Have you ever opened your dishwasher to put away clean dishes and found a puddle of water inside? It quickly becomes apparent that you have a dishwasher not draining properly, but the solutions can seem less certain. We’ll review some common reasons why your dishwasher won’t drain from drain pump malfunctions to a clogged garbage disposal.
Dishwasher Not Draining? Here’s What To Do
When you have standing water in dishwasher after a wash cycle, sometimes a simple DIY fix can solve the problem. In other instances, a professional repair may be in order. We’ll help troubleshoot the problem, so a solution becomes clear.
Defective Drain Pump
The drain pump’s important function pushes dirty water down the dishwasher drain and into the drain hose and sink drain. To determine if the drain pump is the cause for your dishwasher not draining, first examine the drain hose and sink drain for blockages. If this hose and drain are clear of clogs, it’s possible that a defective drain pump is at fault and requires replacement.
Clogged Drain Pump
In some cases, the dishwasher drain pump may be functioning, but a clog is prohibiting it from expelling water down the drain. Often this is caused by an accumulation of food particles or blockage from a particular object. To determine if the drain pump is clogged, you’ll need to access the pump and assess it for obstructions. Consult your owner’s manual for specifics before proceeding with these simple steps:
- Remove or absorb any standing water in the dishwasher
- Disconnect the dishwasher’s filter and screen and set aside
- Remove the dishwasher pump cover
- Inspect the pump for blockages, removing any debris
- Make sure the pump impeller can move freely
- Replace pump cover
- Reconnect filter and screen
Broken Water Pump Belt
Though newer dishwasher pumps typically have a belt-free set-up, the drain pump on older dishwashers may have a belt-driven assembly. With time, this belt can become worn or frayed and can be subject to breakage. It can also become loose. In either circumstance, the pump won’t receive power from the dishwasher’s motor and will be unable to pump out water.
Before determining if a water pump belt is responsible for your dishwasher not draining, consult your owner’s manual to make sure it has this type of pump. A broken water pump belt will need to be assessed for damage and to make sure it’s positioned correctly. If the belt is broken, it will need to be replaced.
Clogged Garbage Disposal
Though it may not seem obvious, sometimes a dishwasher not draining is due to a clogged garbage disposal. This is because the dishwasher’s water actually flows into the disposal drain during its wash cycle.
If the garbage disposal is full of food particles and debris, this water will have nowhere to go when it drains. Consequently, it will back up into the dishwasher and leave a puddle at the bottom. This situation can easily be avoided by running your disposal before starting the dishwasher to make sure the disposal drain is clear.