How to Fix a Dishwasher That Doesn’t Drain: Complete Guide

Struggling with a dishwasher that won’t drain? Ever found yourself ankle-deep in soapy water after a cycle? We’ve all been there. But fret not, as we’re here to guide you through fixing this common kitchen conundrum.

Imagine the convenience of a fully functional dishwasher, no more hand washing dishes after a long day. With our simple steps and practical tips, you’ll have your dishwasher draining like a pro in no time. Say goodbye to standing water and hello to hassle-free dishwashing.

Check the Drainage Hose

When your dishwasher won’t drain, a clogged drainage hose could be the culprit. Here’s what you can do:

  • Inspect the hose: Look for kinks, clogs, or bends that could be blocking the flow.
  • Remove the hose: Detach the hose and check for any debris or buildup that may be causing the drainage issue.
  • Clean the hose: Use a brush or water to flush out any dirt or gunk obstructing the hose.
  • Reattach the hose: Ensure it’s securely connected, without any twists or obstructions.

Remember, a clear drainage hose is essential for your dishwasher to effectively remove water after each cycle.

Inspect the Filter

When your dishwasher won’t drain, a clogged filter might be the culprit. Here’s how to inspect it:

  • Locate the filter: It’s typically at the bottom of the dishwasher, near the spray arm.
  • Remove the filter: Twist or unlock it, following your dishwasher’s manual to avoid damage.
  • Check for debris: Clean out any food particles, soap scum, or buildup that could be blocking drainage.
  • Rinse the filter: Use warm, soapy water to ensure it’s clear of any residue.

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Regularly cleaning and inspecting your dishwasher’s filter can prevent draining issues and improve overall performance.

Key Fact Data
Filter location Bottom near spray arm
Cleaning method Warm, soapy water rinse
Maintenance tip Regularly inspect and clean

Clear the Drain Pump

When your dishwasher won’t drain properly, a common issue could be a clogged drain pump. Here’s how you can address this:

  • Locate the drain pump: It’s typically found at the bottom of the dishwasher.
  • Disconnect the power: For safety, unplug the dishwasher or switch off the circuit breaker.
  • Remove any debris: Check the drain pump for any food particles or objects blocking it.
  • Clean the pump: Use a soft brush or cloth to clear out any obstructions.
  • Check the impeller: Ensure that the impeller (the small blades inside the pump) can move freely.
  • Reassemble and test: Put everything back together and test the dishwasher to see if the issue is resolved.

Remember, a clear drain pump is essential for proper drainage in your dishwasher.

Look for Clogs in the Drain Basket

When your dishwasher won’t drain, a common culprit is a clogged drain basket. Here’s what you can do to address this issue:

  • Start by locating the drain basket in your dishwasher.
  • Remove any food particles or debris that may be blocking the basket.
  • Make sure to check the area around the drain basket for any additional clogs.

If you find clogs in the drain basket, clearing them out can often resolve the draining problem.

Test the Drain Impeller

When your dishwasher won’t drain, the drain impeller could be the culprit. Here’s how to test it:

  • Locate the impeller inside your dishwasher.
  • Check for any obstructions that may be preventing it from moving freely.
  • Gently rotate the impeller to ensure smooth operation.
  • Reassemble and test your dishwasher to see if the issue is resolved.

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Remember, a faulty drain impeller can lead to drainage problems in your dishwasher. Such issues can often be fixed with a simple inspection and test of this vital component.

Data Information
Test Drain Impeller
Findings Smooth operation is key
Result Well-functioning dishwasher


That’s it! By following the steps outlined in this article, you can effectively troubleshoot and fix your dishwasher drainage issues. Remember, maintaining your dishwasher’s drain pump and checking the drain impeller are key to ensuring smooth operation. With a little bit of effort and attention to these components, you can have your dishwasher draining properly in no time. Don’t hesitate to give these tips a try and enjoy a hassle-free dishwashing experience!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it important to maintain a dishwasher’s drain pump?

Proper maintenance of the dishwasher’s drain pump is crucial to address drainage issues effectively and ensure smooth operation of the appliance.

How can I locate and clean the drain pump?

Locate the drain pump at the bottom of the dishwasher and remove any debris or clogs to maintain optimal functionality.

What should I check for in the drain pump?

Inspect the drain pump for smooth movement and ensure it is free from any blockages that could impede drainage.

Why is testing the drain impeller important?

Testing the drain impeller is essential to detect any obstructions and ensure it operates smoothly for effective drainage.

What problems can a faulty drain impeller cause?

A faulty drain impeller can lead to drainage issues, causing water to accumulate in the dishwasher and impacting its performance.

How to resolve drainage problems related to the drain impeller?

Conduct a simple inspection and test of the drain impeller to identify and address any issues affecting its operation.

Charlie Thomson is Appliance Mastery's expert on laundry appliances. With a degree in mechanical engineering and over 8 years of experience in the appliance repair industry, Charlie is a go-to resource for homeowners who want to tackle common issues with their washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers.

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