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What to Do When Your Dishwasher Won't Drain

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Don't let simple dishwasher malfunctions send your money down the drain!

A worldwide issue that can cause quite a backflow (no pun intended) of strategic and financial issues, dishwasher draining malfunctions account for a majority of plumber calls.

While a dishwasher that refuses to drain poses a threat to your daily routine, there are a few troubleshooting steps you should take before calling in help.

When Your Dishwasher Won’t Drain, do this:

  • Check the cycle
  • Look at common block sites
  • Examine the sink

First, Look at Your Cycle!

Did your dishwasher complete its entire cycle? If not, it may be smart to see if you can get it going where it left off. If not, check the electrical system.

While it is unlikely that you will unplug your dishwasher at the source, many dishwashers have a switch on the countertop that can be accidentally turned off, eliminating the power to the dishwasher in the middle of a cycle.

Check Your Air Gap, Drain Hose, and Pump Seal for Cracks, Kinks, or Blockages

These three components make up the most common error sites for a dishwasher that isn't draining. The pump seal at the bottom of your dishwasher must remain moist to prevent cracks.

Your drain hose must not have kinks or blockages and should be secured against a wall. You can tack it up yourself if you find it is not in the proper place!

Another very common drainage issue is a blocked air gap. To access the air gap, you can remove the cover and unscrew the cap. The kind of residue that builds up in this area can be cleaned with soap and water, but cleaning products will leave this area in better condition and can also help prevent more blockages.

How Does Your Garbage Disposal Look?

Many styles of dishwashers are connected to your sink and garbage disposal. If these areas are not functioning properly, then your dishwasher may not drain. Running scalding water through your drain, or even tweaking the disposal blades with an Allen wrench, can dislodge any debris blocking drainage. It is wise to turn your garbage disposal off and unplug it before tweaking it in any way.

Alternatively, your dishwasher drainage system may be hooked up to a separate drain. In which case, if the following methods were applied, and your dishwasher still won't drain, it may be wise to consider getting a professional to clear out your dishwasher's drain for you.

Contact the punctual plumbers at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing located in Atlantic County, NJ.