Has your dishwasher stopped draining or stopped draining well? Before you reach for that drain cleaner, (or call Blue Sky for our professional drain cleaning services) you might want to read this article first!
Sometimes, fixing a dishwasher that won’t drain is easy. Here’s what you need to know if you want to try to fix it yourself. Remember, you can always call us for help, too!
Reactivate the Drain Feature
If your dishwasher won’t drain, you may simply need to run another drain cycle on the unit. Different units have different button series that you might press. Follow the directions on your unit to reset it, which should automatically set off the drain feature. Others might have a “rinse and drain” cycle, similar to a washing machine.
Clean the Air Gap
The air gap is a round part inside your drain tube, likely near your kitchen sink faucet. Some people say it looks like R2D2. Carefully remove this and check for debris inside of it. If there’s anything there, pinch it and pull it out. Replace it and run a drain cycle, just like you did above. If the dishwasher drains, the problem is fixed.
Clear the Air Gap Tube
You can also get debris built up deeper inside the small air gap tube. Use a coat hanger or a water bottle cleaner to gently push into that tube. Work until you can get at least 10 inches down into the tube without encountering any obstructions. Then run the drain cycle again and see if the dishwasher is working.
Clean the Dishwasher’s Drain Tube
Some dishwashers don’t use an air gap system. If you don’t have one of these, you can still figure out how to fix a dishwasher that won’t drain.
Start by finding the drain tube from your dishwasher. You may have to pull the unit out from under your countertop to do this. Remove the tube from its connection with your sink drain or garbage disposal.
Place that end of the tube inside a sizable bucket, then run a drain cycle. Gently shake the hose to loosen any obstructions, or use a tool to access them if you can see them and they don’t come out when you shake.
When water starts pouring out the tube, you have solved your problem. Let it drain all the way, unless the bucket starts to fill up. Then, open the door on the dishwasher to stop the flow. Reattach the drain pipe and slide your dishwasher back into place once again.
Note for New Garbage Disposals
Sometimes, new garbage disposals have a plug in the hose that connects to the dishwasher drain. Remove this before installation or go back and remove it later. This can resolve your dishwasher problems quickly and help you fix that dishwasher that just won’t drain.
If these solutions don’t work for you and your dishwasher still won’t drain, call us at Blue Sky Plumbing and Heating today. We’ll get an expert out to you fast to figure out what is wrong with your dishwasher and get it working for you again soon.