6 Ways to Fix a Clogged Dishwasher

If you run the dishwasher and open the door at the end of the cycle, the last thing you expect to see is a pool of water at the bottom of the unit. Unfortunately, this sight means that you have a clog somewhere that is preventing water from draining out of the dishwasher. 

When searching for the source of the clog, it’s always a good idea to start with the inside of the dishwasher and work your way along the drainage system – all the way to the sewer line. Here are six ways you can try unclogging a dishwasher. 

6 Ways to Fix a Clogged Dishwasher

Clean out the filter basket

The first (and easiest) place you should check is the filter basket. The purpose of the filter basket is to catch large bits of food that are washed off from dishware, glasses, and utensils. If these scraps made their way into the plumbing, they could cause a more serious clog in the pipes. But if the filter basket isn’t cleaned out periodically, enough food can collect to affect the dishwasher drainage. 

Remove the basket from the bottom of the dishwasher and discard the scraps into the garbage. If there is mineral build-up in the small holes of a filter, soak the basket in vinegar to break down the deposits. Then replace the filter basket and see if that solves the issue.

Inspect the drain hose

The drain hose is what connects your dishwasher to kitchen sink drain (or garbage disposal, if you have one). It’s a narrow, flexible hose and can be prone to blockages. If there is a clog in the drain hose, it can be tricky to get to. You’ll have to unscrew and pull out the dishwasher from the cabinet. Then, you unhook the hose and flush it with water or vinegar to break up the clog. Be sure to reattach the hose clamp when you put everything back together. If this sounds too complicated, you can always call in a professional plumber to do the job.

Check the garbage disposal

This step only applies if your dishwasher is connected to the garbage disposal. Look under the sink and make sure the knockout plug was removed – if not, that would prevent water from draining into the garbage disposal. Also, check to make sure there isn’t a blockage in the canister that could contribute to a drainage issue.

Clean air gap

If you have a garbage disposal, you may have an air gap installed that helps prevent sink water from backflowing into the dishwasher. Take the cap off the air gap and make sure it’s open and free of any blockages.

Unclog the trap

The trap is the U-shaped part of the pipe underneath the sink, which prevents sewer gases from coming up out of the drain. The trap is also where most sink clogs occur. If you’re experiencing a slow kitchen sink drain along with the dishwasher issue, there’s a good chance you have a clogged trap. You can try snaking the drain to clear the blockage or call a plumber for a professional draining cleaning.

Fix sewer line issue

Last but certainly not least, the dishwasher draining issue could be due to a clog in your sewer line. This is a serious plumbing issue that should be fixed right away. A clue that it could be a sewer line blockage is if multiple drains around your house are slow at the same time.

Call a plumber to fix your dishwasher

If you check all these areas and still experience poor draining of your dishwasher, then it’s time to call in a professional plumber. For expert, friendly service in Murrieta and Winchester, CA, call Liberty Plumbing today at (951) 760-4215.