Why Isn't My Dishwasher Draining?

Why Isn’t My Dishwasher Draining?

You’ve just finished a big meal and loaded all the dirty dishes into the dishwasher. You press the start button and walk away, only to come back a few hours later to find that your dishwasher hasn’t drained. This can be a frustrating experience, and you may be wondering why this is happening.

Possible Causes

There are several reasons why your dishwasher may not be draining. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Blocked drain hose
  • Clogged garbage disposal
  • Damaged drain pump
  • Broken or clogged dishwasher filter
  • Malfunctioning check valve

Blocked Drain Hose

If your dishwasher isn’t draining, the first thing you should check is the drain hose. This hose is responsible for carrying the dirty water out of the dishwasher and into your home’s plumbing system. Over time, the drain hose can become clogged with food particles, soap scum, and other debris. If this happens, you may need to clean or replace the hose.

Clogged Garbage Disposal

If your dishwasher is connected to a garbage disposal, a clogged disposal can cause drainage problems. When the disposal gets clogged, it can prevent the dishwasher from draining properly. Try running the disposal to clear any blockages.

Malfunctioning Check Valve

The check valve is a small part that prevents water from flowing back into the dishwasher after it has drained. If this valve becomes damaged or malfunctions, water can flow back into the dishwasher and prevent it from draining. A faulty check valve will need to be replaced.


Q. How often should I clean my dishwasher’s filter?

A. You should clean your dishwasher’s filter at least once a month to prevent clogs and drainage problems.

Q. Can I use drain cleaner in my dishwasher?

A. No, you should never use drain cleaner in your dishwasher. Drain cleaners contain harsh chemicals that can damage your dishwasher’s components.

Q. Can a broken drain pump cause my dishwasher to not drain?

A. Yes, if the drain pump is damaged or not functioning correctly, your dishwasher may not drain properly.


If your dishwasher isn’t draining, it can be a frustrating and messy problem. However, with a little troubleshooting, you can usually identify and fix the problem quickly. Remember to check the drain hose, garbage disposal, and dishwasher filter for clogs or damage. If the issue persists, it may be time to call a professional for assistance.