Why won’t my dishwasher drain?

As the saying goes, “We’ve been there and done that!”.  A dishwasher that does not drain can be very frustrating.  So, let us consider some possible reasons why this situation occurs.

First and most obvious, make sure the unit is plugged into a functioning electrical outlet.  If so, then check the panel box for a tripped breaker.  Reset the breaker if it is tripped with caution that it may immediately trip again.  If this happens, call a licensed electrician since a possible electrical problem may be encountered in the electrical service to the dishwasher.

If there are no electrical service problems associated with the dishwasher, inspect the electrical panel or the mechanical controls for proper function.  If the electrical panel is not powered or the mechanical controls do not start the cycles of the dishwasher, problems may exist in the electrical control boards of the dishwasher. If so, there is not much of anything you can do except calling a qualified appliance repair technician for further evaluation and repair.

Another practical reason why the dishwasher drain does not work is simply, the drain line is plugged or stopped up with waste.   Removing the water in the dishwasher basin will be messy but try cleaning the basin and the drain line being careful since there may be sharp edges on the finishes on the interior of the dishwasher. If simple cleaning the basin and drain does not fix the problem, consult with a reputable plumber or appliance repair technician for further evaluation.

We have also experienced the disappointment of a broken drain pump in the dishwasher.  The average lay person may realize this condition through a process of elimination in trying to understand why the dishwasher is not working.  If the drain pump is not working, it is time to call a reputable plumber or appliance repair technician as the task of replacing the pump is one for the professionals.

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