Quick Fixes to Common Dishwasher Problems

The dishwasher cycle is complete, and you are ready to put away your sparkling clean dishes. However, when you open the door, instead of clean, dry dishes, there’s a messy pool of water at the bottom of the dishwasher. If you find yourself in this situation, there are few quick fixes you can try to tackle this common problem.

A dishwasher that doesn’t drain all the way can occur for many different reasons. Sometimes a dishwashing cycle is interrupted. One of the easiest fixes is to simply run another cycle, so that all the steps of washing, rinsing and draining can fully complete. If that doesn’t fix the issue, try these tips:

  • Run the garbage disposal. Dishwashers usually drain through the garbage disposal, and if there’s backed-up debris there, the water will back up in the dishwasher. Simply running the garbage disposal before turning on the dishwasher ensures any food buildup is cleared out of the way.
  • Check and clean the sink’s air gap. If you don’t have a garbage disposal on your sink, you may have an air gap — a small metal cylinder installed near the faucet. This little device is attached to a hose that is connected to the dishwasher’s drain hose to prevent air locks in the drain. Remove the air gap and check for clogs. Clean out with water and a brush.
  • Clean the drain basket. At the bottom of the dishwasher’s interior, usually there is something that looks like an upside-down basket. This is a common spot for food buildup and other debris, and too much buildup can slow down the dishwasher drain. Check your manual or manufacturer’s website for instructions on removing and cleaning the drain basket.
  • Check the drain hose. Find the drain hose under your sink that connects your dishwasher to the sink drain. Check for any kinks in the hose or anything in the cupboard pressing up against the hose. You can also unhook the drain hose to check for clogs. You can blow into the hose to check for blockage and remove clogs with a wire hanger. Do not use a plumber’s snake on a drain hose. If you cannot remove clogs, you may need to replace the hose entirely.

These tips should help get your dishwasher back on track and fully draining. But if the machine is still not draining, it could be a larger issue with the dishwasher, and it’s time to call in the professionals. Contact Mr. Rooter in Sacramento for all your dishwasher and plumbing needs.