When Your Dishwasher Wont Drain You Can Fix It

Many homeowners do not know what to do when their dishwasher wont drain.  They keep running the dishwasher hoping the issue will go away on its own.  When that doesnt happen, they resort to spending hundreds of dollars to have a plumber fix the problem for them.  Much to their chagrin, the plumber shows up and fixes the problem in a matter of minutes.  Learning how to do basic plumbing repairs makes home ownership much more affordable.  A clogged dishwasher does not require the expertise of a plumber.  With some simple tools and materials, anyone can fix a clogged dishwasher.

The most common reason a dishwasher wont drain all the way is a clog in the drain under the sink.  You can tell this by watching the dishwasher and sink while it is draining.  If water starts to bubble up into the sink, then the problem is with the drain pipe.  This is easily fixed by taking the pipe off from under the sink and cleaning it out.  Also, check the pipe that connects the dishwasher and the sink, as that might be clogged too.  If these are all clear, then check the garbage disposal.  If the disposal is clogged, or if it is new and the knock out plug has not been removed, then your dishwasher will not drain properly. 

Clogged drain pipes are most often the problem when a dishwasher wont drain, but there are other possible culprits as well.  An improperly working door latch will keep the dishwasher door from closing properly.  This, in turn, will keep the dishwasher from draining fully.  If the latch is loose or misaligned, you can fix the problem by tightening the bolts on the latch. 

A dirty dishwasher basket can also be the reason why your dishwasher wont drain water.  To fix this problem, you are going to need to take apart the basket and clean it thoroughly.  This can be a little more difficult than some of the other fixes.  A familiarity with dishwasher parts would be helpful.  But, you should be able to find instructions on opening the basket in the dishwashers user manual. 

There are some other reasons that actually might need to be addressed by a plumber.  There could be a problem with the drain valve, belt, timer, pump, or the motor.  The drain valve diverts water to the drain and can get stuck open.  Some dishwashers drive their pumps with a belt.  If the belt breaks, the pump wont work.  Timers are used to turn the motor and drain valve on and off.  The pump ejects the water from the machine, and the motor runs the whole unit.  If any of these parts are the problem, they likely need to be replaced.  If you try to do this yourself, you will void the warranty on your machine.  In this case, it is better for you to call a plumber so they can get the correct part and you will not lose the warranty on your dishwasher. 

If your dishwasher wont drain, check the simple things mentioned above first.  Cleaning pipes and baskets is easy and does not require professional help.  However, if any of the important parts inside need to be replaces, then you need to call a plumber.  IF the machine is still under warranty, then parts and labor might be covered anyway, depending on the part.  Make sure the plumber gives you a quote on the total cost of the repair before proceeding.  You might find it much more economical to replace the entire dishwasher instead of spending hundreds of dollars on parts and labor.

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