Why Is My Kenmore Dishwasher Not Draining: Troubleshooting and Solutions

Is your Kenmore dishwasher failing to drain properly after a cycle? This can be a frustrating issue that can disrupt your daily routine. A dishwasher not draining can stem from various causes, ranging from simple clogs to more complex malfunctions. In this article, we’ll dive into the reasons why your Kenmore dishwasher might not be draining and explore effective solutions to get it back in working order.

Common Reasons for a Dishwasher Not Draining

Blockages in the Drainage System

One of the primary reasons for a dishwasher’s drainage issue is blockage within the drainage system. Food particles, debris, and even broken glass can accumulate in the drainage hose or pump, obstructing water flow. Regularly cleaning the drainage components can prevent this problem.

Clogged or Faulty Filters

Filters in your Kenmore dishwasher play a crucial role in trapping food particles and preventing them from entering the drainage system. If these filters are clogged or damaged, they can hinder proper drainage. Cleaning or replacing filters can often resolve this issue.

Air Gap Issues

An air gap prevents backflow from the sink to the dishwasher. If the air gap is clogged, it can lead to drainage problems. Cleaning the air gap and ensuring its proper functioning can restore proper drainage.

Faulty Drain Pump

The drain pump is responsible for expelling water from the dishwasher. A malfunctioning pump can result in standing water at the bottom of the appliance. Testing the pump for any defects and replacing it if necessary can resolve drainage issues.

Garbage Disposal Connection

Improperly connected garbage disposal units can impact dishwasher drainage. If the connection between the dishwasher and the garbage disposal is obstructed or misaligned, water can’t flow freely. Verifying the connection can help address this problem.

Troubleshooting Steps

Checking for Blockages

Begin by inspecting the drainage hose, pump, and any other components for blockages. Remove any debris you find to ensure unobstructed water flow.

Cleaning Filters

Take out and clean the filters according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If the filters are damaged, consider replacing them to facilitate proper drainage.

Inspecting the Air Gap

Clean the air gap and ensure it’s free of any obstructions. Run water through it to confirm that it’s working correctly.

Testing the Drain Pump

Run a diagnostic test on the drain pump. If it’s making unusual noises or not functioning, replacing the pump might be necessary.

Verifying the Garbage Disposal Connection

Check the connection between the dishwasher and the garbage disposal unit. Make sure it’s secure and free from blockages.

Preventive Measures to Ensure Proper Drainage

To prevent future drainage issues, consider these measures:

  • Scrape off excess food from dishes before loading them.
  • Run the garbage disposal before starting the dishwasher.
  • Clean the filters regularly.
  • Avoid overloading the dishwasher.

When to Seek Professional Help

If the troubleshooting steps don’t resolve the drainage problem, it’s time to seek professional assistance. A certified technician can diagnose and fix more complex issues that might be affecting your Kenmore dishwasher’s drainage.


A Kenmore dishwasher not draining can be a bothersome inconvenience, but armed with the right knowledge, you can tackle the issue head-on. By understanding the potential causes and following the troubleshooting steps outlined in this article, you can restore proper drainage to your dishwasher and ensure its smooth functioning.


Q1: Can I use regular dish soap in my Kenmore dishwasher?

A1: No, it’s essential to use dishwasher-specific detergent to prevent excessive suds and potential damage to the appliance.

Q2: Why is there a foul smell coming from my dishwasher?

A2: A lingering odor can indicate trapped food particles or mold. Cleaning the filters, running a cleaning cycle, and ensuring proper drainage can help eliminate the smell.

Q3: Is it normal to find water at the bottom of the dishwasher after a cycle?

A3: A small amount of water is normal, but if you notice a significant pool of water, there might be a drainage issue that needs attention.

Q4: Can I repair the drain pump myself?

A4: If you have experience with appliance repairs, you might attempt it, but it’s generally recommended to rely on a professional technician for such tasks.

Q5: How often should I clean the dishwasher’s interior?

A5: Regular cleaning every 1-2 months can help prevent buildup of residue and maintain the appliance’s performance.