A dishwasher that doesn’t drain can be an unusual and perplexing problem to have in the kitchen. There are a few reasons why this might happen, but to fix it, take the following steps.

1. Remove water in the dishwasher.

A dishwasher may become interrupted and not finish its cycle. If you have standing water in the dishwasher, restarting it may help drain the dirty water. But if after the second cycle the dishwasher still hasn’t drained properly, you’ll need to take a closer look.

Start by turning off power to the dishwasher at the circuit breaker box. Next, use a wet vacuum to suction out the water.

2. Check the plumbing connection points.

Sometimes, if the drain hose isn’t securely connected to the sink or garbage disposal, the dishwasher may not be able to drain properly. Be sure to check the connection and see if it is clear of food and garbage remnants. 

Also take a look at the drain solenoid and the hose clamp. If you see any signs of damage or excessive wear, replace the parts immediately.

3. Turn on the garbage disposal.

A clogged garbage disposal could make it hard for the dishwasher to drain, since it usually drains via the garbage disposal. Turn it on and use a drain cleaner, if necessary, to remove garbage buildup or mineral deposits.

4. Check the sink’s air gap cylinder.

The air gap cylinder prevents wastewater from backing up into the dishwasher and keeps water flowing in the right direction during the dishwasher cycles. If you notice any buildup in the cylinder, clean it and secure it tightly.

5. Check the dishwasher filter.

The dishwasher filter is located at the back or along the bottom of the tub near the spray arm. Use a screwdriver to remove the casing and clean the filter as needed.

6. Clean the drain.

Last but not least, you could try clearing the drain from inside the dishwasher. Create a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to unclog the drain. Pour the solution into the basket at the bottom of the dishwasher and let it sit for 15 minutes. Then, pour hot water down the basket and turn on a rinse cycle to clear away the solution.

If these steps fail to fix a dishwasher, then you’ll need to call in the pros for professional service. We’re here when you need us!

Click here to see 7 signs that your drains need to be repaired.