Why Your Dishwasher Isn’t Draining and How to Fix It Easily

Ever turned on your dishwasher, only to find it’s as quiet as a mouse? Frustrating, right? Picture this: you’re all set to unload sparkling clean dishes, but there’s no water in sight. What gives? Don’t worry, you’re not alone in this kitchen conundrum. In this article, we’re diving into the mystery of why your dishwasher seems to have gone on a water strike.

Check the Water Supply

If you find your dishwasher running but not filling, the first thing to check is the water supply. Here’s what you can do:

  • Inspect the water valve to make sure it’s fully open.
  • Ensure there are no kinks in the water hose.
  • Verify that the water supply to the dishwasher is adequate.

Remember, a dishwasher won’t function properly without a steady stream of water.

Inspect the Inlet Valve

When your dishwasher is not filling with water, one common culprit could be a faulty inlet valve. The inlet valve is responsible for allowing water to flow into the dishwasher. If it’s not functioning correctly, it can prevent water from entering the machine as it should.

Here’s what you can do to inspect the inlet valve:

  • Check for Clogs: Sometimes, debris or mineral deposits can clog the inlet valve, restricting water flow. Inspect the valve for any blockages that may be impeding the water supply.
  • Test for Continuity: Use a multimeter to check for continuity in the inlet valve. If there’s no continuity, it may indicate that the valve is defective and needs to be replaced.
  • Inspect for Wear and Tear: Over time, the inlet valve can wear out and develop leaks or cracks. Examine the valve thoroughly to see if there are any visible signs of damage.

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By examining the inlet valve, you can pinpoint any issues that may be causing your dishwasher not to fill with water. Regular maintenance and inspection of this component can help ensure the proper functioning of your dishwasher.

Examine the Float Switch

The float switch is a crucial component in your dishwasher that helps monitor the water level. If the float switch is stuck, it may prevent water from entering or staying in the dishwasher. Here’s how to examine it:

  • Locate the float switch: It’s usually found at the bottom of the dishwasher basin and resembles a small cone or dome.
  • Check for debris: Inspect the float switch for any food particles, soap scum, or other debris that could be blocking its movement.
  • Test the functionality: Gently move the float switch up and down to see if it moves freely. If it feels stuck or doesn’t move smoothly, it may need cleaning or replacing.
  • Inspect for damage: Look for any signs of damage, such as cracks or breakage, which may indicate that the float switch needs to be replaced.

Regularly examining and cleaning the float switch can help ensure proper water flow in your dishwasher. If you notice any issues during inspection, consider reaching out to a professional for further assistance.

Key Points Details
Location Bottom of dishwasher basin
Cleaning Remove debris obstructing movement
Testing Check for smooth up and down movement
Damage Look for cracks or breakage

Remember, a well-maintained float switch is essential for smooth water flow and efficient operation of your dishwasher.

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Clean the Filter

When water isn’t coming out of your dishwasher, a clogged filter might be the culprit. Here’s how to clean it:

  • Locate the filter typically at the bottom of the dishwasher.
  • Remove any visible debris or build-up on the filter.
  • Rinse the filter under running water to remove stubborn residue.
  • Use a soft brush to gently scrub away any remaining particles.
  • Check for any damage on the filter that may affect its effectiveness.

Regularly cleaning the filter can improve water flow within your dishwasher, ensuring your dishes come out sparkling clean every time.


Ensure to regularly inspect and clean the float switch and filter in your dishwasher to maintain optimal water flow. A clogged filter can disrupt water drainage, affecting the dishwasher’s performance. By following the steps outlined in this article, such as locating the filter, removing debris, rinsing, and checking for damage, you can improve water flow and ensure your dishes are cleaned effectively. Remember, if you encounter any issues beyond your expertise, it’s best to seek professional assistance to address them promptly. Regular maintenance of your dishwasher is key to its efficient operation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it important to inspect the dishwasher’s float switch?

Inspecting the float switch is crucial to ensure proper water flow in the dishwasher. A malfunctioning float switch can result in water overflow or insufficient water levels during a cycle.

How does a clogged filter affect the dishwasher’s performance?

A clogged filter can impede water drainage in the dishwasher, leading to standing water at the bottom of the tub. This can result in inefficient cleaning of dishes and potentially cause damage to the appliance over time.

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What steps are involved in cleaning the dishwasher’s filter?

To clean the filter, locate it in the dishwasher, remove any debris or buildup, rinse it thoroughly, scrub if necessary, and check for any signs of damage before reinstalling it back into the dishwasher.

Why is it recommended to clean the filter regularly?

Regularly cleaning the filter helps maintain optimal water flow in the dishwasher, ensuring that dishes are cleaned effectively during each cycle. It also helps prevent potential clogs and extends the lifespan of the appliance.

When should professional assistance be sought for dishwasher issues?

If there are persistent issues with water drainage, cleaning effectiveness, or any visible damage to the dishwasher components, it is advisable to seek professional assistance for inspection, diagnosis, and repair to avoid further damage.

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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