Why Does Water Not Drain From Dishwasher

When it comes to household appliances, the dishwasher is a true lifesaver. It cleans your dishes with the push of a button, leaving you with sparkling cutlery and less time spent on manual dishwashing. However, what happens when you encounter an issue with your dishwasher, specifically when water doesn’t drain properly? In this article, we’ll delve into the common reasons behind this problem and explore potential solutions to get your dishwasher back in tip-top shape.

Understanding the Basics

1. The Role of the Drain Pump

The dishwasher’s drain pump plays a crucial role in expelling water from the appliance. When you start a cycle, the pump kicks in to remove dirty water from the tub. If you notice water pooling at the bottom, the pump might be the culprit.

2. Clogged Filters

Filters in your dishwasher prevent food debris and other particles from entering the drain pump. Over time, these filters can become clogged, hindering water flow. We’ll discuss how to clean them later in the article.

Common Reasons for Water Not Draining

3. Blocked Drain Hose

A blocked drain hose can be a major factor in water not draining. It can get clogged with food remnants or become kinked, restricting water flow.

4. Garbage Disposal Connection

If your dishwasher is connected to a garbage disposal unit, any blockage in the disposal can affect drainage. We’ll explore this issue in detail.

5. Dishwasher Air Gap

The dishwasher’s air gap is a vital component that prevents wastewater from entering the fresh water supply. A malfunction here can lead to drainage problems.

6. Damaged Drain Pump

Over time, the drain pump can wear out or become damaged. We’ll look at how to diagnose and possibly repair this issue.

7. Excessive Suds

Using the wrong type or too much detergent can lead to excessive suds, making it difficult for your dishwasher to drain properly.

8. Incorrect Installation

Improper dishwasher installation can cause alignment issues, leading to drainage problems. We’ll discuss some installation tips to prevent this.

Troubleshooting and Solutions

9. Cleaning Filters and Spray Arms

Regularly cleaning the filters and spray arms can help prevent clogs and improve drainage.

10. Checking the Drain Hose

Inspect the drain hose for clogs or kinks and ensure it’s properly connected to your plumbing.

11. Garbage Disposal Maintenance

If your dishwasher is connected to a garbage disposal, make sure it’s clear of any obstructions and functioning correctly.

12. Air Gap Inspection

Examine the air gap to ensure it’s clean and free of blockages.

13. Replacing the Drain Pump

If the drain pump is damaged, replacing it may be necessary. We’ll discuss how to do this safely.

14. Using the Right Detergent

Always use the recommended detergent for your dishwasher to avoid excessive suds.

15. Proper Installation Tips

We’ll provide tips on ensuring your dishwasher is correctly installed for optimal drainage.


In conclusion, a dishwasher not draining can be frustrating, but it’s a problem with several potential solutions. By identifying the root cause and following the troubleshooting steps mentioned in this article, you can save time and money on dishwasher repairs. Remember to maintain your dishwasher regularly to prevent future drainage issues.


1. Can I use vinegar to clean my dishwasher’s filters?

Yes, vinegar is an excellent natural cleaner that can help remove residue from dishwasher filters. Run an empty cycle with vinegar to clean them effectively.

2. How often should I clean the dishwasher’s spray arms?

Cleaning the spray arms every few months is usually sufficient, but more frequent cleaning may be necessary if you notice performance issues.

3. Why does my dishwasher smell bad even after washing dishes?

A foul odor can be caused by trapped food particles in the dishwasher’s filter or spray arms. Regular cleaning should eliminate this problem.

4. Is it safe to use chemical drain cleaners in my dishwasher’s drain hose?

It’s not recommended to use chemical drain cleaners in your dishwasher, as they can damage the appliance. Try other methods like manually removing blockages or using a vinegar and baking soda mixture.

5. Should I call a professional for dishwasher installation?

If you’re not confident in your installation skills, it’s a good idea to hire a professional to ensure your dishwasher is correctly installed and aligned for proper drainage.

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