My Dishwasher Won’t Drain

Oddly, you may find standing water at the basin of your dishwasher. Spare your concern. There are a few common causes which may be remedied quickly and cost effectively. Calm down, put on your thinking cap and set aside ideas of costly repairs or replacement. (For standing water but the water drains out when you set the dishwasher to drain, see Coffee Grounds and Egg Shells in My Dishwasher )

If your dishwasher will not drain, try manually setting the dishwasher to rinse. The dishwasher should drain and refill. (Some dishwashers are digital. You will not have the option of selecting the cycle.)

If manually setting the dishwasher to drain does not get the pump to discharge and allow the dishwasher to refill, try clearing the float.

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The float switch tells the dishwasher when to interrupt the fill cycle and not allow anymore water into the basin of the dishwasher. However, it also serves for another purpose, that is to tell the pump to discharge and empty water from the basin.

The float switch may be described as what appears to be an upside down cup. Often, this switch gets jammed with food particles or other debris that did not make it to the garbage can or garbage disposer. In order to clear the float, some rotate and allow you to remove the cover. Others rotate and or lift up and down. Try clearing the float. If this does not work, there may be a problem with the pump or some other aspect of relaying the message to discharge water. You will then need to call an appliance repair man. Calling a repair man is not very expensive. Most will diagnose and give you a free estimate to make the repair.

You may also find food particles stuck in the strainer/filter. Remove this item and rinse it. Below that, there is an inlet to the pump. Use a shop vac to draw particles of food out of this drain. There may even be a screw, or two holding a cover over the impeller. Remove the screws and use your vacuum to clear the chamber.

A garbage disposer may also be the culprit. Your garbage disposer is generally where your dishwasher discharges to. If your dishwasher discharges to the side of the garbage disposal, you may of, at one time attempted to use your garbage disposer inappropriately. Inappropriate use is to believe you can dispose of organic garbage by grinding it and flushing the debris through your plumbing drain lines. (Remember, garbage disposals were originally intended as a companion to the dishwasher. Not to the trash compactor.

Any type of fibrous rind or vegetable is unacceptable to use your garbage disposer to dispose of it in. Celery is so fibrous, one looses more calories consuming and digesting celery than one would gain. As for the garbage disposer attempting to act as a trash compactor, fibers from rinds and other fibrous organics can become trapped in the grinding chamber of the disposer, acting as a plug. The plug, of course blocks water on the dishwasher discharge hose. And, therefore, the pump on the dishwasher can not push water through to the drain.

When attempting to get an appliance repair person to give you a free estimate, do ask over the phone if they offer free estimates before the technician is dispatched. If you suspect your kitchen drain line is the culprit, contact us here.


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