Have you ever been ready to do some dishes only to discover your dishwasher is filled with water that won’t drain? This is a very common problem that can happen to anyone, and the biggest culprit is food blockages in the drain system. Below are 4 tips for getting your dishwasher to drain properly:
1. Check the dishwasher for food blockages:
Check all the drain plugs on the floor of the dishwasher pan. It’s possible that large pieces of food are clogging up these drain plugs, preventing water from draining. Simply clean out the dishwasher of any possible food debris and see if water then begins to drain.
2. Clean the drain basket:
The drain basket is the plastic mesh filter in the bottom of the dishwasher tub that strains out food debris that could clog the drain line. Most drain baskets can be taken out with a screwdriver and thoroughly cleaned outside the unit. While the drain basket is out, pour a cup of baking soda followed by a cup of vinegar down the drain opening. After 15 minutes, follow that with approximately 8 cups of boiling hot water to flush the drain line.
3. Keep the garbage disposal clear:
Many dishwashers will drain the discharge water through the garbage disposal and into the adjacent kitchen sink. If the disposal is clogged with food debris, dishwasher drain water may back up through the drain line. To clear this drain line, plug the garbage disposal side of the kitchen sink and fill it will very hot water. Once the sink is completely full, pull the plug and run the disposal to flush out the debris. Once you’ve flushed out the hot water while running the disposal, pour two cups of crushed ice PLUS one cup of salt down the disposal.
4. Check the air gap:
Dishwasher drain lines will often have an anti-siphon air gap, this is an egg-shaped metal chamber mounted beside the kitchen sink. The air gap prevents contaminated water from the sink or disposal from siphoning backwards into the dishwasher. If this air gap becomes clogged with debris or even soap residue, it can obstruct the flow of dishwasher drain water. Most air gaps have screw-on caps that can be removed so the component can be cleaned out. Once you have removed the cap, clean out any debris and also look into the hose line to make sure nothing is hiding out in there that could be clogging the line.