Dishwasher Not Draining

Dishwasher Not Draining? Potential Causes And Solution

Dishwashers have made your kitchen life easier than ever before. They are convenient, user-friendly, and matchless at saving all that time that otherwise you would have spent at the kitchen sink. They give you the liberty to spend the same time on more productive work than cleaning the dishes.

However, there are times when a small hitch might affect your experience with the dishwasher like nothing else. You might come across a puddle on the dishwasher’s bottom and realize there’s something wrong going on inside it. Moreover, the used water might not find its way outside the dishwasher, giving an unpleasant turn to the things.

We have come up with the potential causes and solutions for the dishwashers that aren’t draining to sort this out. With no further ado, let’s dive right in:

Basic Reasons Your Dishwasher Won’t Drain

Clogged Filters

This is something we all have been guilty of at least once in our lives. It so happens that instead of cleaning the dishwasher’s filters routinely, we procrastinate and the consequences come in the form of clogged filters. The grease hardens up, or the small bits of food get stuck in the filters. That doesn’t let the water escape the dishwasher’s pipe. Moreover, sometimes you get so tired after throwing a party that you forget to remove the food from the plates first before putting them in the dishwasher. This leads to the clogging of the filters and might cause permanent damage to your appliance in the long run.

To cope with this, you can start with removing the dishwasher’s cylindrical filter and then find out the base of the metal filter plate. If the clogging isn’t problematic, just take a damp cloth and wipe it off. On the other hand, if the clog has formed small hard deposits, you can opt for a used toothbrush to give it a good scrubbing. This can sort out all these problems without having you look up to professional help.

Expired Drain Pump

This is a more serious problem that can affect the longevity of your product. It’s rare to come across an expired drain pump. However, small factors like pieces of glass, disposable plates, or hard food particles can be the primary contributing factors. If you want to give it a check all by yourself, the drain pump is usually present at the dishwasher’s bottom.

You might hear a gurgling sound that signifies the drain pump isn’t working the way it’s supposed to. The conflict arises when you try to get it all right by implementing the DIY tricks and recognize it’s not that easy.

You may have to check the resistance reading to know what goes inside the drainpipe, which isn’t a beginner’s cup of tea. This requires important tools along with the knowledge of their right usage for which you may have to call a professional.

This all depends on the degree of damage. If your drain pipe’s blocked because of some minor reason, it will sort out in no time. If God forbid, there’s any huge obstruction, then you might have to go for the replacement which can cost you a good sum. This is why preparing beforehand is always a better idea, just make sure to remove the plates’ food particles before you clean them in the dishwasher.

Faulty Drain Sink

The faulty drain sink is usually a common culprit behind your dishwasher’s inefficient working. It might trap the food bits, in-built grease, and sticky particles to form a hard obstacle in the water flow.

Furthermore, this may come out to be the first problem that may depict the irresponsibility present at the user’s side. This is why, when the drain sink stops working, you can feel an unbearable smell taking over your kitchen. It’s because the food stuck inside starts rotting with time. When it mixes with the drainage water, the results are excruciating. Such sinks are a gift that keeps on giving and birth to other problems like a malfunctioning drain pump.

We know all this may sound not very pleasant, so let us just neutralize it for you. You can purchase a plunger that should be an indispensable part of your kitchen kit. As soon as you start encountering any weird smell, just use a plunger and figure it right at the moment. The quick wit can save you from spending your hard-earned money on these problems.

Primary DIY Solutions

The primary DIY solutions to tackle such dishwashers firstly include preventive measures. As mentioned above as well, using a kitchen cloth to give a subtle wipe to all the used plates can save you from all this agony. Next, we’d suggest you keep an old toothbrush and a strong dishwashing soap at hand. If not the soap, you can also use the detergent and hot water mixture to give your dishwasher a deep cleansing session. On top of everything, the filter cage attaches to the dishwasher with two screws; you can remove them to wash the cage separately for a more thorough cleaning.

Also, there’s a valve bracket that prevents the backflow of used water. Sometimes, this valve stops working or becomes frozen, which results in the water becoming stagnant. You can solve this problem by cleaning the valve or replacing it to save the kitchen appliance from greater damage. Let us share something for the people who are laymen in this discussion.

If you don’t want any of this to happen to you, you can use a small tip that would go a long way. Whenever you’ve used a dishwasher for a long time, just take some boiling water and pour it through the drain pipe. This one won’t only help remove the stuck particles, but the higher temperature of water ceases the grease production.


Hence, a dishwasher that just won’t drain can be significant pain and might cost you a fortune to sort out the real cause. Using the above shared basic know-how can give you a boost to try solving these tiny hitches yourself. However, if it persists, then you might go ahead with calling a plumber.

In the end, we won’t suggest you mess with the inner system or drainage pipes on your own; it is always advisable to get a professional hand for more complex glitches.

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