What to Do When Your Dishwasher Won’t Drain

Metro Detroit Plumber, Plumbing Metro Detroit, Metro Detroit Drain Plumbers, Plumbing Metro Detroit, Plumbers Metro Detroit, Commercial Plumbing Services Metro Detroit, Macomb Expert Plumbers, Oakland Plumbing, Water Heaters Metro Detroit, Tankless Water Heaters Metro Detroit, Sewer Repair Metro Detroit, Sewer Replacement Metro Det

After a long day at work, you arrive home to handle after-work responsibilities. You put your keys and bag down, then you see it. The “clean” light on the dishwasher is still lit. Yep, not one person in the entire house has emptied out the clean dishes from the dishwasher.

After rolling your eyes, and letting out a frustrating sigh, you whip the door open and the color drains from your face because the dishwasher has water at the bottom of it. The fear of a huge plumbing bill because your dishwasher doesn’t drain isn’t welcome after a long work day. Who wants to spend your paycheck to fix a dishwasher drain, right?

Don’t fret, just because your dishwasher won’t drain doesn’t mean you’ll have to call in a professional plumber.

Drain the Standing Water

When you have water sitting at the bottom of your dishwasher, you’ll need to manually drain the standing water from the dishwasher. To avoid making a gigantic mess, start with laying down old towels on the floor underneath the dishwasher. Listen, it’s still going to be messy, but the towels will help soak up water and minimize the mess.

Once the towels are down, use a ladle to collect the water from the bottom. Deposit the water into a sink, a toilet, or if you want, a bucket. After scooping out as much water as possible with the ladle, soak up the rest of the water with more old towels and rags.

Simple Steps to Follow When Your Dishwasher Doesn’t Drain

The longer you own a home, the more you’ll realize just how many things can go wrong with your household appliances. And appliances that use water cause homeowners a lot of headaches!

Opening up your dishwasher to find it hasn’t drained properly will run shivers through your spine. The image of your hard-earned paycheck growing wings and flying out of your bank account isn’t fun, but alas, a non-draining dishwasher often looks worse than it is. Follow these simple steps when you find standing water in your dishwasher BEFORE calling a plumber, but after turning off the power to the dishwasher:

Check for a Blockage

Most people don’t clean their dishwashers. We load our dishes, cups, and utensils into it, run it, and then empty it so we can fill it back up again. Rarely do we think to clear out random chunks of food, or debris. This ends up biting all of us in the backside at some point.

So, If you have water at the bottom of your dishwasher, check to make sure there’s nothing blocking the sump, or the bottom of the tub. Yes, sometimes we get super lucky and it is as simple as a minor clog!

Clean Out the Filter

A lot of people don’t even realize there’s a filter at the bottom of dishwashers. It’s sometimes right at the bottom, around the spray arm. Other models have them in the back of the tub. Throw on some dishwashing gloves, and start getting messy clearing out anything you find in the filter.

Inspect the Drain Hose

Drain hoses can sometimes kink, or have a blockage. Usually the drain hose is located between the drain pump and drain line. Once you locate it, look for kinks and straighten them out. If there’s a blockage, it might require removing the hose and clearing the blockage.

Make Sure the Dishwasher Door Latch Closes Properly

One of the most important things about a dishwasher, other than loading your dishwasher properly, is making sure the latch actually works. If a dishwasher door doesn’t latch properly, a dishwasher won’t drain.

Run your dishwasher through a full cycle and see if the dishwasher drains. You may just need a new latch for your dishwasher.

Take a Look at the Drain Valve

Inside many dishwasher models, there’s a valve that controls an electromagnet which is responsible for draining water during a wash cycle. The valve is supposed to wiggle and jiggle a bit, so if it doesn’t move at all – that’s a problem and could be adding to your dishwasher draining problem.

Test the Motor

Turn the power back on and make sure your dishwasher’s plugged in. Once your back up-and-running, flip on the dishwasher and listen closely. If there’s a humming noise, it means your motor isn’t not turning. Not ideal, and will require a motor replacement.

When troubleshooting doesn’t help fix your dishwasher

A well-known fact about homeownership: even after troubleshooting a household issue, you sometimes have to call in the professionals. Another well-known fact about being a tired, overwhelmed homeowner: we want someone else to handle our dishwasher drain issues.

There’s nothing wrong with calling the professionals at any step during the dishwasher drain troubleshooting. When you’re ready for someone to help drain dishwasher water, Motor City Plumbing and Drain is here to help. Call us and reach experienced local Master Plumbers.

Scroll to Top