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How to Fix a Dishwasher

How to Fix a Dishwasher that won’t Drain on Your Own

A dishwasher is one of the main appliance used regularly. When it won’t drain, you have to hand wash dishes and it takes much energy and time. That is why your dishwasher should be always in a good condition, but sometimes it won’t drain. There are many reasons causing your dishwasher fail to drain such as dirty filters, a blocked sink or drain hose, and a damage drain pump. To deal with the problems, you can simply call a plumber to get them fixed, but actually learning how to fix a dishwasher that won’t drain is relatively easy.

How to fix a dishwasher that won’t drain: Preparation

The very first step to unclog a dishwasher is to do some preparation no matter what the cause is. First of all, remove all of the disses from the dishwasher. After that, make sure that the power is turned off. Working on any appliance with the power connected is not safe. The water line should be turned off, too. You can find it under the sink.

The next step is to remove the water with towels and containers. It can be very messy to move a dishwasher full of water but it is necessary to remove the water completely. After there is no water left, you are ready for the next step.

How to Fix a Dishwasher

Cleaning the filter

As dirty filter is one of the most common cause of unclogged dishwasher, you should clean the filter. It always becomes the first troubleshooting step when you have an issue with a dishwasher. To clean the filters, of course you should remove them from the dishwasher. Modern dishwashers usually have a cylindrical filter on the bottom of the dishwasher’s interior. To remove it from the housing, simply turn in counterclockwise and lift it up.

You will find a coarse filter once you’ve pulled out the cylindrical filter. Slide it out from the cylinder so you can access the sump. Check the sump for bones, food, and other debris that may cause the clog.

Then, clean the filters using soap and hot water. Scrub the filters with dish detergent and sponge thoroughly to remove any food, grime, and debris. After that, rinse them well. Once the filters are cleaned, they should be reinstalled. Run the dishwasher to see if it drains. If it is still not draining, there might be malfunction in other parts.

Checking the drain hose

If the filters are clean but your dishwasher still doesn’t drain, probably the problem is in the drain hose. To access the drain hose, of course you need to pull out the dishwasher from the cabinet. Be careful because dishwashers are heavy. Remove the kick plate from the dishwasher so you can see the hose which runs from the pump to the sink. Follow the hose to drainage area and check whether there are kinks in the line and straight it up to correct the kinks.

To examine whether there are clogs in the hose, you should take it off the dishwasher. You can run a long flexible brush through the hose to clear any blockage. It will be easier if you run water from a high powered hose through the drain line. Reconnect the hose after you’re done. Check whether the problem is solved by running the dishwasher.

Checking the valve

A dishwasher with a single direction motor comes with a drain valve and you can find it near the motor. Before checking this part, be sure the dishwasher is cooled to avoid burns from hot parts. A valve drain has a coil and gate arm. Both components need to be checked. Start with the gate arm. Move it freely to check whether the spring is missing or damage. If that’s the case, you should replace it.

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If there is nothing wrong with the gate arm, check the coil by first disconnecting it from the wires. Use a multi-tester to check its resistance. It should be at least 30 ohms. If the reading shows different result, it needs replacement.

Those are the steps on how to fix a dishwasher that won’t drain. The steps are relatively easy to follow, but if you are not sure to fix your dishwasher on your own, it’s better to call a plumber.

Michael Sears

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