Dishwasher Not Draining? Try These Home Remedies!

Drain issues in the kitchen happen more frequently than you think. It’s a busy space, so it’s absolutely normal if you’re running the tap and have the dishwasher on. Kitchens that operate garbage disposer may even experience more clog issues if regular maintenance guidelines are not followed.

Luckily, our expert plumbers at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Vancouver have seen it all and fixed multiple dishwasher draining problems, along with other kitchen plumbing nightmares. If you want to take matters into your own hands, stick around for some tips and tricks. Learn more about useful home remedies that you can safely try at home!

Water Not Draining from Dishwasher! What To Do?

There are a few different scenarios here, but the culprit is most likely a clog in your drain hose, kitchen sink drain, garbage disposer or air gap. If your smart dishwasher’s not draining, an error code will describe the situation. It’s possible that you experience an overflow or a blocked dishwasher filter, or the safety switch indicates there’s water at the base of the unit.

If you’re not familiar with the drain pipe setup in your kitchen, check under your sink to see how your dishwasher hose connects to your kitchen sink drain.

Most common connection types include:

  • High loop to drain line: This is a common and simple setup—your dishwasher hose connects to the same drain line as your sink without sharing it with other units.
  • High loop to garbage disposal: In this setup, it drains directly into your garbage disposal via a high loop.
  • Connects to Air Gap: An air gap is typically installed next to the faucet and connects your dishwasher to your kitchen sink’s drain line. It acts as a backwater preventer, so wastewater won’t contaminate your drinking water.

Once you have familiarized yourself with the setup, it will be easier to determine the cause of any issue. When your dishwasher’s not draining properly, we have just about the right steps for you to follow.

Clean Clogged Filter

Dishwasher filter cleaning is a commonly overlooked kitchen duty. If you live in a busy household and heavily rely on your kitchen appliances, it’s almost inevitable that they require routine maintenance. Unless you have a self-cleaning filter, manual ones will require you to remove food waste and other debris by hand.

To locate your filter, check below your unit’s spray arms. Some you should be able to lift; otherwise, you may need to unscrew some parts. Manual filters are mesh plugs that require a monthly cleaning to prevent clogs from happening.

Pro Tip!

Are you thinking of upgrading? Units with self-cleaning filters have built-in grinders that pulverize food scraps. This way, it will simply drain along with dirty water. The only downside is that the grinder is noisy and may be bothersome for some people. But if you’re happy with your manual filter but want to take better control of your dishwasher draining problems, we recommend setting a monthly filter cleaning reminder.

Check Drain Hose for Blockages

If your dishwasher’s not draining, it’s probably because your dishwasher drain hose has collected too much debris over time. If an error code indicates a clog in the drain tube, your expert plumber recommends unplugging your appliance and inspecting the tube. Make sure it’s not kinked. Blow through it to see if any air is going through. If air is not passing, you have a clog.

There are a couple of options you can try. Some people prefer pouring white vinegar and baking soda at the bottom of their appliance and running a cycle. It may or may not clear that blockage. However, if your dishwasher’s not draining after that attempt, you can try a faster attempt.

Straighten out a wire hanger and feed it through the tube. If you locate the blockage, try to carefully dislodge it without damaging your tubing. While clogged drains are a more serious problem, you’ll be relieved to know it’s only a clog in the hose! Dishwasher draining problems can be a simple fix, but only if you detect and tackle it early.

Clean Garbage Disposal

When you run too many appliances in your kitchen, it’s easy to fall behind with maintenance, and that includes your garbage disposer. It may be one of your least favourite items to clean because it’s not only complex but it’s also highly dangerous if you’re not familiar with safety measures. Is your dishwasher not draining? Then it’s time to check your garbage disposal for clogs caused by bits of food. The accumulation of small food particles is often the leading cause of partial clogs. It may not always be visible, but you will know if the smell of leftover food wafts through your kitchen sink.

Pro Tip!

The best and safest way to clean your disposer unit is by turning off the power. Remove the rubber gasket and clean off any debris and grease. To have a better view of the blades, use a flashlight before clearing any food debris with tongs and pliers.

Pour a cup of baking soda into the unit, followed by a cup of white vinegar, and allow it to dislodge any remaining debris. Lastly, flush it with hot water and put the gasket back into its place.

To test its efficiency or give it one final kick, you can pour a cup of ice down the unit to help re-sharpen those blades!

Check Air Gap for Clogs

Over time, food particles, grease, and other debris start to build up inside your air gap. You’ll know it’s time for a clean if water seeping out of it smells foul. These units serve as a backflow preventer and require regular maintenance.

Unclog Drain Pump

This might be the trickiest one to complete. Before you move forward, unplug your dishwasher and grab the user’s manual for instructions on how to approach your dishwasher’s pump safely. While some models have easier access to the drain pump, it’s not the same with each appliance. Sometimes the pump is situated underneath the filter, whereas other models require you to look behind the appliance. If your dishwasher’s not draining, and you are not sure if a faulty drain pump is to blame or how to carefully check it, give your local plumber a call, so your next move won’t result in an injury.

Dishwasher Not Draining? Mr. Rooter Plumbing Can Help!

Your team of experts is here to help you eliminate dishwasher draining problems, whether you need professional repair or even a replacement service.

For further assistance, schedule a service appointment date that works for you. The trained service technicians at Mr. Rooter Plumbing are here to ensure your kitchen appliances are in top condition.

While you’re here, why not learn about our drain cleaning and drain repair services?

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