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Troubleshooting Tips When Your Mississauga Home's Dishwasher is Not Draining

Is your dishwasher not draining properly? This can be an immensely frustrating problem that could result in dirty water spilling out onto your kitchen floor when you try to wash dishes. Nobody wants to spend their morning wiping up food debris and soap with a paper towel!

Sometimes, the reason behind a dishwasher not draining properly is really straightforward. Other times it takes a little troubleshooting to fix. You may be able to fix small issues on your own, but more often than not you'll need the help of a professional plumber to get it sorted.

To help you figure out what's behind your dishwasher draining issue, our experts at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Mississauga put together this helpful guide. In it you'll find common reasons why your machine isn't draining correctly, as well as a few tips to prevent similar issues from happening again.

Interrupted Cycle

If the machine's cycle was interrupted, it may not have drained properly. This means you'll need to find a way to reset it. Sometimes, this can be achieved by hitting a “cancel” or “drain” button on the dishwasher. But, if you don't see a clearly labelled button, you may have to go online and do a little research. Type in your appliance's make and model to see if you need to press a specific combination of buttons to reset it and make it drain.

Dishwasher Door Issues

Perhaps the machine was too loud at night and someone in your home opened its door so it would stop running. Or, maybe it was knocked loose by children playing nearby. In any case, if the door was not closed all the way and correctly latched, then the draining cycle would have been disrupted. Try closing the door—ensuring it's latched—and see if your machine starts to drain. You may have to restart the cycle depending on your appliance.

Pump Seal Check

A small amount of water around the pump seal is not cause for concern. In fact, you need a little bit of water around it so that it stays moist and does not crack. That said, should you notice a pool forming from a dishwasher draining onto your kitchen floor, it might be that the pump seal needs to be replaced.

Dishwasher Drain Hose Problems

In most Mississauga homes, the drain hose is connected to the garbage disposal. If your machine isn't draining correctly, it could be a problem with either the garbage disposal or the hose itself.

Look For:

  • A kinked hose, preventing proper water flow

  • A clogged hose because of food waste

  • You did not remove the knockout plug (this stops water from emptying correctly)

  • Your hose is too long or hanging improperly (so the water can't flow correctly)

  • Your hose is worn out or needs replacing

Check Electrical Source

Some machines are plugged into an outlet next to a shut-off switch. It's common for homeowners to accidentally turn off this switch part-way through a dishwasher cycle. Your dishwasher draining issue could be because it no longer has power. Without power, it won't be able to finish the cycle and subsequently will not empty. Ensure the switch is left on to avoid this issue.

Clogged Air Gap in the Sink

A dishwasher air gap is a fitting mounted roughly 5 cm above your sink. It acts as a backflow prevention device by stopping contaminated water from re-entering your appliance once drained. It ensures wastewater does not go into your clean drinking water supply.

Usually this connection can be located below your sink in the kitchen cabinet. Occasionally, the air gap can become blocked with food scraps, residue or soap scum. This is a fairly easy fix. All you have to do is remove the chrome cover on top of the gap, unscrew its cap and clean it with soap and warm water. But, don’t remove it while your dishwasher is running!

Nearby Clogs

Your garburator and kitchen drain are intertwined; a problem with one often means a problem with the other. If your garbage disposal or kitchen drainage system is blocked, your machine will not be able to empty correctly until either the former or later are cleared.

It's also important to check your sink. Often, dishwashers and sinks share the same waste pipe. If the machine isn't emptying properly, try running hot water down the sink or disposal, and then run your disposal. Also, be sure to clear out any food buildup from a clogged drain, so water is able to empty properly.

How to Avoid Dishwasher Issues

Like most things in life, the best way to avoid problems like your dishwasher not draining is through preventative maintenance. This machine does a lot of work, particularly if you have a big family and are running frequent cycles. Over time, food particles, soap scum and mineral buildup may impact how well the dishwasher performs.

Annual Maintenance Checklist & Repair Tips

At least once a year, run through the following checklist to ensure your machine performs optimally.

  • Look for leaks or cracks in the door seal.

  • Use a stiff brush and clean the filter and trap with hot soapy water. These are both located at the bottom of your dishwasher.

  • Also using a stiff wire brush, clean the spray arm holes to remove debris that has accumulated over time.

  • Clean the seal, or gasket, with a water and vinegar solution.

  • Check for signs of rust in your appliance. You may need to order liquid rubber to paint over any exposed metal on its dish racks to prevent rust buildup.

  • Check the hose clamps to ensure they are attached correctly. It's also important they're angled properly for optimal draining.

  • Run a cycle without dishes, or if your appliance offers a cleaning cycle. You can also manually wipe away any food sludge along the door.

  • Clean with vinegar: pour a cup of vinegar into a Tupperware container and place it in your machine. Run a complete cycle, and the vinegar should work its magic.

  • Load your dishwasher correctly so its able to clean optimally.

  • Rinse dishes before running a cycle, ensuring you scrape off any bits of food first.

  • Get routine drain cleaning service to prevent problematic clogs

Is Your Dishwasher not Draining?

If you need a professional dishwasher repair service, look no further than our team at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Mississauga. Our experts have years of experience solving plumbing problems for clients throughout the Mississauga area, including in Port Credit, Fairview and Hurontario. From assisting with dishwashers that won't empty to providing expert unclogging services, we've got you covered.

Our plumbing team is available 24/7. We'll be there for you and your family during an emergency—even if it's in the middle of the night. We also offer convenient appointment times that you can book by calling one of our friendly customer service representatives at 905-817-0210.