory.

3- Clogged Garbage Disposal

If your dishwasher isnt draining itself when a cycle ends and water is standing in the tub, then maybe it is due to the garbage disposal.

Garbage disposal will impair your dishwasher from draining dirty water by blocking its drain tube. Or because your disposer is clogged.


4- Defective Drain Valves


Check For A Valve Bracket

5 Reasons Why GE Dishwasher Not Draining
  • Note: Most, but not all, dishwashers have a drain valve that keeps water from draining back into the dishwasher. If you have a valve bracket , your dishwasher has a drain valve.
  • Test the valve by pushing on the valve bracket to make sure it moves freely.
  • Note: If the valve’s frozen, the electrical solenoid that controls it is burned out andneeds replacing. New manufacturer parts are usually available from appliance parts sources. Sometimes you can get a much less expensive used part from a used-appliance dealer.
  • Check out more helpful information on dishwasher repair and maintenance.

    Also Check: Ge Profile Quiet Power 4 Dishwasher

    Remove And Clean The Filters

    Blocked filters are a common cause of dishwashers not draining, but they’re easy to check and fix.

    You’ll find the filters in the bottom of the dishwasher they come in three parts and are very easy to pull or twist out. Remove, clean and replace the filters. If you use your dishwasher regularly, its a good idea to clean the filters every week or so. You can do this by running them under the tap.

    Consider Getting A Professional In

    If you’ve carried out these quick checks and you still can’t get your dishwasher working properly, then it’s time to call in a professional.

    You can use our free Which? Trusted Traders website, where you’ll find recommend tradespeople who have been through our rigorous screening process.

    You can also use our Trusted Traders search tool below to find reliable local traders in your area.

    Also, take a look at our guide to domestic appliance repairs to find out the average costs for a range of jobs, as quoted by Which? Trusted Traders from their years of experience.

    If you want to give up and get a new one see our reviews for the best dishwasher for you.

    You May Like: What Causes Dishwasher Not To Drain

    If You Are Unsure Why Your Dishwasher Isn’t Draining

    The “dishwater isn’t draining” malfunction is a frustrating one, but don’t allow it to consume you. Take action!

    Schedule maintenance or checkup with a qualified professional today!

    About the Author: Brett Bidwell, Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Austin

    Brett has been a trusted Mr. Rooter owner of Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Austin since 2012. With over 8 years to back him, Brett has experience with a wide range of plumbing related solutions and systems. He and his team specialize in emergency plumbing, drain cleaning, and more.


    Dishwasher Not Draining 5 Steps To Fix It

    DIY How to Repair a Maytag Dishwasher That Won’t Drain – Slow Draining Dishwasher Repair

    Follow professional advice on how to fix a dishwasher that’s not draining, without damaging your machine. Get rid of standing water and unclog your appliance quickly.

    Get the best home decor ideas, DIY advice and project inspiration straight to your inbox!

    Thank you for signing up to Realhomes. You will receive a verification email shortly.

    There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.

    By submitting your information you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy and are aged 16 or over.

    Is your dishwasher not draining? A clogged dishwasher is inconvenient as standing water in your machine will make the kitchen smell bad and, of course, you’ll have to do all those dishes by hand…

    Knowing how to clean a dishwasher properly is essential in preventing clog-ups, but if, despite your best efforts, you’re finding that the water just won’t drain, here’s what you should do, according to experts.

    You May Like: My Dishwasher Smells Like Fish

    Solution : Clean The Filterand Drain Basket

    The dishwasher filter and drain basket work together to catch food matter during the wash cycle, preventing contaminated water from recirculating onto your dishes as they are cleaned.

    Over time, they can get clogged with food scraps and soap scum, causing water to back up in your dishwasher.

    The filter and basket are usually located at the bottom of your unit, but use your owners manual to find them on your specific dishwasher.

    Some dishwashers have separate filters and drain baskets, but others have one part that does the job of both.

    As you can see in the picture below, my dishwasher basket and filter are one unit.

    Once you located the filter and basket, take a close look to see if there is any food or debris built up.

    If there is, follow the steps below to clear the blockage.

    Even if there is no visible blockage, its still a good idea to clean the drain basket and filter occasionallydoing so will prevent blockages in the future.


  • First, always cut power to your unit for safety.
  • To clean a drain basket or filter, remove the parts using instructions in your owners manual.
  • Empty the basket and then clean it using an old toothbrush and a solution of warm water and mild detergent.
  • Rinse basket thoroughly to remove the soapy residue and place the drain basket back into the dishwasher.
  • Please note that some filters are self-cleaning.

    If your dishwasher doesnt have a removable basket, clean the filter and simply tend to the area around the drain.

    Your Garbage Disposal Is Clogged

    A garbage disposal mounts underneath your sink. It’s designed to gather solid food waste into its grinding chamber. When the disposal is turned on, the spinning disc turns quickly, forcing the food against the outer wall.

    The food is then pulverized into small pieces. Those bits get flushed with water through small holes in the chamber wall.

    Your dishwasher has a drain hose, and it empties into the drain of your garbage disposal. If the garbage disposal contains food that hasn’t been ground up, it can result in the dishwasher not draining properly. Run your garbage disposal to see if that helps your dishwasher drain again.

    A good habit to implement is leaving your water on and letting the garbage disposal run 10 to 15 seconds after all the food has rinsed out. This will help clear out any remaining food particles in the P-trap.

    Garbage disposals are good for clearing out food waste, but there are some things you shouldn’t put down your garbage disposal. This includes:

    If your dishwasher won’t drain even after you run your garbage disposal, there can be another issue.

    Read Also: Parts List For Whirlpool Dishwasher

    Check And Clean The Dishwasher Drain

    Make sure your dishwasher unit is off or unplugged so you can stay safe during your DIY home plumbing project.

    • Start by removing dish racks from your unit and then locate the drain grate. This is located at the bottom of your unit, or the “floor” of the dishwasher. The grate can be removed with a conventional screwdriver.
    • Use a drain auger or a homemade flush to clear debris within the pipe. The flush should be a natural solution made of equal parts baking soda and vinegar . Then reattach the grate.
    • Pour the remaining mix into the bottom of the dishwasher and let it sit for 15 minutes.
    • Power your dishwasher back on, and run a rinse cycle at the highest heat setting.
    • If the performance issues are resolved, replace the racks youre back in business!

    Check And Clean Your Sinks Air Gap

    Dishwasher photo and guides: Dishwasher Drain Problems Repair

    Dont have a garbage disposal? Check your sinks air gap, which prevents drain water from the sink from backing up into the dishwasher. The air gap is a small, slotted cylinder that typically juts up near the faucet, though some may be below the sink near the dishwasher outlet hose. Take the following steps:

    • Remove the sink gap by turning it counterclockwise.
    • Clean out any debris with a stiff brush.
    • Replace the cleaned-out sink gap and try running the dishwasher again.

    Recommended Reading: Door Seal For Kitchenaid Dishwasher

    How To Fix Standing Water In Dishwasher

    If you notice standing water at the bottom of your dishwasher, a repair may be necessary. However, while there are multiple reasons why the water in your dishwasher wont drain completely, most will not warrant a service call. Before calling a professional to fix the issue, follow these troubleshooting steps.

    House Method’s Pick: Best Home Warranty For Dishwashers

    • Dishwashers are covered under both the Basic and Total Plans.
    • Coverage includes a long list of dishwasher parts and components with limited exclusions.
    • Along with dishwashers, your HVAC system, electrical system, refrigerator, and additional systems and appliances are protected.
    • Plans start at about $1 a day.
    90-Day Repair Guarantee

    Recommended Reading: What Is In Dishwasher Rinse Aid

    Dishwasher Still Not Working

    If your dishwasher still wont drain after troubleshooting these areas, hire a professional to assess the system. Newer dishwashers may still be covered by their limited manufacturers warranty. If thats expired but your dishwasher is instead covered by a home warranty, your provider will send a trained service technician to access the problem. Along with a low monthly premium, youll only pay a service fee for the visit. To learn more about home warranties, read our reviews on the top home warranty providers or .

    $36$42 per month

    Check Your Drain Valve

    Dishwasher Wont Drain

    Consult your owners manual to locate the drain valve, which is usually at the bottom of the dishwasher. You should be able to move the drain valve easily with your fingers. If the valve doesnt move freely when you push on it, its electrical components may have burned out.

    If so, you may need to replace it, likely by researching, vetting, finding and scheduling an appointment with a professional. If you have a systems and appliances warranty with 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty , you can simply report a claim, and well dispatch a quality, approved service contractor to assess it.

    Recommended Reading: Are All Clad Pans Dishwasher Safe

    Run The Garbage Disposal For At Least 30 Seconds

    When your garbage disposal fills up or an air gap forms in one of the hoses, water cant drain from the machine. Turn on your disposal while running water from the sink, and let it run for at least 30 seconds. Often, this step alone will clear up any blockage. If this doesnt solve it, move on to Step 2.

    Solution : Deep Clean The Garbage Disposal

    Most dishwashers dont have a dedicated plumbing line. Instead, they connect and drain through the garbage disposal, which is connected to the outside drain pipe.

    If you dont run your garbage disposal often, or you dont clean it frequently, food and debris can build up and prevent water from properly draining out of your dishwasher.

    Look into the disposal with a flashlight and give the area a sniff.

    If you see buildup around the disposal blades or smell a pungent odor, a clogged disposal could be causing your issue.

    As a first step, run hot water and then turn on your disposal to make sure it is clear of food matter.

    Then, run a dishwasher cycle to see if that fixed the problem. If not, follow the steps below to deep clean your disposal.


  • Turn off the power to your garbage disposal by unplugging it or switching off the circuit that powers it in your electrical panel. Even after cutting power, try turning it on to make sure it is completely disconnected.
  • Use a flashlight to look down into the disposal. If you see objects that need to be removed, use tongs. Never put your hands in the disposal, even with the power off.
  • If you see buildup on the disposal blades, place two cups of ice into the disposal and a half-cup of rock salt.
  • Restore power to the garbage disposal, turn on the water, and let the disposal run for one minute.
  • As it fizzes, use an old toothbrush to clean the inside of your disposal gently.
  • You May Like: Garbage Disposal Plug For Dishwasher

    Why Wont My Dishwasher Drain Answers & Solutions

    A dishwasher that wont drain can be a real headache for homeowners. It can be tempting when you see a puddle of standing water at the bottom of your dishwasher to despair. But the cause behind a dishwasher that wont drain is often easy to fix at home, returning your dishwasher to full working order with ease. In this guide from Coastal Drains, well look at some rules for dishwasher use that can help prevent further blockages and a series of troubleshooting steps to remedy a non-draining dishwasher quickly and easily. One important thing to note you must turn off your dishwasher at the mains before you commence any work on it. If you find this guide useful, you may enjoy our other guides on how to fix a slow draining toilet and how to unclog a drain.

    How To Prevent Dishwasher Clogs

    Dishwasher photo and guides: Dishwasher Drain Clogged Up
    • Remove crumbs and other leftover food from your plates, bowls and other dishes before loading the dishwasher.
    • Choose a hot water cycle when you use the dishwasher.
    • Keep your dishwasher clean and in good working order. Wipe down both the outside and the inside, cleaning all the dishwasher parts you can access.
    • Regular check the filter and remove anything that might be stuck in it.
    • Run the dishwasher often, always using dishwasher detergent. Its normal operations help keep it cleared out.

    You may be able to solve the problem of a dishwasher not draining by yourself. But if you cant, you may need to contact a professional to fix the appliance. The Home Depot can help with plumbing repairs.

    Shop this Project

    You May Like: Ge Dishwasher Spray Arm Fell Off

    Why Your Dishwasher Wont Drain

    Dishwashers sometimes clog up the same ways sinks and shower drains do, and usually for the same reasons .

    Your dishwasher has hoses that connect to both the supply and the drain under the sink. Usually, the drain hose is connected to the garbage disposal, if you have one.

    When hoses deteriorate with age, they can kink and block drainage. There may be food or paper debris stuck inside them, as well.

    Its easy to tell when your dishwasher wont drain youll open it up when its done running and find the bottom full of mostly dirty water.

    How A Dishwasher Drains

    The dishwasher is connected to a drain hose that runs water into the pipes under or into your sink. Sometimes the plumbing connections in your sink begin to deteriorate and need to be replaced, or there may be excess debris clogging the bottom of your unit. When you have a problem with a dishwasher not draining, youll see water and even bits of food at the bottom of it.

    You May Like: Dishwasher That Hooks Up To Sink


    Most Popular