If Your Dishwasher Won’t Drain There Could be a Problem with Your Drains

Cup in dishwasherDishwashers are one of the most popular household appliances in the UK and, without a doubt, make the chore of washing up a thing of the past. However, a dishwasher that isn’t draining properly can be a worrying problem. While a slow-draining dishwasher could be a mechanical fault, more commonly it indicates a problem with your pipes. If your dishwasher won’t drain properly, save yourself having to buy a new one by following our tips below on how to fix it.

Start with a Few Dishwasher Checks

The first thing to do if your dishwasher won’t drain properly is to make a few important checks. Start by turning off your dishwasher at the mains before you commence any checks and then follow the three simple steps below to find out how to solve the problem:

Remove and Clean the Filters

Dirty dishes stacked in sinkBlocked filters are one of the most common causes of dishwashers that won’t drain properly. However, they are surprisingly easy to check and even easier to fix. So, there’s no need to worry.

To check your dishwasher filter, find the filter at the bottom of the dishwasher. It will come in three parts and is very easy to pull or twist out. Simply remove, clean, and replace the filters to help maintain effective drainage. If you use your dishwasher every day, it’s a good idea to clean the filters out every week or so. You can do this simply by running them under the tap in your kitchen to clear any food or residue that has become caught.

Check the Waste Hose for Blockages

The waste hose is the part of your dishwasher that clears waste out of your washing machine. Sometimes, the waste hose can be squashed or kinked behind the dishwasher and this can prevent the waste water from draining away. If you are able to, it may be worth pulling the machine away from the wall so there is space for the hose to stretch out and drain properly.

However, if your dishwasher is integrated into your kitchen, it may be worth calling in a professional to fix it.

Check the Sink Waste for Blockages

If your dishwasher waste-water pipe is connected to the sink waste, it is important to check this for any blockages. If you notice that water is draining away from your sink more slowly than it did before, this could indicate a blockage. To fix this, follow our advice on how to unblock a blocked drain in this article – it’s far easier than you think!

Top 8 Ways to Unblock Your Household Drain

Clean the Air Gap

What’s the air gap? The air gap is a small, chrome cylinder situated on the back edge of your kitchen sink. When you run your dishwasher, take the time to check if water comes out of the air gap. If water is coming out, this could be a sign there’s a blockage between the air gap and the garbage disposer. You can clear the blockage by removing the air gap cap and cleaning inside.

Check the Latch on the Dishwasher

Is your dishwasher door not latching properly? This can be a sign that the latch is broken, and you need a replacement. If your dishwasher won’t latch properly, it’s likely it’s not draining properly. It won’t drain completely unless it can be properly latched, so it’s always worth checking whether your dishwasher can close properly.

What If There’s Standing Water After an Empty Cycle?

Dishwasher open in kitchenIf you’ve run your dishwasher on an empty cycle, you’ve cleaned out the filter, and you still have standing water, it’s likely there’s clog. In this case, the blockage will likely be somewhere deeper in the plumbing system that connects your dishwasher to the main drain in the kitchen. At this point, before you go any further, you should turn off the water supply.

Take a bucket with you and disconnect the plumbing line that feeds into the main drain. The remaining water in the pipe will empty into the bucket. Once it has, you can easily look for clogs within the pipe. Generally, the clog is found at the connection points. If you can’t see the clog or pull it out, run a drain snake through the pipe to dislodge anything that may be causing a blockage. Then, reattach the pipe and you’ll likely have fixed the problem.

How to Keep Your Dishwasher Draining Properly

At Coastal Drains, we always tell our customers that prevention is better than cure. That’s why we fix your drainage issues but also give you advice on preventative measures you can put in place to keep everything running smoothly. The same goes for your dishwasher. Keep yours running for years by using the following preventative measures:

  • Never use drain cleaning products in your dishwasher as these can damage rubber parts of the dishwasher, causing more problems.
  • Make sure you’re using the right detergent for your machine.
  • Have annual maintenance carried out.
  • If you think there is a problem, address it as quickly as possible.
  • Clean the filter out every week.
  • Check the latch and lookout for any leaks or cracks.

If your dishwasher still isn’t draining properly, despite you choosing to follow the advice listed above, call in a professional. An expert will be able to decipher what is causing your dishwasher to drain slowly or not at all.

10 Ways To Prevent Blocking Your Drain

Author: Greg Child

Greg is an expert in drainage and has been in the business for over 30 years. He's the owner of Coastal Drains Ltd and a very, very friendly chap.

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