5 things to do if your dishwasher is not draining

July 8, 2014

Three cheers for the woman who invented the dishwasher in 1886! The clever inventor was Josephine Cochrane, an American socialite who wanted her precious plates to be washed without getting chipped by clumsy kitchen maids. Perhaps that wasn’t the noblest of motivations, but because of her initiative the “mechanical dishwasher” now does our dirty work for us, saving us hours of labour every week. No wonder we’re in such a panic when we come up against a dishwasher not draining the water!

5 things to do if your dishwasher is not draining

When the tub is flooded

First, you should know that it’s quite normal for one or two cups of water to remain at the bottom of the dishwasher tub. Of course, it’s a whole other thing if it always remains full of water. When that happens, you have two options available: you can check and see if the problem is an easily correctable one, or you can call an appliance repair person to do it for you.

1. Unplug the dishwasher. Of course, to avoid electrocuting yourself, the first step is to unplug the dishwasher.

2. Check the tub filter. It could be that you have a dishwasher not draining because an object, such as a piece of paper, is blocking the tub’s filter. All you have to do is clean it.

3. Check the kitchen sinkdrain hose. If you have a model that drains water into the kitchen sink, it could be that the drain hose is clogged. If your appliance drains into a garbage disposal, run the disposal unit briefly prior to washing the dishes in order to get rid of any debris.

4. Check the discharge hose. Another factor that could explain the presence of water in the tub is the drain hose located under the sink, near the connection. It could be blocked. If it’s old and worn, it can get twisted and stop the water from draining properly. If that is the case, it should be straightened or replaced by the repairman.

5. Check the air gap. The air gap is the part that divides the two poles of the magnetic circuit and the area that is disconnected from the induction flux. When there is an air gap, it is usually located above the sink. It prevents water from flowing back into the dishwasher, should the drain hose get blocked. If the air gap is blocked, you can clean it by lifting the cover and unscrewing it. Admittedly, for most of us, that is a job best left to the appliance service person.

Just wash your hands of the whole thing!

If you’re still stuck with a dishwasher not draining properly, call an appliance repair person. You don’t want to waste more time trying to solve the problem than it would take you to do the dishes!

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