Tip & How-To about Dishwashers
Dishwasher Doesn’t Drain
Following a cycle, a small pool of clean water inside the tub is normal. An excessive amount of water means the pump isn’t pumping water out properly, the drain hose isn’t carrying it to the drain pipe, or the house’s drain lines are backed up.
If dirty water spews from the air gap, the drain line is kinked or clogged. (If you’ve recently installed a garbage disposer, be sure the knockout plug for the dishwasher was removed when the connection was made; see your disposer instructions.)
1) Remove the cover from the air gap at the top of the sink (usually a short chrome domed cylinder that sits at the back of the sink), and, using a stiff wire, clean it out. Also check the entire length of the drain hose for kinks or blockages, especially at the drain connection to the disposer or drain line.
2) Once the dishwasher is cool, shut off the power to it, and—if your dishwasher is made to allow this—remove the strainer, located under the bottom spray arm at the base of the cabinet (see illustration). Unscrew the hubcap, lift the spray arm off, and remove any clips that hold the strainer to get it out. Scrub it clean with a brush, then replace it.
3) Determine whether the sink trap or house drain line is clogged.
4) If the dishwasher still doesn’t drain properly, the drain hose may be clogged or the drain valve may need replacement. You can check the drain hose for obstructions, but this sometimes involves pulling the dishwasher out from under your counter to access the hose, disconnecting the hose at both ends, and flushing it out with a faucet or garden hose or replacing it with a new hose.
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