Dishwasher Not Draining in Calgary? Here’s Your 101 Guide

Calgary plumber repairs clogged dishwasher
Drainage issues happen in one way or another. We might be familiar with the typical clogged sink or toilet but a busy household requires more than just order and stability. It needs a flawlessly operating dishwasher that takes care of the dishes at least once or twice a day to help busy families save time. They are not Godsend without a reason; besides convenience, they help us conserve water by skipping rinsing, scrubbing, rinsing, and drying.

However, dishwashers don’t benefit every household, in fact, they may pose a disadvantage to some due to electricity and water usage, which means that it really comes down to your circumstances. Besides, they require maintenance like every piece of appliance and plumbing fixture that drains wastewater. Although most maintenance duties are minimal, they are easily forgotten if you have a busy household, work full-time, or have to take the kids to school right after breakfast.

Is your dishwasher not draining? Calgary plumbers are geared up for plumbing issues like that. Our reliable drain experts at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Calgary will get down to the root cause and get your machine up and running again. We bring years of extensive knowledge and experience in handling small and big plumbing issues, professionally providing you with preventative solutions to keep you and your family safe, as well as protect your home’s plumbing. We have the high-end tools to further investigate any warning signs you may experience and will provide you with a thorough diagnosis and repair options. With routine maintenance, you’ll stay safe from contamination caused by plumbing disasters, such as clogged drains or sewer line problems. Our uniformed technicians are licensed and fully insured, making us the most trusted plumbing company in Calgary.

Understanding Dishwasher Parts and System

A dishwasher’s anatomy is fairly simple, as you will primarily be dealing with a couple during your cleaning duties. Although some parts may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, it will be self-explanatory once you know the basics. Calgary plumbers also recommend keeping the user manual nearby.

  • Dishwasher filter - We know the nature of filters; they catch debris and other unwanted substances. In this case, it catches food waste to enable thorough cleaning. These efficient filters require frequent cleaning especially when used on a daily basis. You may have a manual or self-cleaning filter, depending on your model. If unsure of what you have, refer to your appliance’s instruction manual.

  • Air gap - It’s typically installed above your kitchen sink next to the faucet, designed to prevent dirty fluid from returning to your dishwasher during a cleaning cycle. Essentially, it serves as a backflow preventer.

  • Drain hose - It’s usually made of rubber or corrugated plastic, designed for low-pressure use. It connects to the drain pump and garbage disposer or air gap.

  • Drain pump - The pump pushes dirty water down the drain line or garbage disposal. Before assuming it might be bad, we recommend always clearing the filter first and checking if you might have a clogged hose.

  • Spray arm - During a cleaning cycle, it rotates and shoots water to clean your dishes. You can detach it from the bottom to give it a thorough clean, using vinegar or descalers.

  • Garbage disposal - You will frequently find dishwashers that are hooked to garbage disposal. The drain line is installed in a way it connects through your air gap to the disposal.

Besides these essential parts, you will notice many modern models in the market that are designed to be more energy and water-efficient than older ones. It’s also important to note that dishwasher installation processes can be different and can depend on your existing plumbing fixtures or drain lines. These are the four different installation types:

  • The drain line runs down from the air gap to the garbage disposal

  • The line connects through an air gap straight to the sink drain

  • The drain hose is set up as a high rise loop connecting to the disposal

  • Hose set up as a high-rise loop but connecting straight to the sink drain

Whether you have an air gap or use the high loop method, plumbing codes vary from city to city. Backflow prevention is important in protecting your drinking water from contamination. Your local Calgary plumber can answer any questions that you may have about proper drainage, safety measures, or if you want someone to simply inspect your dishwasher.

Is Your Dishwasher Not Draining?

Calgary households can get very busy. Kids that try to help might throw a half-finished bowl of cereal into the dishwasher without first emptying the bowl, or someone puts an unsafe item in it without realizing that it’s wash-by-hand only. We don’t always pay attention to what can go in or what can’t—we simply want clean dishes ready for dinner time or the next day! Unfortunately, the lack of care can lead to several issues.

Visible Warning Signs Include:

Standing water

Calgary homeowners may encounter instances where they have standing water in the bottom of their dishwashers. Not draining means lots of things: a clog in the filter, drain hose, garbage disposal, or air gap.

The pump motor making noises

The most noticeable sign of a defective pump is when it makes a loud noise during a cycle. It will also decrease the spray arm’s pressure in shooting water and struggle to drain properly. Before you determine it’s broken, it’s worth checking if there is any buildup in the other parts of your appliance, such as excess soap. For this reason, you should never put dish soap in your dishwasher.

Leaking air gap

Tough food particles can clog your air gap over time, preventing adequate water flow. A simple fix includes removing the cap and cleaning the inside and unclogging any blockages.

Operation error codes

Some models will pop an error code during a cycle and flash a code that will require you to look up the exact issue in the owner’s manual. The issues range from leaks to clogs to an obstructed drain hose.

Stops mid-cycle

This could be a blown thermal fuse, which is designed to protect the appliance’s overall mechanism. When it detects overheating, it will automatically shut off. In other instances, it may be a broken wire.

101 Troubleshooting Guide: Dishwasher Not Draining

Calgary homeowners know how frustrating it is when the machine stops mid-cycle, showing an error that we haven’t experienced before. Often, we have misplaced the manual or we can’t find the specific model online to quickly identify the issue. Some people think that it could be a minor technical error and try to run another cycle only to find that the dirty water still won’t drain. If that happens turn off the power and follow these steps:

  • Locate the filter and drain basket which should be below the spray arm. Some models require you to unscrew the filter cage for access. If you happen to have one with a self-cleaning filter, it’s worth checking its state and clearing any debris that you find.

  • Check your spray arm for any blockages or deposits.

  • Inspect the drain hose for clogs. Now, this will depend on the four different installation types. Either check the drain pipe or garbage disposal beneath the sink or your dishwasher drain hose.

  • Run your garburator as it could have excess food waste stuck in it. Ensure it’s clear afterward, not blocking the pipe.

  • Clean your air gap, removing any clogs that may be obstructing flow.

  • Check your drain hose for any kinks and straighten them out. Try to blow through the hose to see if it clears any blockages.

  • Some hoses have a check valve which serves a similar purpose to an air gap—preventing backflow. If you have a check valve, you’ll have a drain valve which is underneath the dishwasher behind the front kick panel. The valve has a gate arm attached to two spring coils. Check if the springs are damaged.

  • Check any parts for corrosion that call for replacements

Is your dishwasher not draining after this guide and do you believe you require parts replacements? Your local Calgary plumber has got you covered. It’s common for certain parts to wear out over time. We recommend that you also check your warranty in case your dishwasher is fairly new. It also helps having service technicians help you determine that certain issues are related to the machine’s function itself rather than you having committed any errors.

Maintenance Tips!

Not many Calgary homeowners are aware that when a dishwasher’s not draining, it’s due to the lack of maintenance service. If you learn that something contains a filter, you will automatically know that it needs service, whether it’s a replacement or a thorough clean. If you have a Calgary plumber on speed dial but want to take matters into your hands, follow these maintenance tips to ensure your dishwasher will perform well for many years to come:

  • Rinse your dishes before placing them in the dishwasher

  • Frequently clean your filter. A self-cleaning filter is supposed to clean itself with grinders, but you can pour a cup of vinegar down and run a normal cycle

  • Inspect the hose now and then

  • Detach the spray arm and give it an occasional rinse

  • Give the owner’s manual another read, and check if you have missed anything else

  • Keep the model number and customer service phone number nearby

  • Keep your garburator clean because clogs don’t only affect the device itself but also your dishwasher and kitchen sink.

  • If you have a busy kitchen dynamic where every appliance and fixture is used regularly, we recommend creating a cleaning schedule.

  • Use natural household remedies to clean your sink, garburator, and dishwasher, such as mixing baking soda and white vinegar.

Drain Cleaning

Your sewer line and household waste lines are in charge of removing wastewater from your home in Calgary but debris and other dirt will accumulate over time and create blockages that affect your pipes' overall functions, starting with clogged sinks. Calgary homes with constant toilet clogs and bad odors might have clogged drains that need to be addressed. Otherwise, they could lead to serious problems in the future when neglected. The best way to keep them spotless is to schedule a routine drain cleaning service with your local Calgary plumber, who specializes in thorough cleaning using the HydroScrub® Jetting device that blasts away the most stubborn blockages in your pipes. Is your dishwasher not draining? Calgary homeowners can rest easy with our plumbing solutions. We offer effective ways to prevent any worst-case scenario that includes toilet backups and sewer backups.

If you haven’t previously had drain cleaning service with us, our plumber in Calgary will do a plumbing diagnosis and inspection of your pipes to ensure they are in good shape and can handle the psi of our device. While already completing in-house services, our professional Calgary plumbers are happy to inspect and help unclog any kitchen drains, including your dishwasher.

Is Your Dishwasher Not Draining in Calgary? Get Help From Mr. Rooter Plumbing!

Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Calgary is available 24/7 with convenient appointments and plumbing services to deal with all kinds of plumbing emergencies. Need dishwasher repair or someone who will help unclog kitchen sinks? Our professional plumbers use specialist tools and other modern technology to clear drain and sewer lines. Whether you need a plumbing diagnosis and inspection or want to learn about winter plumbing problems in Calgary, you can rely on our experts to meet your needs!

Call us today to schedule an appointment with a professional plumber or learn more about our wide range of plumbing services. We proudly serve many communities throughout Southwest Calgary and nearby areas, such as Haysboro and Lincoln Park.