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What to Do When Your Dishwasher Isn’t Draining

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When a dishwasher won’t drain, it can be a frustrating situation. It is also one of the most common problems reported to plumbers by homeowners. While opening the dishwasher door and seeing standing water at the bottom can be disconcerting, it isn’t always a plumbing emergency. In fact, you may be able to solve the problem without the assistance of a professional. If you’re having trouble draining your dishwasher, here are eight simple techniques to try at home. If these steps don’t work or you’d rather have a professional handle the problem from the start, you can always rely on Precision Today for excellent service.

Check for Blockages

Check the bottom of the dishwasher to see if any items or pieces of food have fallen from the rack, because they have the potential to obstruct the flow of water. When the water is blocked from draining, it will lead to standing water at the bottom of your appliance. This is a simple matter to remedy as long as you can safely remove the blockage.

Make Sure the Dishwasher is Loaded Correctly

Check to see that you are loading your dishwasher in the appropriate manner. If you want the best results possible from loading your dishes, it is recommended that you read the instructions provided by the manufacturer or the owner’s manual. You don’t want to put too much strain on your appliance or risk breaking your dishes and causing further damage to the unit.

A female homeowner carefully loads her dishwasher in Carol Stream, IL, to ensure she is completing the process correctly.

Run the Garbage Disposal

The water may not be able to properly drain out of the dishwasher if the garbage disposal is clogged or if there is an air gap in one of the connecting hoses. It might be enough to simply turn on the garbage disposal and let it run for about a minute. Make sure nothing is stuck in the disposal before turning it on and then exercise caution. If you hear any troubling noises, turn it off right away and have a professional inspect your disposal.

Inspect the Drain Hose

Be sure to inspect the drain hose that is connected to the garbage disposal and the sink. Straighten out any kinks you see, as they may be the source of the issue. If you want to check for clogs in the hose, you can either blow through it or poke a wire hanger through it. Check that the hose seal is also in good condition. For these services to your dishwasher, you can also call our expert technicians. We will handle any job correctly and professionally.

Check the Drain Valve

Examine the drain valve that is attached to the valve bracket and can typically be found at the very bottom of the machine. Apply some pressure to the valve and make sure it can turn freely and isn’t jammed. If it has locked up and you can’t get the valve to move, you can call Precision Today—we’ll provide the tools and expertise you need.

A bottle of vinegar next to a jar of baking soda and a spoon on a counter in this residential home in Carol Stream, IL.

Try Using Vinegar and Baking Soda

After thoroughly combining approximately one cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar, pour the mixture into the water that is already present in the bottom of the dishwasher. Let it sit for twenty minutes or so. Then, rinse the dishes with hot water and then put them through the dishwasher’s rinse cycle after the water has started to drain or is already draining at that time. It’s possible this will be enough to help break up any clogs or debris that are preventing the dishwasher’s drain from working properly.

Clean or Change the Filter

It’s possible the water won’t drain because the filter in the dishwasher is clogged with debris. A lot of people who own their own homes aren’t aware that the filters on their dishwashers need to be cleaned on a regular basis. Check the owner’s manual for your dishwasher to find out where the filter is located, as well as for instructions on how to clean it and how often it should be cleaned. The filter is typically located on the interior of the dishwasher’s bottom, where it can be accessed easily.

Listen Closely to Your Machine While It’s Running

Pay attention to the sounds your dishwasher makes while it is operating a cycle. It is possible that the drain pump and motor need to be replaced if they are not making the sounds that are typically produced during operation, particularly if they are making a humming or clicking sound. In the event that this takes place, it is likely time to seek assistance from a trained professional. You can contact Precision Today at any time.

Emergency Dishwasher Drainage Tips from Precision Today

If you need to drain standing water from the bottom of a dishwasher, follow these steps:

  • Lay towels or newspapers on the floor beneath the dishwasher.
  • Scoop the water from the bottom into a bowl or the sink using a measuring cup or a large ladle.
  • When the water becomes too shallow to scoop, use cloth or paper towels to absorb any remaining moisture.

To avoid clogging the drain, always use the correct type of dish detergent according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Taking some preventative measures to keep your dishwasher running smoothly can also help you avoid future drainage issues. As always, when you need the assistance of an experienced professional, call Precision Today at (630) 425-8995 and we’d be happy to help you. We’ll restore your appliance to working like new again, or we’ll make recommendations if your unit needs to be replaced instead.

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