Dishwasher Not Draining

The most common reasons why your dishwasher won’t drain are: food and debris blocking the drain filter, or a clog in the drain hose. 

The filter is located either in the bottom of the tub under the spray arm, or in the back corner of the unit (depending on your model). Clear out any debris from the filter area. Be CAREFUL! Broken glass and bone bits might be lodged here, so use a wet/dry vacuum if you have one. Rinse the filter off with warm water. 

We recommend you disassemble the latter cage as well to thoroughly clean the filtration area of your dishwasher. You should clean your filter every few months to prevent future draining issues. 

The drain hose removes dirty water from the dishwasher and can become clogged with food and debris. To clean, first disconnect the power by unplugging the dishwasher or turning the circuit breaker off. To access the drain hose, you must remove the kick plate located under the dishwasher. Have a bucket or towel handy as there might still be water left in the hose line. Disconnect the drain hose from the drain pump by loosening the hose clamp. You can use a plumber’s snake to clear out any blockages. 

For extra precaution, try and blow through the hose to clear blockage. Additionally, check the other end of the hose, connected to the disposer inlet under your kitchen sink, as it is prone to buildup overtime. Following these steps, we recommend you run hot water through the wash cycle to help clear buildup. 

Additionally, your garbage disposal may not have been installed properly. If your dishwasher is connected to the garbage disposal, there is a plug that blocks where the drain hose connects. When the garbage disposal is first installed, this part MUST be removed by knocking it out with a screwdriver or hammer. Water should flow normally after removing this piece. 

If a blockage is not the problem, you may have a faulty drain pump. The Drain Pump is located at the bottom of the dishwasher and helps pump the water out of the dishwasher. You may have a defective drain pump if the motor circuit is shorted. The pump can also crack, allowing water to seep out onto your kitchen floor. Check the area to look for any leaks or puddles of water. 

If there is no physical damage, you can test the pump for continuity using a multi-meter. DISHWASHER MUST BE UNPLUGGED. 

First, set your meter to continuity mode (ohms O). Take the black and red probes and touch them to the terminals on the pump. Access your manufacturer repair manual to determine the proper ohms your dishwasher pump should be reading. 

If the pump does not reach the correct continuity or nothing at all, it must be replaced. 

Your Drain Impeller on the Drain Pump could also be defective. The drain impellers help drive water out of the dishwasher during the draining cycle. The impeller has thin blades that can break off and cause noise during the dishwasher’s operation. Visually inspect these parts to see if they need replacement. It might be a good idea to replace the seals around them at the same time.
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