Have you ever opened your dishwasher to see a disgusting, gunky puddle of water at the bottom? Your dishes aren’t clean, there’s a strong odour, and nothing is working to drain the water! Unfortunately, your dishwasher is blocked.

While this is an annoying and disgusting occurrence, it is not a difficult remedy. We offer a plethora of ideas, recommendations, strategies, and tricks to help you return your dishwasher to peak performance.

When in doubt, call the manufacturer or a plumber, since there may be a more serious problem with your appliance or plumbing system.

This post may contain affiliate links. Full disclosure here.

How Do I Determine If My Dishwasher Drain Hose Is Clogged?

If any of the following occur, your drain is clogged:

  • The dishwasher is unable to finish a full wash cycle; it repeatedly shuts off.
  • At the bottom, near the drain, there is a pool of water.
  • You’ve checked the garbage disposal and it’s empty, so you know it’s not coming from there.
  • Food particles have been lodged in the filter.

If the water in your appliance isn’t draining, the drain line is most likely clogged.

What Causes Dishwasher Water Not to Drain?

There are a few possible causes for your dishwasher not draining water. It’s most likely a blockage in the drainpipe, which is usually caused by food waste. However, there are a few additional possibilities.

  • Pump Problems: It might be a faulty pump component with dirt clogging the wash impeller. It’s possible that you’ll need to replace the pump assembly or any of the damaged pieces.
  • Worn Belt: This is unusual. However, if your pump assembly is powered by a belt that wears down, it will be unable to push the water out. If your dishwasher has a drive belt, inspect it and repair it as needed.
  • Timer That Doesn’t Work: Examine the dishwasher’s timer mechanism and, if required, replace it. You may need to contact the manufacturer for assistance.
  • Faulty Motor: If the motor isn’t operating properly, it can interfere with a variety of things. Replace the motor in your dishwasher if it fails. Your manufacturer may be able to assist you here.
  • Drain Valve or Solenoid: Some dishwashers include a valve that opens to allow water to drain. The solenoid controls the valve, but it is the timer that causes this reaction. Check the drain valve and solenoid whether the timer is operating properly. They could have to be replaced.

Three things you can do when you dishwasher is not draining

  1. Remove the garbage disposal. The water from your dishwasher will frequently drain via your garbage disposal. If this is the case, you’ll want to maintain your disposal as clear as possible so that water may travel freely through it. If your garbage disposal is full, water might back up and create standing water in your dishwasher. Make sure to run your disposal thoroughly to dislodge any blockages.
  2. Clear the air gap. In many kitchens, an air gap built on the counter adjacent to the faucet prevents water from backing up into the dishwasher. If the air gap becomes filled with debris, your dishwasher may not drain correctly. Water pouring onto your counter is a frequent symptom of a blocked air gap. To clear the air gap, unscrew the cap and clean off any visible debris.
  3. A DIY remedy can be used to break up drain blockages. If your dishwasher drain is stuck and causing water to back up, you may break up the clog using a DIY solution of vinegar, baking soda, and hot water. First, pour a baking soda and vinegar solution into the bottom basket of your dishwasher. Allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes before pouring a saucepan of boiling hot water down the basket to check whether it clears the blockage.

Dishwasher Unclogging

Always consult your owner’s handbook for the brand’s particular unclogging procedures. It may differ from our suggestions.

We’ll go through three techniques for unclogging a dishwasher so you can choose the one that works best for you!

Filter Basket

  • Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands from contaminated water and an unpleasant response to dishwashing detergent.
  • Lap up the water that has accumulated at the bottom of the dishwasher using a cup or a sponge. Empty it into a different bucket.
  • Remove the filter basket once the water has been removed. Pull out any sticky bits of food with a fork or your fingers. Throw them away.
  • Fill a basin or sink with warm soapy water and scrub the filter basket to remove excess food and dirt.
  • Replace the filter basket and check to see whether the dishwasher drains correctly.

Garbage Disposal

Check the drain that links your dishwasher to the other plumbing if you don’t have trash disposal.

  • Check the waste disposal to ensure it is not clogged. If that’s the case, you’ll have to deal with it instead.
  • If the trash disposal is in good working order, place a towel beneath the drain line that links it to the dishwasher.
  • Remove the drain pipe with your channel-lock pliers. Examine the connecting point for any blockages.
  • If there are none, you must look for blockages farther down the hose. Use a professional declogger, dishwashing cleanser, or a straightened coat hanger to unclog the drain. Insert it into the drain to look for and remove blockages.
  • Check to see if the dishwasher is draining correctly now.

Digging Into The Drain

  • If you’ve cleaned the filter basket and examined the dishwasher and it’s still not draining, the problem might be deeper within the drain. Always keep a bucket on hand.
  • Take out the filter basket.
  • Dig about in the drain opening with a wire or a zip-it drain cleaning tool.
  • If you pull it out, you could discover the blockage sticking to the tool. Fill it up in the bucket.

Can I Run My Dishwasher If My Sink Is Clogged?

Dishwashers and sinks are frequently linked; dishwashers will frequently run into your sink’s disposal. If your trash disposal or sink is clogged, your dishwasher may not drain correctly.

Does Boiling Water Unclog Drains?

If you want to try a less intrusive technique before attempting our procedures, you may try boiling water. Some blockages can be removed by boiling water! This is a simple and inexpensive method, but it does not always work. To attempt this approach, go through the following steps:

Bring water to a boil.
While you wait, use a cup or sponge to remove as much of the standing water from the dishwasher as possible.
Fill the drain with hot water. If it just sits there and doesn’t drain, let it cool before draining the water and trying again. It may be necessary to repeat it numerous times.

If you have PVC pipes, do not use this approach since they may melt or become damaged.

How Do I Use Vinegar to Unclog My Dishwasher?

To unclog a dishwasher, use a DIY solution of vinegar, baking soda, and hot water. Fill the basket with one cup of vinegar and half a cup of baking soda. Allow it to stand for 15 minutes before pouring boiling water down the drain to check whether the clog clears. It may take a few tries, but if it isn’t working, don’t keep trying.

Can I Use Coke To Unclog the Drain

This is another entertaining way to try! Because Coke is an acidic drink, it can help to dissolve blockages.

To attempt this approach, go through the following steps:

  • Allow a two-liter bottle of Coke to reach room temperature.
  • Pour it down the drain and let it sit for one to two hours.
  • Then flush the drain with hot water.
  • Put your dishwasher through its paces.

How to Unclog a Dishwasher Bottom Line

A dishwasher is an extremely helpful appliance in the majority of houses. When it clogs, it may be quite inconvenient. Fortunately, most of the time it is an easy remedy. It’s most likely the filter basket, the drain, or the waste disposal connection.

Before attempting our solutions, double-check your manufacturer’s instructions, since they may provide additional specific recommendations for your device. If you’re caught in a rut, though, we’re confident that our solutions will have your dishwasher functioning smoothly again in no time.

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