3 ways to troubleshoot dishwasher drainage problems - HMS National, Inc.

3 ways to troubleshoot dishwasher drainage problems

September 24, 2014

If your dishwasher refuses to drain and is flooding the kitchen, you might be ready to pull your hair out. Just one day without this appliance and the dishes will start piling up in the sink! There are a number of issues that can cause drainage problems in your dishwasher, and luckily, the most common are easy to fix. Use these three steps to troubleshoot your dishwasher before calling a repairman.

1. Check for clogs
Many times, a dishwasher won't drain because food particles have blocked the filters or pipes. You should be able to check the filters, located in the bottom of the dishwasher, by gently taking them out. The filters in most models pull or twist out, but if you're unsure, consult the manual. You can clean off a dirty filter with running water.

Another possibility is that your waste hose is clogged. This hose runs out the back of the appliance, so you'll have to pull the dishwasher away from the wall to check it. Check to see if there are any kinks in the hose, and if you have the proper equipment, you can also snake it.

2. Test the float
The float in your dishwasher is another common cause of problems. If the float is stuck, the dishwasher won't drain water at the end of a cycle. To troubleshoot, find the float - a hat-shaped device on the washer's floor. It may have a cover over it that you'll need to remove. To test the float, lift it and let it drop a couple of times. It should move smoothly up and down. If it gets stuck, this is likely your culprit. Check to see if it's being obstructed by food particles, and if so, clean it out. If the float is broken, you'll need to call a service professional.

3. Run the garbage disposal
If you have a garbage disposal, it's connected to the dishwasher and can cause drainage issues. If the garbage disposal is new, the solution might be as simple as removing the knockout plug. This little plastic insert will prevent the water from draining. For used garbage disposals, run the appliance for a few minutes with hot water. This will clear out the drain that could be causing your problem. If your dishwasher is still not draining, it's time to call a repairman.

The information in these articles is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.