Why Won’t My Dishwasher Drain?

Why Won’t My Dishwasher Drain?

Don’t panic; even though your dishwasher won’t drain doesn’t mean that you need to head out any buy yourself a brand new machine. Depending on what the problem is, the most you’ll likely need to do is call in the pros to break out big wrenches, but more often than not you can fix the issue yourself with a bit of knowledge and elbow grease.

The first thing you’ll want to do is empty your dishwasher and either put them in the sink if they still need to be cleaned, or back in the cabinets if they’re clean. Once you’ve cleared out the dishes and silverware, pull out the drawers and turn off the power to your machine; working on an appliance filled with water comes with an electrocution risk if you don’t take precautions. Now it’s time to drain the standing water. Spread old towels out around your dishwasher to catch any water that escapes, take a cup or similar container to dump the water down your sink drain, and grab one of the towels to soak up the last of the water. Now that your dishwasher is completely empty, it’s time to check for the problem.

  • The Filter: Your dishwasher’s filter can get clogged up with bits of food, plastic, paper, etc. Clear off any debris you find blocking the screen, and grab a screwdriver to check the filter cage – if your dishwasher has one, of course.
  • The Drain Hose: Unscrew the toe kick – that panel at the front of your dishwasher closest to the floor – and disconnect the drain hose from the machine. Check for any kinks in the hose, and give it a quick blow to make sure it’s clear of any debris.
  • The Garbage Disposal: Many dishwashers are designed to drain through the garbage disposal, so you’ll want to check and make sure it isn’t clogged. If it is, we put up a blog the other week about how to clear out any blockage.
  • The Drain Valve: If you recently ran your dishwasher, give it some time to cool off before you take a look at the drain valve. It’s located in the same place you found the drain hose, and can stick shut, which can stop your dishwasher from draining. Clear out any blockage you find there, reattach the drain hose, and close the toe kick back up.

Your last step is to test your dishwasher by running it through a short cycle. A thin layer of water at the bottom is normal, but if you find that your fixes haven’t worked, it may be time to call in the professionals. Our plumbers at bluefrog Plumbing + Drain are available 24/7, 365 days a year, and won’t charge you for the cost of the trip or for overtime. Find your closest bluefrog location to set up your free home plumbing evaluation today!

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