How to Fix a Nondraining Dishwasher


Dishwashers need small amounts of water to remain in the bottom of them. If your dishwasher has a large amount of water or does not drain, you may wish to troubleshoot the problem. Commonly, a clogged hose or kinked hose causes dishwasher draining issues. Disassembling the hoses to your dishwasher provides you the answer as to where the clog was located. If you cannot find the cause of your draining issue after you perform your troubleshooting, you may wish to call a professional, as the issue may require a licensed plumber.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Towels
  • Bucket
  • Long wire
  • Tweezers
  • Remove the bottom panel on your dishwasher with your hands. Clean the pump filter by running it under water. If your dishwasher contains a screen, clean it in the same manner as the pump filter.

  • Locate the drain hose to your dishwasher, and check for kinks or clogs in the drain hose. If the drain hose contains kinks, remove them by hand. Remove clogs with a long wire by pushing the wire through the drain hose to release the debris clogging it.

  • Turn off the power to your dishwasher, and remove the front access panel. Depending upon your dishwasher you may remove the panel by hand or by unscrewing the screws holding the panel in place with a screwdriver.

  • Detach the hose attached to your drain valve by loosening the clamp holding it in place. Water will overflow; have towels and a bucket ready for clean up. Detach the other end of the hose from the air gap or sink drain--this depends upon your dishwasher model.

  • Insert your long wire into the hose you removed in Step 4. This clears any debris in this particular hose.

  • Remove debris from the air gap located on your countertop or sink deck with tweezers.

  • Open the P-trap under your cabinet by unscrewing the elbow. The P-trap is the “U”-shaped PVC plumbing tube under your kitchen sink. Check for blockages in the P-trap and remove any.

  • Reattach the P-trap by screwing it back onto your PVC tubing under your sink.

  • Reattach all hoses to your dishwasher and test to verify you cleared the blockage stopping your dishwasher from draining.

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  • Photo Credit dishwasher product image by Alison Bowden from
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