Why Won’t My Dishwasher Drain?

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Why Won’t My Dishwasher Drain?

If you’ve just finished running a cycle in your dishwasher, but your dishwasher refuses to drain, you may be dreading the idea of calling a local plumber for help. The good news is that this is usually a simple enough issue that you can resolve it on your own.

For instance, is there any debris in your sink drain that would cause your tub not to drain? If so, clear it out and run another cycle. If it drains, then voila! – it’s fixed. You can also try canceling the dishwasher cycle. If that still doesn’t help the dishwasher drain, then you can try some of the suggestions below. If none of those work, then it’s time to bite the bullet and call a professional.

Check the Filter

Most new models of dishwashers have a small, built-in grinder, which reduces the amount of food that can clog the filter. However, some larger pieces of food and even the labels that come off of jars can be enough to clog the filter and cause the dishwasher not to drain.

There are three places in your dishwasher where the filter may be: in the bottom of the tub, at the back, or around the base of the lower spray arm. Check the filter for clogs and clean as necessary. If the filter is in the back of the machine, you may need to unscrew and remove the cage surrounding the filter to be able to clean it properly.

Clear the Drain Path and Drain Line

You should also check the drain path and the drain line for clogs. If there’s a clog in the drain line, then water will not be able to flow out of the hose and will back up into the tub. You can use a thin metal snake to unclog it. If there’s a blockage elsewhere in the drain path, this could potentially become a more complicated issue. The clog could be anywhere, from the sump, pump, or sink drain.

A clog may not necessarily be food. It can also be a build-up of grease. If that’s the case, then you may discover you need to replace a part that has worked overtime for too long due to the blockage and has now completely failed. Our experienced plumbers can assist in replacing the part(s) and getting your dishwasher back up and running in no time.

Run the Garbage Disposal

If the garbage disposal has unground food in it, or if the ground-up mess settles in the drainpipe, this too can cause your dishwasher not to drain. Sometimes, all you need to do is run the disposal to fix the problem. To prevent this problem from recurring in the future, you can leave the water on and run the disposal for an additional 15 seconds after you believe all the food is gone to ensure that it truly is.

If, however, you do not have a garbage disposal, then you can try cleaning the air gap instead. The air gap is a small, usually stainless steel cylinder with slots in it, and it is located on top of the sink by the faucet. A small hose runs from the air gap to the drain hose of the dishwasher, and its purpose is to prevent air from becoming trapped in the hose. However, this air gap can become clogged with debris, which can affect the performance of your dishwasher.

To check it, remove the air gap by twisting it counterclockwise, then check it for build-up. Clean it out with water and a stiff brush, put it back in place, then run your dishwasher again. Did that fix the problem?

Having Trouble with Your Dishwasher? Plumbing By Jake Can Help!

If you’ve tried all these suggestions and you still can’t get your dishwasher to drain, then you need a licensed professional. Our emergency plumbers are available 24/7 to help with all of your plumbing emergencies.

Call 928-377-5910 anytime, day or night, and one of our experienced team members will be there to help. You can also use the contact form on our website to schedule a plumbing repair in the event it is not an emergency.

At Plumbing by Jake, we are proud to offer a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee on all our repairs and installations. Our plumbers are punctual and professional. We empathize with our customers’ busy schedules, and the last thing we want to do is hold you up because your plumber is late.

Areas we serve include Bullhead City, Golden Valley, Kingman, Lake Havasu, and all of Mohave County, Arizona. So, if you have a plumbing emergency, don’t delay – call us now!