How to Drain a Kenmore Dishwasher: A Step-by-Step Guide

Is your Kenmore dishwasher not draining properly? It’s a common issue that can be frustrating to deal with, but fear not – we’ve got you covered. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of draining your Kenmore dishwasher effectively. From identifying the causes of drainage problems to performing troubleshooting and maintenance, we’ll cover it all. So, let’s dive in and get your dishwasher back to its optimal functioning!

A malfunctioning dishwasher can throw a wrench into your daily routine. One of the most common problems is improper drainage, which can lead to unclean dishes and potential water damage. This guide will provide you with all the necessary steps to effectively drain your Kenmore dishwasher and restore its peak performance.

Understanding the Importance of Proper Drainage

Proper drainage is crucial for the optimal functioning of your Kenmore dishwasher. When water doesn’t drain as it should, it can result in unpleasant odors, mold growth, and unsanitary dishes. Additionally, standing water can cause damage to the dishwasher’s components over time.

Common Reasons Why Your Kenmore Dishwasher Isn’t Draining

Clogged Drainage Pathways

One of the main culprits of drainage issues is clogged pathways. Food particles, soap scum, and debris can accumulate in the drain hose and other pathways, obstructing the flow of water.

Faulty Drain Pump

The drain pump plays a pivotal role in expelling water from the dishwasher. A malfunctioning pump can hinder the drainage process.

Blocked Filter

The dishwasher’s filter prevents larger debris from entering the drainage system. If the filter is blocked, water won’t be able to flow freely.

Air Gap Issues

An air gap prevents backflow from the sink into the dishwasher. If it’s clogged or incorrectly installed, it can impact drainage.

Preparing for Drainage

Before you start troubleshooting, ensure your safety by unplugging the dishwasher. Gather the necessary tools such as a screwdriver, pliers, and a cleaning brush.

Step-by-Step Guide to Draining Your Kenmore Dishwasher

1. Check for Standing Water

Inspect the bottom of the dishwasher for any standing water. Remove it manually using a sponge or a towel.

2. Inspect the Drainage Pathways

Examine the drain hose, pump, and any visible pathways for clogs. Clear away debris that might be causing an obstruction.

3. Cleaning the Filter

Locate the dishwasher’s filter and remove it. Clean any accumulated debris under running water.

4. Examining the Drain Pump

Access the drain pump and ensure it’s functioning properly. Clear any blockages and check for unusual noises.

5. Addressing Air Gap Problems

If your dishwasher has an air gap, ensure it’s clear of debris and properly connected.

6. Ensuring Proper Installation of Drain Hose

Check if the drain hose is correctly installed, as an improper installation can lead to drainage problems.

Performing Regular Maintenance to Prevent Future Issues

To prevent future drainage problems, adopt these practices:

  • Scrape off excess food residues before loading dishes.
  • Run hot water in the sink before starting the dishwasher to ensure hot water reaches it faster.
  • Use dishwasher detergent that’s appropriate for your machine.

When to Seek Professional Help

While many drainage issues can be resolved through DIY methods, don’t hesitate to call a professional if you’re unsure or if the problem persists.


A well-functioning dishwasher is essential for a smoothly running kitchen. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can effectively troubleshoot and address drainage issues in your Kenmore dishwasher. Regular maintenance and timely solutions can prolong the lifespan of your appliance and ensure clean, spotless dishes with every cycle.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can I use vinegar to clean the dishwasher’s drainage system?

Yes, you can use vinegar as a natural cleaner to remove buildup and odors from the dishwasher.

Why is my dishwasher making a gurgling sound during drainage?

A gurgling sound may indicate a clog or improper installation in the drainage system. Refer to the guide for troubleshooting steps.

Is it normal to have a little water left at the bottom of the dishwasher after a cycle?

Yes, a small amount of water is normal as it helps to create a seal and prevent odors.

What type of dishwashing detergent should I use?

Use a detergent specifically designed for dishwashers to avoid excessive suds and potential drainage issues.

How often should I clean the dishwasher’s filter?

Cleaning the filter once a month is recommended to prevent clogs and ensure optimal drainage.

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