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Why is my dishwasher not draining?

Before you spend $500 on a new dishwasher, there is probably a much simpler solution if you find your dishwasher not draining. You may not be Handyman of the Century, but there are a few things you can do to try to rectify the problem.

If there is water in bottom or your dishwasher after the cycle has completed, try these tips to troubleshoot on your own by checking a few different areas of your machine.

  1. Check the filter in the tub of the dishwasher. While most modern dishwashers have built-in grinders, things like food and paper can still block the filter. Clear any trash or debris.

  2. Ensure the hose from the dishwasher to the garbage disposal or drain line is not kinked.

  3. Check the sink for proper drainage and run the garbage disposal for a few seconds. In many cases, dishwashers are set up to drain through the garbage disposal—and when that’s clogged, there is nowhere for the dishwasher water to go.

  4. Check the air gap (not all dishwashers have one, but it’s the silver device next to the faucet). If water comes out of it, then the clog is between the air gap and the garbage disposal. In order to unclog this, you’ll need to remove the air gap cap.

    1. Locate the large tube that goes into the garbage disposal.

    2. Clear the tube of any blockage using a bottle brush.

  5. Test the drain valve. If you have a drain valve that keeps water from draining back into the dishwasher, check this too. To test the valve, push on the valve bracket and make sure it moves freely. It could be frozen—if that’s the case, the electrical solenoid that powers it may have burned out.

  6. Clean out the drain tube. You can disconnect the drain tube from the air gap. Make sure it’s not plugged and clear it of any debris before reconnecting it.

If none of these methods work, you may have a larger plumbing problem with your dishwasher or drains. Roto-Rooter is available to assess the situation and provide professional assistance.. Simply call 800-768-6911, and we’ll be there right away.

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