What to Do if Your Dishwasher Isn’t Draining

February 18, 2020 Published by Leave your thoughts

Of all the large household appliances, the dishwasher is the one that’s either used regularly or not at all—or not as it was intended to be used. For example, you might use the dishwasher for air drying dishes after hand washing them, or only after big dinner parties. No matter the frequency of use, there may come a time when your dishwasher stops draining properly. This is noticeable when you open the door and see standing water in the bottom, but the clearest sign of trouble is water coming out of the appliance during a wash cycle.

If you’re asking yourself, “Why won’t my dishwasher drain?” then the following information is for you. Here are some steps to take when the dishwasher in your St. Peters, MO home won’t drain:

  • Load dishes correctly: There’s a right way—and many wrong ways—to load a dishwasher. Make sure dishes are not crammed together, face them toward the water jets and avoid obstructing the jets.
  • Run the garbage disposal: The dishwasher may be working fine, but it may not appear to be if the garbage disposal is full or there’s an air gap in a connecting hose. Both can prevent water from properly draining out.
  • Check for clogs: Inside on the bottom of the dishwasher is a food and debris catcher. Make sure fallen items and debris aren’t blocking the water flow.
  • Clean the filter: Dishwasher filters need to be cleaned regularly. Otherwise, clogs can happen. Many filters are on the inside bottom of the unit, but check the owner’s manual for filter location and how and when to clean it.
  • Check the drain hose: The drain hose is the piece connecting the sink to the garbage disposal. Straighten the hose, then carefully blow air through the hose or slip a rod through to check for clogs. Also, make sure the hose seal is tight.
  • Inspect the drain valve: Check the drain valve, which is on the valve bracket located at the bottom of the dishwasher. Ensure that the valve isn’t frozen and can move freely.
  • Unclog the drain basket: At the bottom or side of the appliance is the drain basket. Check for food or dish detergent clogs. Wash out the basket from time to time to clear any debris.
  • Listen for unusual sounds: While your machine is running, listen for unusual operating sounds. Humming or clicking could mean the drain pump or motor may need replacing.

In the event you need to clear standing water at the bottom of your dishwasher, here’s what to do. Start by lining the floor under the front of your dishwasher with towels. Next, use a measuring cup, ladle or flour scoop to remove the standing water. When you get to the point where you can no longer scoop up water easily, soak up the remaining moisture with a cloth towel or paper towels.

DIY plumbing fixes like this one can go smoothly, but that is not always the case. If the dishwasher in your St. Peters, MO home won’t drain and you need professional help or replacement parts, reach out to the experts at Crews Appliance Repair.

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