A dishwasher that won’t drain can quickly escalate from a minor inconvenience to a major issue. It’s a common household problem, yet many homeowners are uncertain about the causes and solutions. This blog aims to shed light on the possible reasons behind a dishwasher’s drainage issues and how to address them, ensuring your machine runs smoothly.

Uncovering the Culprits of Poor Drainage

1. Check the Basics: Start with the simplest checks – ensure that the cycle has completely finished, as opening the dishwasher mid-cycle can prevent proper drainage. Also, check for kinks or bends in the drain hose.

2. Filter and Drain Cleaning: Regular maintenance is crucial. Clean your dishwasher’s filter and drain area to prevent clogs from food particles or buildup, which is a common culprit for drainage problems.

3. Garbage Disposal Blockage: If your dishwasher drains through the garbage disposal, a clogged disposal or an unremoved disposal plug can cause water to back up into the dishwasher.

4. Air Gap Issues: An air gap prevents sink water from siphoning back into the dishwasher. If it’s clogged, it could be the reason behind water remaining in the machine.

5. High Water Level: If the dishwasher was installed with a high loop in the drain hose, it might not be looped high enough, which can prevent proper draining due to the water’s inability to clear the loop.


Understanding the reasons why a dishwasher won’t drain is the first step in troubleshooting the problem. In most cases, the issue can be resolved with a bit of cleaning or adjusting your setup. However, if these solutions don’t resolve the drainage problem, it may be time to consult a professional appliance repair service to ensure that more complex issues, such as a faulty drain pump, are properly addressed.