Dishwasher Will Not Drain? Easy DIY Dishwasher Repair Guide

(Last Updated On: December 24, 2023)

Yuk! It’s Thanksgiving and the dishwasher will not drain. Now what?

Either follow the DIY dishwasher tips in this article or contact a local plumber to fix whatever the problem is.

Dishwasher won't drain?

Introduction To: Dishwasher Will Not Drain

Our kitchen appliances and drains not only simplify our lives, but also keep our homes functioning and clean. When they stop working as they should, this will cause a massive inconvenience.

If you’re at some stage faced with water standing in the dishwasher and the dishwasher will not drain, you may think that repairing it would be costly, or even worse, you may have to replace the appliance. Before thinking the worst, understand that it is entirely possible the problem might be fixed by following a few simple steps.

In this article, we’ll share some tips that will help you in troubleshooting a clog in your dishwasher so you can get your kitchen back to normal quickly.

Running the Garbage Disposal

As a dishwasher will often drain through a garbage disposal, a blocked disposal often causes a dishwasher to clog. If the disposal is full, dishwasher water won’t have space to run to and it will stay in the dishwasher. 

Open the sink’s tap and allow water to run down the drain while running the disposal. Ensure that the disposal has no debris or food in it anymore by keeping it running for another 15 seconds after you can’t see any food in it.

Cleaning the Air Gap at the Sink

The air gap is the small hose that is connected to the drain hose of the dishwasher. Its function is to prevent the drain hose from creating an air lock.

There is an air gap installed in many kitchen sinks. This small cylinder has holes or slots and is often made from stainless steel.

It can normally be found right next to the faucet and the air gap can easily become clogged. 

KRAUS Dishwasher Air Gap in Spot Free All-Brite™ Stainless Steel, KAG-1SFS

Get a new one – See it at Amazon 

To check for a blockage in the air gap, remove it by twisting it anticlockwise and use a toothbrush or small brush to clear out any debris. Once is has been cleaned, replace the air gap and run the dishwasher again to check if the problem has been solved.

Draining the Dishwasher Manually

A dishwasher not draining completely despite trying the two techniques described above will need you to inspect the tub of the dishwasher. Before you can do that, you’ll need to empty the water from the tub. Put towels to the sides and in front of the dishwasher on the floor to absorb water that may spill. 

Remove the lowest dish rack and take a small container to scoop out the water to empty the dishwasher manually. When the water level is so low it can’t be scooped out anymore, use a towel to remove the last of the water.

Cleaning the Drain Basket

Once the water has been removed, locate the drain basket on the floor of the dishwasher. This basket prevents debris and any other item from getting into the pipes and clogging them, or causing damage. If the drain basket is not cleaned often, it will fill with gunk that blocks the pipe used to drain the dishwasher.

A drain basket normally looks like a bucket that’s upside-down. If you can’t find it, check the user manual to see where it is and how to remove it. Remove the drain basket by grasping it firmly and pulling it out. Use a spoon or your hand to scoop out any debris. Rinse the basket with water to clean it properly. Once the basket is clean, replace it and turn on the dishwasher to check if it drains properly.

Cleaning the Drain Hose

Your dishwasher is connected to the air gap or garbage disposal via a drain hose to help remove food debris and water during operation.

A dishwasher drain clog could be caused by this hose not functioning properly. This can be checked in several ways. 

K&J 6ft Heavy-Duty Washing Machine Drain Hose With Clamp - Industrial Grade Polypropylene Discharge Hose for Washing Machines - Fits Up To 1-1/4 Inch Drain Outlets

Universal fit washing machine drain hose. Get this replacement now – See it at Amazon 

Do a visual check to ensure that the hose is not damaged in any way. This can happen as appliances are moved around under the sink. If the hose is damaged or kinked, the easiest solution is to replace the hose. 

If there is no obvious damage, check the drain hose to see if it is clogged. This is done by unplugging the dishwasher and removing its lower front panel. Find the hose that is connected to the drain pump and remove it. Blow into the hose to check if it is blocked. If it is, a thin tool, piece of wire, or drain snake can be used to remove the clog. 

If the clog is close to the middle of the hose, you may need to replace the complete hose. If you are not confident of doing this yourself, call a plumber for assistance. This will ensure that the new hose is fitted correctly and that the dishwasher will operate properly.

When to Contact a Plumber

We hope that one of these techniques helps you get the dishwasher to drain and operate properly. However, if you have not managed to solve the problem, it’s time to contact a local plumber

The local Plumber Near Me USA experts have experience with every plumbing problem imaginable and will be able assist you in addressing your dishwasher not draining completely problem. Our expert plumbers will help you with all plumbing problems, irrespective of how big or small. Use the form below:

Our home page at Plumber Near Me USSA

Leave a Comment