Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Virginia Beach Change Location
24/7 Emergency Services (757) 694-4625 Request Job Estimate
A homeowner checks and cleans the filter in the dishwasher.

Troubleshooting a Dishwasher That Won’t Drain

What to Do If Water Is Pooling in Your Dishwasher

Unfortunately, a dishwasher can encounter frustrating setbacks and operational issues. There are several steps you should take if your dishwasher refuses to drain. Sometimes, you may require appliance repair. In other scenarios, the problem might be rooted in your plumbing. If this is the case, Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Virginia Beach is ready to assist. Whatever underlying issue you have with your dishwasher, we will do our best to help guide you toward a diagnosis and solution.

Common Reasons for Standing Water in Your Dishwasher

Is there a pool of standing water at the bottom of your dishwasher after the cleaning cycle finishes? This undrained water is signaling an underlying issue. Some of the most common dishwasher drainage issues are due to:

  • A broken or clogged pump – Loose silverware or food debris can clog dishwasher pumps. A telltale sign of pump issues is the gurgling sound of the water struggling to drain.
  • A dirty or clogged filter – A filter is perhaps the most common of these three issues. We recommend cleaning your filter regularly to avoid a buildup of grease and grime.
  • A blocked hose – A clogged drain hose or sink pipe is uncommon but can occasionally occur.

One proactive measure to help prevent all three of these drainage issues from occurring in the first place is to scape off food debris from your plates before placing them in the dishwasher. Some dishwashers are more equipped to handle food than others. We recommend checking the instruction manual to see if you need to pre-rinse dishes or not. To be safe, we suggest thoroughly rinsing all dishes before placing them in a dishwasher.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Troubleshooting Your Dishwasher

First and foremost, a small puddle of water does not necessarily indicate a problem. This water might be there by design and specified in the dishwasher manual. Nevertheless, a defect or clog is likely if you encounter a pool of water after each cycle.

If this is the case, we suggest that you:

Check the Garburator

Not all homeowners are aware that the dishwasher drains into the garburator. Therefore, the dishwasher will likely be clogged if the kitchen sink is blocked. One helpful tip is to run the garburator to clear the system before starting a dishwasher cycle.

Clear Filter Debris

The dishwasher filter usually sits under the lower spray arm or toward the back of the dishwasher tub. Remove the screws fastening the filter cage, and clear any debris (food, utensils, plastic, paper, glass, etc.).

Inspect the Drain Hose

The drain hose is accessible by removing the toe kick. If there is any doubt, most drain hoses have corrugated ridges. Once you locate the hose, disconnect it from the dishwasher pump by taking off the clamp. Then remove the clamp from the opposite end and dislodge the gunk inside to clear the hose.

Examine the Drain

The drain sits at the connection between the dishwasher and the garbage disposal. We recommend double-checking the plastic plug covering the dishwasher drain to ensure it is fully open. You may need to wedge it loose with a screwdriver or fish the plug out of the garbage disposal grinder.

Troubleshoot the Valve Bracket

First, check to see if there is a small plastic valve bracket under your dishwasher (accessed by removing the toe kick). If so, the dishwasher has a drain valve to help prevent a backflow of water. Press on the valve bracket lightly using a pencil, dull knife, or screwdriver. It should move freely – unless it is stuck. A valve bracket that won’t move might indicate a burned-out electrical solenoid that needs repair.

Check For Faulty Dishwasher Parts

Have you tackled every item on this checklist, and nothing seems awry? In this case, your dishwasher may have a faulty pump solenoid, drain sump, check valve, door switch, or control board. Defective electrical or mechanical components usually require a professional with industry-grade equipment and training in electrical work.

The Benefits of Professional Plumbers & Dishwasher Repair Specialists

Don’t hesitate to give Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Virginia Beach a call without delay if you are dealing with a plumbing issue. If you are dealing with a broken dishwasher part, we recommend contacting Mr. Appliance, a Neighbourly company. We also recommend checking to see if your dishwasher is under warranty. You may be able to receive professional assistance or money back for a replacement from the manufacturer.

Whatever you do, we highly recommend avoiding any quick solution, such as applying dish soap, drain cleaner, or chemical detergents. These shortcuts can create larger and costlier problems in the long run. We also stress the importance of performing any diagnostic work with safety prioritized. Don’t forget that water and electricity are a dangerous duo. Always unplug your dishwasher and turn off the circuit breaker when dealing with or near anything electrical.

For dishwasher installation and repair along with other kitchen plumbing services, give us a call today at (757) 694-4625 or contact us online anytime.