Whirlpool Dishwasher Not Draining? Here’s What To Do

October 3, 2022
Dishwasher Repair

If your dishwasher won’t drain, don’t panic! Many dishwasher problems can be easily fixed with a little troubleshooting. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through some of the most common reasons why dishwashers don’t drain and how you can fix them. Keep reading to learn more. 

First, you will need to empty the dishwasher. If there is standing water lay down a towel to absorb any spills and scoop the water away with a cup or bucket or turkey baster. You can even use a shop vac to remove the water if you wish.

Check the filter

Most dishwashers have a filter that helps to trap food particles and prevent them from being recirculated through the wash cycle. The filter is usually located near the bottom of the dishwasher. At the end of the cycle, water will drain through the filter. If the filter is clogged with food or debris your dishwasher may not clean as well or drain as quickly as it should. If it gets clogged completely, water will not drain at all. By taking good care of your dishwasher’s filter, you can help to ensure that your dishes come out clean and sparkling every time.

The filter is located at the bottom of the dishwasher. If you have a bottom set of spray arms, you may need to rotate them out of the way. The filter should look like a screen with a tube in it. Simply remove the screen and take the filter apart. Rinse the filter under running water, using a brush to clean the screens and hard-to-reach bits. Reassemble the filter and pop it back in.

If the filter is clean and the dishwasher still doesn’t drain on the following cycle the issue may be a clog further down the line.

Check the garbage disposal

Built-in dishwashers typically drain via the garbage disposal so if your dishwasher is clogged, this may be causing it. Turn on your garbage disposer to clear away any leftover food. If you hear a loud sound after turning on the garbage disposal, turn it off, as you will need to troubleshoot that as well. Sometimes the culprit is simply a utensil that has fallen in.

In the future, run your garbage disposal for about 15 seconds to prevent clogs.

Check the drain pump

Sometimes glass or a piece of broken plate can pass through the filter and clog the drain pump, which is responsible for pumping water out of the dishwasher.

  • First, unplug the dishwasher and turn off the water.
  • To access the drain pump, use a screwdriver to remove the screws at the bottom of the dishwasher. Pop out the panel and set it aside.
  • The drain pump will be a small box connected to the drain hose.
  • Have a towel ready, as water will come out once the drain pump is removed.
  • The pump may be screwed in. If yours is, use a screwdriver to remove the screws. Then, turn the pump counterclockwise to loosen it. Remove any visible obstructions.
  • If you see any obstruction in the drain hose, you may want to flush out the drain hose. See below for instructions on how to do this.
  • Otherwise, reattach the pump, and reverse the above steps to reassemble your dishwasher.
  • Run a short cycle to check everything is draining smoothly.

Check the drain hose

Over time, your dishwasher’s drain hose can become clogged with food particles, grease, and soap scum. As a result, water may not flow freely through the hose, causing your dishwasher to drain slowly, or not at all. Luckily, it is relatively easy to clean your dishwasher’s drain hose. You can use a solution of baking soda and vinegar in the basket beneath the filter, then run a normal cycle to clear small blockages. If your dishwasher still won’t drain, proceed to the next step.

Flush the drain hose

  • First, turn off the water and unplug the dishwasher.
  • Then, under the sink, locate the end of the hose that is closest to the garbage disposal. You may want to use a bit of tape to remember which end of the hose goes where.
  • Next, use pliers to loosen the clamp that secures the hose to the disposal. Once the clamp is loose, you should be able to pull the hose off easily.
  • Unscrew the screws along the bottom panel of the dishwasher and remove the panel to access the other end of the hose.
  • Loosen the clamp and detach the hose.
  • Pull the hose out.
  • Check the hose for any cracks or kinks. If the hose is cracked or kinked it will need to be replaced.
  • Using a garden hose, on high pressure, flush the hose out with water.
  • Finally, reattach the hose to the pump and to the disposal and tighten the clamps. Once you have replaced the hose, run your dishwasher on an empty cycle to make sure that everything is working properly.

How to prevent clogs

  • First, give the dishes a pre-rinse, and make sure that any large bits of food go into the trash or the garbage disposal.
  • Second, avoid putting large or bulky items in the dishwasher. These items can block the spray arm and prevent water from reaching all of the dishes.
  • Make sure that you’re only using the recommended amount of detergent. Too much detergent can build up in the dishwasher and cause clogs.
  • Finally, be sure to clean the dishwasher regularly. Remove any food particles or grease that have built up on the interior surfaces. By following these simple tips, you can help keep your dishwasher running smoothly for many years to come.

The lowdown 

We hope this blog post was helpful in troubleshooting your dishwasher problems. Remember, if your dishwasher won’t drain, check for a clogged filter, clogged drain hose, or clogged drain pump. With just a little bit of effort, you should be able to get your dishwasher draining properly again in no time.


Leave a Reply