You’ve just hosted a party, and you have a dishwasher full of dirty dishes. You wash them and open the dishwasher, only to find that the dishwasher still filled with dirty water. What happened? Why didn’t the dishwasher drain?
The good news is there are a number of reasons for this, and you may be able to solve the problem yourself without professional assistance. However, if you try these DIY tips and find you still aren’t able to fix the problem, give our professionals at Top Shelf Appliance a call at (253) 444-4786, and we’ll be happy to take a look.
Check the Door
This is perhaps the easiest thing you can check. Is the door to the dishwasher completely closed and latched? If not, the machine may not drain properly. Open the door, close and latch it, and try running the dishwasher again to see if that fixes the problem.
Check the Filter
Even if you thoroughly rinse your dishes before you put them in the dishwasher, stuff like popcorn kernels and jar labels can still clog the dishwasher’s filter. A clogged filter can certainly stop your dishwasher from draining the water properly.
Clean up any obvious debris from around the filter, then unscrew the cage that covers the filter and clean the area more thoroughly.
Run the Garbage Disposal
A clogged garbage disposal can certainly get in the way of your dishwasher’s ability to drain properly. There are two main reasons why a garbage disposal may experience a clog: either it has unground food in it, or the ground food has developed into a sludge.
Fixing the problem may be as simple as just running the garbage disposal to grind up any unground food.
Check the Drain Hose
You may have a clogged drain hose, which can also explain why your dishwasher refuses to drain properly. The drain hose does exactly as its name suggests: it drains the water out of the dishwasher and flushes it away. To check for a clog in the drain hose, you’ll first need to cut the power to the dishwasher entirely. You can either unplug it or turn off its circuit breaker.
Next, remove the “toe-kick,” which is the panel located near the floor. You’ll have to unscrew it. Then, loosen the drain hose clamp and disconnect the hose from the pump. You’ll know the drain hose by its ridges.
Now, this may sound gross, but put the hose up to your mouth and blow into it. If it sounds clear, then there is no clog. However, if it sounds blocked, look for and straighten out any possible kinks in the hose.
You can also check the pipe where the drain hose connects to your sink. On some models, this area may suffer some corrosion buildup. If you notice any corrosion, you should be able to clear it away easily with a screwdriver.
Replace a Part
Often, a dishwasher stops working because one of its parts has failed, and you need to replace it. What follows is a list of parts, any of which can fail and cause a dishwasher to stop draining properly:
- Drain Pump – The drain pump works by pumping water out of the dishwasher. If it is cracked or dented or has otherwise failed to work, you’ll need to replace it.
- Timer – The timer lets the dishwasher know when a particular process needs to start, including draining. If you notice the control knob on the dishwasher isn’t moving as it should, this can indicate a problem with the timer, and it may need replacing.
- Electronic Control Board – The electronic control board is like a motherboard in a computer – it controls the various aspects of the dishwasher. If this fails, the dishwasher fails to operate properly, and you need to replace it.
- Pump Assembly – The pump assembly can wear out if it operates after foreign particles become trapped within it. You’ll know this is the issue if the water pressure in your dishwasher seems weaker than normal.
- Check Valve – The check valve specifically prevents extra water from backing up into the dishwasher. So, if this fails, this may be another reason why your dishwasher isn’t draining properly.
Having Dishwasher Issues? Give Top Shelf a Call!
If you have tried these self-help tips and still can’t get your dishwasher to drain, Top Shelf can help! Our team of licensed professionals has decades of experience dealing with every possible dishwasher issue you can imagine, for all makes and models. No job is too small. If you need help with your dishwasher, give us a call at (253) 444-4786 or fill out the contact form on our website. Call us now before that small problem becomes a larger nightmare!