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Dishwasher That Won’t Drain | Start your New Year with Clean Dishes

Dishwasher That Won’t Drain

A dishwasher that won’t drain can be caused by various reasons; however, most of the time the issue is not actually with the dishwasher itself, but more of an overall plumbing issue.

Your dishwasher has survived the holiday season and all of those extra dishes, but now going into the New Year, you have noticed that, like many of us, it is a bit sluggish. If you have a Western New York dishwasher that won’t drain, that is an issue, and is not the ideal way to start off the New Year. Have no fear, there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot the problem to ensure you don’t spend 2022 without your favorite convenient appliance.

What causes a dishwasher not to drain?

A dishwasher that won’t drain can be caused by various reasons; however, most of the time the issue is not actually with the dishwasher itself, but more of an overall plumbing issue. As with all clogged drains in your Western New York home, the backup can happen in a number of different places and be caused by a multitude of reasons.

Let’s review some ways to identify that an issue is developing with your dishwasher.

Gurgling and Strange Noises: If your dishwasher is starting to make loud gurgling noises, as with all other gurgling drains, that is a sign that there may be a buildup somewhere. A drain that is making odd noises is usually caused by something that is preventing water and air to flow through your plumbing. A gurgling drain usually indicates a partial clog, but could be an indication of a larger blockage in your plumbing and problems to come with your dishwasher.
Draining Slow or Water Backing up: If you have noticed that your dishwasher and/or kitchen sink have started to drain slower than usual, there may be a clog down the line. This could also lead to water backing up and coming up through the kitchen sink, when your dishwasher is running. Your garbage disposal, kitchen sink, and dishwasher likely share the same plumbing lines, so if there is a blockage affecting one, it is likely impacting the others.
Dirty Dishes: Dishes that are not cleaned at the end of the cycle point to your dishwasher not doing its job. Usually that is caused by the water not draining and cycling properly and dirty water remaining in the system. If you see lots of strange dirty particles left over on your dishes, more than just someone not washing off the dish before putting it in the dishwasher, something is not right.  
Standing Water: One of the most obvious ways to identify that your dishwasher may not be draining correctly, is if water is left over in the bottom of the dishwasher after its cycle has finished. When food or sediment build up within these systems, the dishwasher won’t drain properly and could cause a problem. If you see water in the bottom of your dishwasher after it has finished, it is not draining properly.

How can I fix my dishwasher that won’t drain?

As previously mentioned, usually an issue with your dishwasher not draining is an indication of larger plumbing issues looming. It is recommended to leave the investigation and repairs up to a local professional plumbing expert; however, if you decide to take matters into your own hands, there are a few things you can do to help identify what is causing the issue and potentially resolve it.

First, Identify the Issue: If your dishwasher won’t drain, you can’t do much if you don’t first understand why. By noticing that an issue is building before it actually occurs, and addressing it, you can likely prevent yourself from having your dishwasher fully back up; however, if you didn’t notice the issue before it as a larger problem, try to figure out what is causing the problem. There could be an obvious reason.
Deep Clean the Garbage Disposal: As we mentioned above, most dishwashers don’t have a dedicated plumbing line and they connect and drain through the garbage disposal. Food and debris can build up in your garbage disposal, in turn, causing your dishwasher to back up. Run your garbage disposal and thoroughly clean it.
Check and Clean the Filter: The filter in your dishwasher is usually easy to find at the bottom. Often times food scraps, soap scum, and other items can build up around the filter which will cause it not to be able to drain properly.  Ensure there is not any obvious blockages that are preventing the filter to function as it should and if there are, clean them off.  
Inspect the Drain Hose: The drain hose, as its name suggests, is the tube that drains the dirty water out of your dishwasher. Locate the hose and inspect for blockages and kinks. Any obstructions could be what is causing your dishwasher to back up. Even the slightest bend in the line could prevent water and other debris from exiting your dishwasher properly.

No one wants to deal with issues with their dishwasher in the New Year or beyond. Having a dishwasher that won’t drain takes this nifty appliance out of use and causes it not to do its job.

At Duffett Plumbing, Heating & AC we can help. We’re a full-service plumbing team. This means our friendly, professional plumbers can fix any plumbing problem in your home. Broken water heater? Leaking pipe? Clogged drain? We handle it all.

When you need plumbing help, turn to the locally trusted plumbing company in Hamburg, NY: Duffett Plumbing, Heating & AC. Contact us today for 24/7 plumbing help.