How to Fix a Dishwasher That Won’t Drain: Essential Steps Revealed

Is your dishwasher leaving you with a sink full of standing water instead of sparkling clean dishes? Imagine finishing a meal, only to face a dishwasher that refuses to drain. Frustrating, right? Don’t worry – you’re not alone in this dishwashing dilemma.

In this article, you’ll discover practical tips and simple solutions to tackle the issue of a non-draining dishwasher. Say goodbye to the hassle of manually draining water and hello to a smoothly running appliance. Let’s get your dishwasher back on track so you can focus on what truly matters – enjoying your meals without the worry of a clogged dishwasher.

Check the Garbage Disposal

When your dishwasher doesn’t drain, it’s essential to Check the Garbage Disposal to ensure there are no blockages causing the issue.

  • Run the garbage disposal to check if it’s working properly.
  • Clear out any food particles or debris that could be clogging the disposal.
  • Ensure there are no obstructions in the drain hose connecting the dishwasher to the disposal.

By addressing any issues with the garbage disposal, you can often resolve drainage problems in your dishwasher.

Inspect the Drain Hose

When your dishwasher doesn’t drain properly, one common culprit could be a clogged drain hose. Here’s what you can do:

  • Locate the drain hose: It is typically found under the sink. Ensure it is properly connected to the dishwasher and disposal.
  • Check for kinks or twists: A hose that is bent or twisted can obstruct the flow of water, causing drainage issues.
  • Clear any blockages: Use a plumbing snake or a straightened wire hanger to remove any debris blocking the hose.
  • Verify the hose is clear: Run water through the hose to confirm that there are no remaining blockages.

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By inspecting and maintaining your dishwasher’s drain hose, you can often resolve drainage problems and keep your appliance running smoothly.

Action Description
Locate the drain hose Found under the sink, ensure it’s properly connected to the dishwasher.
Check for kinks or twists Bent hose can obstruct water flow, leading to drainage issues.
Clear any blockages Remove debris using a plumbing snake or wire hanger to unclog the hose.
Verify the hose is clear Run water through to confirm no remaining blockages hindering water flow.

Clear the Drain Basket

When your dishwasher doesn’t drain properly, one simple yet crucial step to troubleshoot is clearing the drain basket. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Locate the drain basket: It’s usually found at the bottom of the dishwasher.
  • Remove the drain basket: Take out the drain basket carefully, so you can access and clean it.
  • Check for debris: Look for any food particles, grease, or other debris that might be blocking the drain basket.
  • Clean the drain basket: Use a soft brush or cloth to clean the basket thoroughly.
  • Inspect for damage: Ensure there are no cracks or signs of wear that could affect the draining process.
  • Reassemble everything: Once cleaned, put the drain basket back in its place securely.

By clearing the drain basket regularly, you can prevent clogs and ensure proper drainage in your dishwasher.

Clean the Filter

To ensure your dishwasher drains properly, it’s crucial to Clean the Filter regularly. The filter traps food particles and debris, preventing them from clogging the drain system. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Locate the filter in your dishwasher.
  • Remove the filter carefully.
  • Rinse off any visible debris.
  • Soak the filter in warm, soapy water.
  • Scrub gently to remove stubborn residue.
  • Rinse thoroughly before placing it back.

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By cleaning the filter routinely, you can prevent blockages and maintain optimal dishwasher performance.

Test the Drain Pump

When your dishwasher doesn’t drain, one vital component to check is the drain pump. This pump is responsible for pushing water out of the dishwasher during the draining cycle. Here’s how you can test it:

  • Firstly, unplug your dishwasher to ensure safety.
  • Locate the drain pump in your dishwasher. It’s usually found at the bottom of the appliance.
  • Before removing the pump, check for any obstructions in the drain pump area, such as food particles or debris.
  • After clearing any blockages, you can proceed to check the pump itself.

When testing the drain pump:

  • Inspect for any visible damage like cracks or breaks.
  • Manually rotate the pump’s motor to see if it moves freely.
  • Use a multimeter to test for electric continuity to ensure the pump is receiving power.

By examining and testing the drain pump, you can determine if it’s the culprit behind your dishwasher’s drainage issues.


By inspecting the drain hose, clearing the drain basket, and cleaning the filter regularly, you can effectively troubleshoot drainage issues in your dishwasher. Remember to check for debris in the drain basket, clean it thoroughly, and ensure it’s securely reassembled. Don’t forget the importance of maintaining a clean filter to prevent blockages and keep your dishwasher running smoothly. Testing the drain pump for obstructions and damage, manually rotating the motor, and checking for electric continuity will help you identify any pump-related drainage problems. By following these simple maintenance steps, you can address potential issues and ensure your dishwasher drains properly. Keep your dishwasher in top condition by staying proactive with these maintenance tasks.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are some key steps to troubleshoot drainage issues in dishwashers?

Inspect the drain hose, clear the drain basket, and clean the filter regularly.

How can I check the drain basket for debris effectively?

Remove the drain basket, clean it thoroughly, inspect for any damage, and securely reassemble it.

Why is it important to clean the filter regularly in dishwashers?

Regular cleaning of the filter can prevent blockages, ensuring optimal dishwasher performance.

How can I test the drain pump to determine if it is causing drainage problems?

Check for obstructions, inspect for damage, manually rotate the pump’s motor, and test for electric continuity.

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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