How To Fix A Dishwasher That Is Not Draining

My dishwasher is not draining all the way. The dishwasher has gradually been having this issue. We have noticed within multiple wash loads that the dishwasher is now not fully draining. This has been a gradual no draining issue. We believe this observation may mean something is clogged. What is the most likely problem that can cause a dishwasher to have a draining issue?

How To Fix A Dishwasher That Is Not DrainingHow To Fix A Dishwasher That Is Not Draining

A dishwasher not draining most likely indicates a clog. A clogged dishwasher filter, drain hose, air gap, or blocked garbage disposal will cause the dishwasher to not drain. Check below for all the things to check to get your dishwasher to start draining…


1. Check the filter at the bottom of the dishwasher – Gets clogged with gunk or small particles.
Clean filter to remove particles blocking filter inlet – Dishwasher will now drain.

2. Does the sink drain out water? – If the sink does not drain, unclog the sink and test the dishwasher.
Remove the clog in the plumbing with a plunger to get dishwasher to properly drain.

3. Turn the garbage disposal ON – A clogged disposal can cause the dishwasher to not drain.
Run water and turn on the garbage disposal to remove clog and allow dishwasher to drain.

NOTE: The garbage disposal instructions tell you to leave the water running for 10 or 20 seconds after running. This will serve 2 purposes as it rinses debris out of the disposal down the drain and out of the “P” trap under the sink. This removes any debris from sitting in the lateral drain line or “P” trap and clogging up the sink and causing the dishwasher to have difficulty draining.

4. Inspect the drain hose – A bent or clogged drain hose will make it impossible for your dishwasher to drain.
Be sure the drain hose is straight, not clogged with gunk to allow dishwasher to drain out water.

5. Inspect the air gap (if applicable) – There may be a clog between the garbage disposer and air gap.
Does water come out when you run dishwasher? If so remove the air gap and clean it to allow dishwasher to drain.

NOTE: These 5 are the most common reasons why a dishwasher does not drain. There are many different parts within a dishwasher that can fail and cause this issue. If the dishwasher still does not drain after following the steps above, you will need to start looking at the parts and components within the dishwasher to troubleshoot which part is causing the dishwasher to not drain.

Please note: When inspecting/troubleshooting the dishwasher parts, the part causing the NO DRAIN issue could be a mechanical issue or an electrical issue. When troubleshooting, first check the part to confirm there are no clogs or restrictions. If none are present, then check the part with a multimeter to be sure it is not faulty electrically. Replace the part or parts as needed to allow the dishwasher to drain. See which dishwasher parts are the most probable to fail below…

How to repair a dishwasher not draining


Here is a list of the parts that can become faulty, broken, or clogged and cause a dishwasher to not drain…


Piston & Nut Assembly (part of the drain sump)
If the piston is not sealing correctly, the dishwasher will not pump out all of the water.
This assembly is within the check valve assembly.
(Located in the bottom of the tub under the sump cover)

Check Valve Flapper
A faulty check valve will not allow the water to drain out properly.
Allows dirty water to flow only one way.
(Valve located on the drain outlet port of drain pump or housing)

Drain Pump & Motor
A faulty motor/pump will not allow water to drain out of the dishwasher.
This allows for water circulation and for draining.
(Located in the bottom of the dishwasher – Remove lower rack, spray arm, pump cover, filter assembly)

Dishwasher Belt
A slipped or broken belt on old dishwashers cause the water the water to not drain out.
(Located inside the dishwasher – Check belt for wear and tear)

Mechanical Timer
The mechanical timer on older dishwashers controls the pump motor and solenoid.
If this timer is faulty the components will not energize and the dishwasher will not drain out water.
(Located in the control panel at the top of the dishwasher on the door)

Drain Hose
A bent, kinked, or clogged drain hose will not allow the water to exit the dishwasher.
If a kink is found or is developing on the drain hose it will not allow the dishwasher to drain the water out.
Clogs usually form at the outlet near the pump and around or near the valve.
(Located in the bottom back of the dishwasher – from back of dishwasher to drain/disposer under sink)

Dishwasher drain partsDishwasher (Draining) Parts

The information contained on this page is generalized and will work on all makes of standard and portable dishwashers including Amana, Bosch, Frigidaire, GE, Hotpoint, Kenmore, Whirlpool and more.

Did the simple steps and list of dishwasher parts not help you to fix your dishwasher? Please leave the issue you are having below and we will get back to you concerning the problem you are having. Please give us the model number of your dishwasher when you supply us with your draining issue.

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1 thought on “How To Fix A Dishwasher That Is Not Draining”

  1. We had the same problem with our Whirlpool dishwasher. I took everything apart and cleaning everything. The dishwasher was all cleaned out but the no draining issue still kept happening. I read the dishwasher service manual and I noticed a part called the check valve assembly. I removed the valve from the dishwasher (near the motor) and I discovered a few seeds and a piece of glass stuck inside. The objects stuck in the valve prevented it from working correctly. The water would not flow through and this caused the machine to not drain. After we cleaned the valve out, the dishwasher worked perfectly. It is best to rinse everything first so no small particles get stuck in the dishwasher.

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