Dishwasher Doesn’t Drain

Following a cycle, a small pool of clean water inside the tub is normal. An excessive amount of water means the pump isn’t pumping water out properly, the drain hose isn’t carrying it to the drainpipe, or the house’s drain lines are backed up.

If dirty water spews from the air gap, the drain line is kinked or clogged. (If you’ve recently installed a garbage disposer, be sure the knockout plug for the dishwasher was removed when the connection was made; see your disposer instructions.)

1Remove the cover from the air gap at the top of the sink (usually a short chrome domed cylinder that sits at the back of the sink), and, using a stiff wire, clean it out. Also check the entire length of the drain hose for kinks or blockages, especially at the drain connection to the disposer or drain line.

©Don Vandervort, HomeTips

Lift out the strainer at the base of the dishwasher.

2Once the dishwasher is cool, shut off the power to it, and—if your dishwasher is made to allow this—remove the strainer (shown at right), located under the bottom spray arm at the base of the cabinet. Unscrew the hubcap, lift the spray arm off, and remove any clips that hold the strainer to get it out. Scrub it clean with a brush and then replace it.

3Determine whether the sink trap or house drain line is clogged. If the sink is backing up, the drain is clogged. If this is the problem, see Sink & Drain Repairs.

4If the dishwasher still doesn’t drain properly, the drain hose may be clogged or the drain valve may need replacement. You can check the drain hose for obstructions, but this usually involves pulling the dishwasher out from under your counter to access the hose, disconnecting the hose at both ends, and flushing it out with a faucet or garden hose, or replacing it with a new hose (see dishwasher hose repair kits).

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