Dishwasher drains become clogged for a variety of reasons, but grease and food happen to be two of the main culprits. When you leave leftover food and grease on your dishes before you place them into the appliance, the dishwasher rinses all of the debris off the dishes. The debris then lands on the bottom of the dishwasher and finds its way into the drain hose. Once the drain hose becomes clogged or obstructed, it needs to be fixed quickly to prevent damage to the appliance.
Open the dishwasher and look inside carefully. Inspect the bottom of the dishwasher and the area around the drain hose for grease and food residue. Wipe the interior of the dishwasher with paper towels to remove the grease. When you wipe the inside of the dishwasher, you may find sharp objects such as glass obstructing the drain pipe. Remove these items carefully. If the dishwasher remains clogged, you will need to remove the drain hose.
Unplug the dishwasher from the electrical outlet to prevent any accidents. Remove the kick plate underneath the dishwasher door to access the hose. You might have to consult your dishwasher owner's manual. Look for the drain hose with a flashlight. The drain hose typically is located under the spraying arm. Place a bowl or pan under the hose and disconnect it by removing the clamp off the hose with pliers. Insert a long bristle brush or plumber's snake into the hose to remove debris or run pressurized water directly down into the hose. Reconnect the hose and run the dishwasher.
If you do not feel comfortable disconnecting the drain hose or if you are unsuccessful, you need to call a licensed plumber. While you may feel like the dishwasher contains clogged grease, there are varieties of other reasons why the water may not be draining. The pump motor may not be running properly, the water valve may be leaking or the hose may actually have a kink in it that you cannot reach. The dishwasher may also connect under the sink or to the garbage disposal, which can be part of the problem. If you cannot afford to call a plumber, consult your owner manual and call the manufacturer for advice on how to fix the problem.
Always remove large pieces of food from dishes before you place them into the dishwasher. Scrape off pieces of food and bones into the trash and rinse the dishes to remove large chunks of food and residue. Always empty liquids from glasses and scrape off burned food. Allowing these items to go into the dishwasher can clog the drain hose and prevent the dishwasher from draining.