Dishwasher not draining? Here’s how to fix itFebruary 19, 2021
A dishwasher is a modern convenience that many of us take for granted. You don’t quite realize how much you rely on your dishwasher until it breaks, leaving you stuck hand washing all of your dishes! If your dishwasher is having trouble draining—or isn’t draining at all—here’s how you can go about both diagnosing the problem and fixing it.
If you’re not comfortable with the do-it-yourself (DIY) approach discussed in this article, call a local plumber. Whether you live in Los Angeles or are looking for Joliet plumbers in Illinois, a trustworthy plumber can, and will, get the job done right, with no headaches or hassle on your part.
Before you start work on your dishwasher, make sure you turn off your home’s water supply, and cut the power to the circuit your dishwasher is on. This will help ensure that your DIY dishwasher repair doesn’t turn into a major catastrophe.
Clear out the filter
Many homeowners are surprised to learn that their dishwasher has a filter, located at the base of the unit. This filter catches all large pieces of food waste and prevents them from entering (and clogging) the drain. However, the filter itself can clog as small pieces of food or inorganic waste—think paper labels on bottles—get trapped inside of it. If your dishwasher isn’t draining, or is draining very slowly, this is one of the first places you’ll want to check.
Cleaning out the dishwasher filter is relatively straightforward, if a little gross. Either unscrew the filter from the unit or lift it out. You may want to wash the filter in the sink to ensure that it’s completely clean before reinstalling it.
Check the drain hose
If you’ve cleaned your dishwasher filter and are still having trouble with the unit not draining, it’s time to take a closer look at the drain hose. This hose, true to its name, carries wastewater away from the dishwasher and connects with your sink drain. Start by looking for any physical blockages or kinks in the hose. Since the drain hose typically runs through the back of your kitchen cabinets, kinks sometimes form when putting pots and pans away.
Of course, there’s also a chance that the drain hose has clogged if something was able to get through the filter. To check this, disconnect the drain line and try running a wire through the line to see if you’re able to push it through to the other end. Make sure you reconnect and tighten everything when you’re done!
Call a plumber
If you’ve cleaned out the filter, checked the drain line, and your dishwasher still isn’t draining, you’re at the point where you should probably bring in a professional. Your dishwasher may have a more advanced issue, such as a faulty valve bracket. Or, the problem could be more comprehensive. If your kitchen sink is also clogging, that could mean the issue is with the drain as a whole—not just the dishwasher that’s connected to it.
A plumber has all the tools needed to deal with a tough drain clog. A trustworthy plumber will typically avoid using chemical drain cleaner in favor of an old-fashioned (and highly effective) snake tool, which allows them to physically remove the clog and completely clear the line. It’s the fastest and easiest way to solve your dishwasher draining troubles.