7+ Fixes For Dishwasher Not Draining Issues

In this post, we’ll provide 7+ general fixes if your dishwasher isn’t draining.

No one loves the idea of hand-washing the dishes; the idea of it makes you cringe and hate every moment.

A dishwasher takes that feeling away; it can wash your glasses, flatware, and plates. It also helps save money and water.

It is an easy way to organize and sanitize your kitchen counter.  Dishwashers make cleaning the dishes easy and convenient but the dilemma of every person using a dishwasher is when it stops draining water.

Read on to be informed about the things you need to know when the dishwasher is not draining.

Social Reaction

Lots of people on social have had this problem with some amusing reactions:

What Does ‘Dishwasher Not Draining’ Mean?

To simplify it, it’s basically your dishwasher not draining anymore, and here are the most common reasons why this happens:

  • The dishwasher’s drain path might be blocked or clogged.
  • A broken sewer line can also cause the dishwasher to stop draining water.
  • Garbage Disposal might also be clogged

This is why you should immediately find solutions to fix it. After all, a dishwasher is a useful appliance at home as it:

Saves time

Hand washing takes a lot of time. You sort the dishes; clean them one by one with soap, dry them, and store them. It is a very tedious process and a dishwasher helps reduce it.

Promotes Safety

You do not have to worry about plates or glasses being broken and being wounded. The dishwasher can wash the dishes without getting broken.

Maybe It’s Malware?

If you’ve got computer problems, try some of the following software solutions:
  1. Malwarebytes: protects you against malware, ransomware, malicious websites, and other advanced online threats that have made traditional antivirus obsolete.
  2. Kaspersky Anti Virus: It is designed to protect users from malware and is primarily designed for computers running Microsoft Windows and macOS.
  3. Advanced SystemCare: It’s a Swiss Army Knife of a PC utility. It comes with a suite of optimization tools, including an uninstaller, one-click registry fixes, defragmenters, and more.

Sanitizes Flatware, Plates, and Glasses

A dishwasher performs several cycles of cleaning the dishes with hot water to make sure that they are clean.         

How to Fix: Dishwasher Not Draining

Video Guide: How to Repair a Dishwasher, Not Draining – Troubleshoot Whirlpool

Dishwasher drainage issues are a universal problem that’s often encountered by many homeowners. Before calling a repairman, try these easy steps that might help.

1st Fix

According to Whirlpool, one of the most trusted brands of dishwashers, always start with the basics. They recommend these basics steps when a Whirlpool dishwasher does not drain because the filter is clogged.

  1. Check if food particles are all over the filter. You will find the filter at the bottom of the tub or at the back.
  2. Remove the filter.
  3. Rinse the filter and remove any trash.
  4. Put the filter back in place; make sure to put the filter back properly. If the filter is not properly installed, it might start a new problem.
  5. If the dishwasher is still not draining, check the drain valve.

2nd Fix

GE Appliances is another trusted brand when it comes to dishwashers. According to their website, a GE dishwasher may not drain if the wrong type of detergent is being used, or if you have used too much of it.

Use automatic dishwasher detergents because they clean without developing soap suds. Regular dishwashing soap produces a lot of foam and bubbles, which can stop the dishwasher from proper draining.

When this happens, clean the tub from the soap residue then run the cycle again by using automatic dishwasher detergent.

3rd Fix

Check if your garbage disposal is working.

The dishwasher’s drain hose is connected to the Garbage Disposal; if it contains ungrounded food, then it can’t drain. The solution is to let the garbage disposal run again. As a matter of fact, it is a good habit to let the garbage disposal running for an additional 20 seconds after the food is gone. This process helps clear all the reaming food that might clog the P-trap drain.

ALSO READ:  How To Fix A CPU Fan Error When You Boot Up Computer

Video Guide: How to Fix a Garbage Disposal – No Power / Humming / Repair

4th Fix

Remove standing water from the dishwasher base.

After your run the garbage disposal and the dishwasher is still not draining, then try to empty the water from the dishwasher base. Remove the bottom of the dish tray and remove the dirty water.

5th Fix

Clean the sink’s air gap.

An air gap is usually mounted above the sink that prevents used water from draining back to the dishwasher. A small hose is connected to the dishwasher from the air gap. In some instances, the air gap might be clogged with food debris.

To check if this, twist the air gap and remove it. Check for any gunk, then wash the air gap and put it back in place.

Video Guide: The Diswasher Air Gap – How to Clean It and Why It’s Important

6th Fix

Check if the drain hose is bent, twisted, or clogged.

If the drain hose is bent or twisted, it can prevent the dishwasher from draining. If this happens, straighten the drain hose manually. Unfortunately, if the drain hose gets bent or twisted, this can occur several times on the same spot. So, if this keeps on causing the dishwasher not to drain, then you might as well buy a new drain hose.

When it comes to checking if the drain hose is clogged, here are the things you can do:

  1. Disconnect the power, turn off the dishwasher, then unplug it.
  2. Remove the toe-kick panel. The toe kick panel is near the floor.
  3. To check if the dishwasher hose is clear, blow through the dishwasher hose.
  4. You should also check the disposer inlet where the hose is connected under the sink. The inlet is prone to corrosion which can also block the drain hose.

7th Fix

Check the dishwasher’s drain pump.

If you are certain that a clog is not the reason why your dishwasher is not draining, check the dishwashers’ drain pump. Look for any dents, cracks, or any visible damage that might cause the pump to stop working.

You should also check if power is getting into the drain motor. The drain motor signals the drain pump to clear the water out. Replace the pump motor or the drain pump if it is damaged. If the problem on these parts is not addressed, then the dishwasher might not function anymore because these parts do the entire job when it comes to pumping out the water.

Video Guide: How To Repair Dishwasher Not Draining | Drain Pump Fix

Forum Feedback

We looked through several support forums and discussion boards to understand more about dishwasher not draining problems. In general, users were interested in dishwasher not draining completely, dishwasher not draining dirty water, and dishwasher not draining GE, Bosch, and Samsung. They also wanted to know about dishwasher not draining and leaking.

A person complained that his Whirlpool dishwasher was not draining and that he was out of his wits how to fix it.

  • He tried to start the dishwasher for the second time because he thought the machine had stopped working in the middle of a cycle and that’s why there was water inside.
  • However, the water didn’t drain, and he was looking for suggestions on how to proceed.
  • Other forum members pointed out that he should consult the tech sheet, which would help him diagnose the problem and put the machine into manual drain mode. 

Another individual explains that dishwashers usually have a separate drain pump and they might not drain if the pump is not working properly.

  • He recommends that you try to determine if the pump motor is working.
  • In case, the motor is running you might need to remove the drain hose and check for clogs.
  • The user warns that you shouldn’t attempt to do that if you don’t know your way around machines because they are live wires under the dishwasher and you can get hurt.

A user shared that he took apart the drain of his GE dishwasher to clean it and that it didn’t solve the issue for him. However, he followed another poster’s advice about checking the pump, and he couldn’t hear it draining water. So, the user ordered a new one, and his dishwasher was back into working order.

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Another forum member stated that his Maytag dishwasher wasn’t working properly.

  • He attempted to locate the issue and narrowed it down to the pump, the controls, or the motor.
  • The user mentioned that there was some noise at the end of the rinsing cycle, but it didn’t sound like water was being pumped out.
  • The other forum members point out that Maytag has dishwashers with belt and direct drive and he will have to remove the front panel to check what the situation is.

An expert states that the usual reason why a dishwasher won’t drain is a clog in the drain or an air gap. He also recommends that you start solving the problem by removing the drain line where it connects to the garbage disposer/house drain line and then clean any debris you find.

Another user remarks that some Whirlpool dishwashers have an electric solenoid, which opens the drain valve and divers the water to the drain. So, when there is an issue with the electric solenoid, the dishwasher doesn’t drain properly. To fix the problem, you might have to replace the solenoid or get a plumber to take a look at the pump.

A person observed that some dishwashers have belts to drive the pump and that you have to check if everything is all right with the belt. For some reason, the belts might have fallen or got broken, and you might have to replace it. The forum poster also pointed out that dishwashers with motors sometimes get stuck if you don’t run them regularly. In this case, you’d have to spin the motor manually or get a new one if the old one is broken.

Another individual commented that if you have ruled out everything else, you might want to take a look at the timer. The timer controls the drain valve, so if it’s not working properly, the water might not drain. However, the admits that timer problems are uncommon.

A forum poster complained that his Bosch dishwater was working fine for the last 2.5 years, but it stopped draining the water a couple of days ago. He didn’t know what he could do to repair it, so he went online looking for advice. Other users recommended that he should remove the pump cover and check the impeller to see if there is any debris to clean.

A person owning an Indesit dishwasher shared that his machine was 10 years old and had just stopped draining the water. Other poster said that the issue was probably pump related and it would be very hard to find spare parts to repair it. They advised him to get new dishwater.

Another user stated that his dishwasher was functioning normally except that there was some clean water left over after the cycle had run its course. He read the manual and tried to reset the dishwasher, but it didn’t solve the issue.

Other Resources

#Content TitleContent URLPublish DateNumber of Words
1What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won't Drainhttps://www.popularmechanics.com/home/interior-projects/how-to/a20286/is-your-dishwasher-not-draining-blame-your-garbage-disposal/4/5/2016 19:20387
2How to Troubleshoot a Dishwasher That Won't Drainhttps://www.thespruce.com/what-to-do-dishwasher-not-draining-27186533/7/2017 16:49906
3Dishwasher Not Draining? 8 Potential Fixes - Bob Vilahttps://www.bobvila.com/articles/dishwasher-not-draining/11/13/2017 22:231298
4Bosch Dishwasher Not Draining DIY Bosch Dishwasher Repair Helphttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Oq-nTnyh6A1/19/2011 0:00113
5Dishwasher Not Draining? Drain Pump Replacement #00642239https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2uuw-SK6B010/8/2012 0:00168
6Bosch Dishwasher Not Draining Fixhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCP8yFZVPEM2/15/2013 0:00371
78 Steps to Take When Your Dishwasher is Not Draining | Home Matters | AHShttps://www.ahs.com/home-matters/repair-maintenance/how-to-fix-a-dishwasher-that-is-not-draining/6/29/2016 17:02581
8Dishwasher Not Draininghttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFgoZiCFWkY9/27/2016 0:00134
9How to repair a dishwasher, not draining - troubleshoot Whirlpoolhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rO19zoOyNHA2/26/2014 0:00150
10Dishwasher Not Draining? Drain Pump Replacement #5304463777https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uJFIOsuquE12/6/2010 0:00177

Popular Dishwasher Brands

  1. Amana
  2. Beko and Blomberg
  3. Bosch
  4. Dacor
  5. Electrolux and Frigidaire
  6. Fisher & Paykel
  7. GE
  8. Ikea
  9. Kenmore
  10. KitchenAid
  11. LG
  12. Maytag
  13. Miele
  14. Samsung
  15. Thermador
  16. Viking
  17. Whirlpool


Dealing with a dishwasher that is not draining is fixable with these suggested tips. Always remember though that if the problems go on and these fixes don’t work, call a repairman or a plumber. These skilled professionals can easily figure out what is wrong and find a solution. Do not force yourself to fix the dishwasher if you are unsure of what you are doing. This might damage the dishwasher permanently.

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