Why Your Dishwasher Won’t Drain: Common Causes and Solutions

Ever wondered why your dishwasher decides to play hide and seek with the water instead of draining it properly? Picture this: you load up the dishwasher, hit the start button, and then… nothing. The water just sits there, mocking you. Frustrating, right?

Clogged Drainage System

When your dishwasher fails to drain, a Clogged Drainage System is often a prime suspect. This can occur due to various reasons, such as food particles, grease, or even mineral buildup. Over time, these can block the drainage path, leading to water remaining inside the machine.

  • Food Particles: Bits of food that escape the filter can accumulate in the drainage system, impeding water flow.
  • Grease Buildup: Oily residues can solidify in the drain hose, causing a blockage that restricts proper drainage.
  • Mineral Deposits: Hard water can leave mineral deposits in the drainage components, reducing their effectiveness.

To address a clogged drainage system, consider these steps:

  1. Inspect the Drain: Check for any visible blockages in the drain, removing debris that could be obstructing the flow.
  2. Clean the Drain Filter: Regularly clean the filter to prevent food particles from entering the drainage system.
  3. Run a Cleaning Cycle: Periodically run a cleaning cycle with vinegar or a dishwasher cleaner to break down grease and mineral buildup.

Taking proactive steps to maintain a clear drainage system can help prevent issues with water drainage in your dishwasher.

Faulty Drain Pump

If your dishwasher is not draining properly, a Faulty Drain Pump could be the culprit. The drain pump plays a crucial role in expelling water from the dishwasher during the drain cycle. If it fails, water will pool at the bottom of the dishwasher.

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To check if the drain pump is defective, you can listen during the drain cycle. Unusual noises or silence may indicate a problem. Also, inspect the pump for any visible damage like cracks or leaks.

Replacements for drain pumps are available for various dishwasher models. Refer to your dishwasher’s manual or contact a professional if you suspect an issue with the drain pump.

Blocked Drain Hose

If your dishwasher isn’t draining properly, a Blocked Drain Hose could be the culprit. The drain hose is responsible for carrying wastewater out of the dishwasher and into the kitchen sink drainage system. When this hose gets clogged, it can lead to water buildup in the dishwasher.

Here’s what you can do to address this issue:

  • Check the drain hose: Look for any kinks or bends that could be obstructing the flow of water.
  • Clear blockages: Use a pipe cleaner or a small brush to remove any debris that may be causing the blockage.
  • Ensure proper installation: Make sure the drain hose is correctly connected to the dishwasher and the sink to prevent any leaks or blockages.

Regularly inspecting and maintaining the drain hose can help prevent drainage problems in your dishwasher.

Malfunctioning Drain Solenoid

If your dishwasher is not draining properly, another common culprit could be a malfunctioning drain solenoid. This component is responsible for opening the dishwasher’s drain valve to allow water to flow out. When the drain solenoid fails, it can prevent the valve from opening, causing water to remain in the dishwasher after a wash cycle.

To check if the drain solenoid is the problem:

  • Inspect wires: Look for any damage or loose connections that might be affecting the solenoid’s operation.
  • Test the solenoid: Use a multimeter to check if the solenoid is receiving electrical current and functioning correctly.
  • Replace if necessary: If the solenoid is faulty, consider replacing it with a compatible part to restore proper drainage.

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Regular maintenance and timely repairs can help prevent issues with the drain solenoid and ensure your dishwasher continues to function efficiently.

Drainage Impeller Issues

Drainage Impeller Issues

If your dishwasher is failing to drain properly, issues with the drainage impeller could be the culprit.

  • The drainage impeller is responsible for pushing water out of the dishwasher during the drain cycle.
  • If the impeller is clogged with debris or damaged, it can hinder the drainage process.
  • Inspect the impeller for any obstructions or damage.
  • Clean the impeller to remove any blockages.
  • Ensure the impeller spins freely to facilitate proper drainage.

Regularly checking and maintaining the drainage impeller can help prevent drainage issues and keep your dishwasher running smoothly.

Remember, taking proactive steps to address dishwasher drainage problems can save you from more significant issues down the line.


That’s it! Remember, keeping your dishwasher’s drainage impeller clean and functioning smoothly is key to avoiding drainage issues. By regularly inspecting and maintaining the impeller, you can ensure that your dishwasher drains properly and operates efficiently. Taking proactive steps to address drainage problems will not only save you time and effort but also help prevent more significant issues down the line. So, next time your dishwasher isn’t draining as it should, don’t fret – a quick check and clean of the impeller might just be the solution you need. Happy dishwashing!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my dishwasher not draining properly?

When a dishwasher is not draining properly, it could be due to issues with the drainage impeller. The impeller helps push water out during the drain cycle. If it’s clogged or damaged, drainage is affected.

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How can I fix a dishwasher not draining?

To fix a dishwasher not draining, inspect and clean the drainage impeller. Ensure it spins freely for proper drainage. Regular maintenance of the impeller is recommended to prevent drainage issues.

Why is the drainage impeller important?

The drainage impeller is essential as it helps push water out during the drain cycle in a dishwasher. If it’s clogged or damaged, drainage problems can arise.

How can I prevent dishwasher drainage problems?

Regular maintenance of the drainage impeller is key to preventing dishwasher drainage problems. Ensure it spins freely and is free from clogs to maintain efficiency.

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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