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April 28th, 2021 at 11:00 am

modern dishwasher

Is your dishwasher not draining properly? Before you call a plumber to drain your dishwasher, follow these easy steps from our partners at American Home Shield® to see if the problem can be solved without the help of a professional.

Here are eight steps to fix your dishwasher:  

Tip #1: Run the disposal 

A full garbage disposal or air gap can affect how your dishwasher drains.

Tip #2: Check for blockages 

Make sure there is no food blocking the water flow at the bottom of your dishwasher.

Tip #3: Load the dishwasher correctly 

Read the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure you’re loading it correctly.

Tip #4: Clean or change the filter

Many homeowners don’t realize that the dishwasher filter needs to be cleaned regularly.

Tip #5: Inspect the drain hose

The drain hose connects to the sink and garbage disposal. Straighten any kinks, blow through the hose, or even poke a wire to check for clogs.

Tip #6: Double-check the drain valve

The valve is often located at the bottom of the machine. Push on it to make sure it moves freely and isn’t stuck.

Tip #7: Try vinegar and baking soda

Mix one cup of each and pour into the standing water at the bottom of your machine. Let it sit to see if it begins to loosen debris and begin draining. If it does, rinse with hot water and run a rinse cycle.

Tip #8: Listen to your machine while it’s running

If your dishwasher isn’t making the usual sounds, it may be time to call a professional. Humming or clicking may be a sign that the pump and motor need replacing.

How to properly drain a dishwasher

If you need to clear standing water at the bottom of a dishwasher, here’s how to drain it:

  1. Line the floor under the dishwasher with towels or newspaper. 
  2. With a measuring cup or a large ladle, scoop the water from the bottom into a bowl or the sink. 
  3. When the water becomes too shallow to scoop, soak up the remaining moisture with cloth or paper towels.

To avoid blockages and damage, always make sure that you’re using the right type of dish detergent per manufacturer’s directions. Taking some preventative steps to keep your dishwasher running smoothly can also help you avoid drainage issues in the future.

For more homeowner tips, check out the American Home Shield® blog!

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