How To Fix A Dishwasher That Won’t Drain?

How to fix a dishwasher that won’t drain? If your dishwasher won’t drain, then it is probably clogged. This means you have to find what is clogging it to make it work again. Find out how exactly to fix a dishwasher that won’t drain in this detailed guide.

How to fix a dishwasher that won’t drain?

A dishwasher that won’t drain can be very annoying. The good news is that while the dishwasher will prevent you from cleaning dishes for a while, you can investigate and fix the issue on your own. No need to spend tens or hundreds of dollars on a plumber.

Without further ado, here is the step by step guide on how to fix a dishwasher that won’t drain.

Step 1 – Disconnect your dishwasher from the electricity supply

The number one thing you need to do before you start repairing your dishwasher is to disconnect it from the electricity supply. In other words, you need to first unplug your dishwasher before you start. Troubleshooting or opening your dishwasher without disconnecting it can result in electrocution or even death. So make sure you disconnect the dishwasher to be on the safe side.

Step 2 – Check the sump for any blockage

The dishwasher sump is typically located near the back end of your dishwasher. When a dishwasher won’t drain, the most common reason why it happens is that its sump is blocked. So check your dishwasher sump for blockage because of food particles or debris.

If there is any blockage, you should remove it and ensure the drain is free and works perfectly.

Remember you may find several cups of water sitting right next to the sump. You should remove the water and the debris in it using a small cup.

Step 3 – Check whether the dishwasher is loaded correctly

A poorly loaded dishwasher will not drain correctly. Therefore, you need to check your instruction manual to find out how exactly to load dishes correctly into your dishwasher. By knowing exactly how the manufacturer of your dishwasher wants you to arrange dishes inside it, you are less likely to put dishes in your machine in a way that will prevent or slow down draining.

Step 4 – Investigate your dishwasher’s filter

If your dishwasher is like most dishwashers, it has a filter beneath it. If it does not, then it most probably has a filter next to its spray arm.

Sometimes a slow draining or poorly draining dishwasher is because of a clogged filter. Therefore, when you are trying to find out what is making your dishwasher not to drain effectively, you should always look at the filter.

The filter in most dishwashers has debris. If you find that it has plenty of debris that is preventing water from moving through it, then it is most probably the reason for inefficient draining in your dishwasher.

Remove debris inside the filter and rinse it. If you wash plenty of dishes, you should clean your filter around once every month to prevent it from clogging.

Step 5 – Clean the air gap

Virtually all dishwashers have a tiny cylinder near the back known as air gap. The purpose of the air gap is to prevent waste water from mixing with clean water.

When you are using your dishwasher, you should observe the gap to check if some water is coming from the machine into the gap.

If this is happening, it means that debris could have clogged the area between the gap and the garbage disposal. And this could be what is causing the drainage problems in your dishwasher.

To properly remove the debris from the space, remove the air gap’s cap and pour a mix of warm water and baking soda.

Complete the cleaning process by running your dishwasher. This will flush the cleaning mixture out of the dishwasher.

Step 6 – Check your garbage disposal

You should always check your garbage disposer when you are trying to find out what is preventing your dishwasher from draining water effectively.

So remove the drain cover and pour water into your garbage disposer. This will help you confirm if it has any blockage.

If there is blockage in your garbage disposer, it could be the reason why your dishwasher is not draining. This is because most dishwashers are connected to the garbage disposer drain.

In other words, they do not have a separate dedicated drain. So a clogged garbage disposer can result in a dishwasher that won’t drain.

If your garbage disposal is clogged, switch it off and unplug it first before finding out what is clogging it and removing it.

Step 7 – Investigate the drain basket

A clogged dishwasher drain basket will make it nearly impossible for your dishwasher to drain waste water. The drain basket is typically located at the bottom of the dishwasher and it can get clogged with things like food particles, paper, and/or detergent. If the basket is clogged, you should clean out all the debris from it using hot water.

Step 8 – Investigate the drain valve

At the end of your dishwasher’s wash cycle, the drain valve lets water out of the dishwasher automatically. You should test to see if this valve is working by pushing the valve bracket manually. If the valve bracket moves, you have nothing to worry about.

If the bracket seems frozen or stuck in place, it could be the reason why your dishwasher is not draining.

How to fix a dishwasher that won’t drain – FAQ

What makes water not drain from a dishwasher

A dishwasher may not drain due to clogs in the drain hose, or air gap if it has one. Drain hose clogs often occur at the connection point between the hose and the garbage disposer.

How can you unclog your dishwasher when there is still water?

Vinegar and Baking Soda are great options

Mix about 1 cup each of vinegar and baking soda together and then pour the mixture into the dishwasher’s water reservoir. Leave to stand for approximately 20 minutes. Run the dishwasher’s rinse program if water is not draining or is beginning to drain.

Is it possible to pour Drano in the dishwasher?

Drano can be used to unclog a sink, tub or shower drain pipe. Drano should not be used to clean a dishwasher drain. The dishwasher’s pump actively flushes out water.

What are some ways to unblock my dishwasher’s drain?

One cup of baking soda mixed with one cup of vinegar will be sufficient to clear your dishwasher’s drain. It may take up to half an hour for the mixture to break down the clog. To remove any residue, run the dishwasher through a normal cycle after the mixture has worked through the clog.

How do I determine if my dishwasher drain line is blocked?

Normal is a small amount of standing water in your dishwasher’s bottom. However, if the water level is higher than the drain and leaking onto the floor when you open it, the dishwasher drain may be blocked.

How do I determine if my dishwasher drain pumps are bad?

If your dishwasher comes with a timer, set the timer to drain to start the drain pump. The drain pump should be turning on. If the drain pump doesn’t run and there is no water in the drain, it is most likely bad.

Is there standing water in the dishwasher drain?

There is standing water in the filter area

This area has water that is perfectly normal and even useful. It helps to keep the seals in good condition. It drains at the beginning of a cycle and is replaced with new water at the end.

Can vinegar be used to unclog dishwashers?

A homemade solution of vinegar and baking soda can be used to unclog dishwashers. Put one cup vinegar in the basket. Add half a cup of baking powder. Let it rest for 15 minutes. Then pour boiling water into the basket to check if the clog has cleared.

What is the cost of replacing a dishwasher drain pump.

Dishwasher Pump Replacement Cost

A dishwasher pump replacement costs typically $150-$350, but can cost as high as $400-$600. Dishwasher pumps can be used to drain water.

How does Coke clear a clogged drainage?

Coca Cola. You will find Coke in your refrigerator. Pour a 2-liter bottle of cola — Pepsi, Coke, or generic brand substitutes — down the clogged drain. While Coke is quite strong and can clear your drains of buildup, it is much milder than commercial drain cleaners.

What is the life expectancy for a dishwasher’s average?

How long should a dishwasher be good for? Most of the 20+ manufacturers who were surveyed said that dishwashers should last 10 years. However, CR members expect to live the same average life span.

Is it worth replacing the dishwasher’s pump?

Type of repair

It depends on the issue, whether a dishwasher is worth fixing or not. It may be worthwhile to repair a dishwasher if it needs something simple and important like a door latch or seal or soap dispenser, pressure switch or drain pump.

Is it better to repair or replace a dishwasher than to buy one new?

There are many reasons to repair your dishwasher rather than replace it. It’s usually more economical, better for the environment, and a lot easier than replacing your dishwasher.

Can a garbage disposal cause the dishwasher to not drain?

Your dishwasher may not work properly if your garbage disposal has become clogged with food and grease. This can cause the standing water phenomenon. Check your garbage disposal for food particles. Sometimes, letting the garbage disposal run for a few seconds will solve the problem.

How can you reset your dishwasher?

You can reset your dishwasher by holding down the start button for three seconds. If this doesn’t fix the problem, it could be due to a problem with your water supply, power source, door latch or internal problems.

What are the most common problems with dishwashers?

Defective water inlet valves are the main cause of water flow issues in dishwashers. A defective inlet valve can cause water not to be pulled into the dishwasher when it is needed.

What are the methods professional plumbers use for unclogging drains?


A hydro jet may be used by a plumber to clear the most difficult of drain clogs. The hydro jet sends water pressure through pipes to remove drain blockages. This tool works faster and is more efficient than traditional drain snakes. Hydro jets are effective in clearing drains.

Will Dr Pepper unclog drain?

It may be worth considering quitting this coke, Dr. Pepper, or generic supermarket rootbeer if it’s useful for cleaning the kitchen sink, cleaning the toilet bowl, and removing rust from old nuts, bolts, and bolts.

Why pour hydrogen peroxide down drain?

This product acts as an antioxidant. It is colorless and somewhat denser that water. It destroys organic matter, including germs, and is a great disinfectant. It is also great for clearing out drain clogs because it consumes the clogged matter.

Which dishwasher makes the most lasting impression?

Miele dishwashers have the longest lasting dishwashers you can find. Miele claims its dishwashers will last 20 years on average use.

Is the Bosch dishwasher worth it?

Bosch dishwashers are more expensive than standard dishwashers because they have many features that make them more versatile. Bosch dishwashers are well-worth the price if you want a dishwasher with 30% more load capacity, spot-free cleaning, and quiet operation.

Is it possible to fix dishwashers by a plumber?

To fix a dishwasher, do you call a plumber? If your dishwasher isn’t working, call an appliance technician.

How can I clean out my garbage disposal and dishwasher?

You can clean your drain with baking soda and vinegar

Make a homemade solution of equal parts vinegar, baking soda, and vinegar to unclog your drain. The solution should be poured into the basket. Let it sit for fifteen minutes. Then run the rinse cycle.

Is there a reset option for dishwashers?

You can reset your dishwasher by pressing and holding the Start/Reset button. Wait a few minutes. If the dishwasher doesn’t turn on, it may be necessary to restart the whole system by shutting off the power supply at the fuse box or house circuit breaker.

Why is my dishwasher not completing its cycle?

There are reasons why your dishwasher may stop working halfway through its life.

The door latch may be loose if your dishwasher stops working or keeps beeping. If your dishwasher stops mid-cycle, it could be that the sensor on your door latch is too short or obscured. This could also indicate that the latch on the door is broken.