What to Do When Your Dishwasher Does Not Drain?

Dealing with a dishwasher that won’t drain can be a frustrating ordeal. It can throw a wrench in your daily routine and leave you with a sink full of dirty dishes. However, using a dishwasher drain can save your day and protect your wallet. Instead of calling a professional each time, you can take matters into your own hands. To help you overcome this hurdle, we present an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide.

Identifying the Cause: Why a Dishwasher Won’t Drain?

Before diving into solutions, it’s crucial to understand why your dishwasher may not be draining. There could be various reasons behind the problem, each requiring a different approach. Common causes include:

  • Food blockage.
  • A clogged filter.
  • A malfunctioning drain pump.
  • Issues with the drain hose. 

Problem: Food Blockage

A frequent offender of a dishwasher that won’t drain is leftover food debris. While seemingly harmless, small food particles can accumulate over time and form a blockage. This obstruction prevents water from draining from your dishwasher, leading to stagnant water and potential hygiene issues.

How to Fix It?

Maintenance is key here. Make sure you clean your filter routinely. Typically, it’s located at the bottom of the dishwasher and can be easily removed for cleaning. Following your dishwasher’s manual for precise instructions on cleaning the filter can be quite helpful.

Issue: Clogged Filter

The filter in your dishwasher plays a key role in separating food particles from water during a wash cycle. The water cannot drain effectively if clogged, resulting in a waterlogged dishwasher.

How to Fix It?

Ensure you clean your filter routinely. Typically, it’s located at the bottom of the dishwasher and can be easily removed for cleaning. Regular cleaning of the filter will ensure you don’t have to unclog the dishwasher drain frequently.

Problem: Faulty Drain Pump

The drain pump is a crucial component facilitating water outflow from your dishwasher. If it’s malfunctioning or broken, the water won’t drain, leaving you with a pool at the bottom of your appliance.

How to Fix It?

This issue might require professional help. If you suspect your drain pump is faulty, it’s best to call a plumber to diagnose and fix it. Trying to repair a pump without adequate knowledge can lead to further complications.

Drain Hose Issues

The drain hose channels water out of your dishwasher. If it’s blocked or kinked, it could be why your dishwasher isn’t draining.

How to Fix It?

Inspect your drain hose for any kinks and straighten them out if necessary. You can unclog the dishwasher drain by blowing air through the hose if it’s clogged.

When to Call a Professional?

While these do-it-yourself (DIY) tips can be helpful, they may need to be improved in some situations. Some dishwasher issues may be beyond the scope of typical household fixes, necessitating the need for professional intervention. This is precisely where expert plumbing services in South Melbourne step in. Professional plumbers possess the right tools, skills, and knowledge to diagnose and rectify problems quickly and efficiently, saving you from further inconvenience.

The Value of Professional Plumbing Services

While DIY techniques might appear cost-effective initially, they might only sometimes provide the ideal solution. Sometimes, the problem with your dishwasher could be intricate, stubborn or unfamiliar, requiring professional intervention. In such instances, the value of professional plumbing services becomes indisputable.

Experience and Expertise

Professional plumbers bring a wealth of experience and specialised expertise to the table. They are equipped to handle various plumbing issues, no matter how complex. They can swiftly diagnose the underlying problem with your dishwasher, suggest the most effective solution, and execute it skillfully, ensuring a long-lasting fix.


Calling a professional plumber ensures a job well done and saves you considerable time and effort. Rather than wrestling with a stubborn dishwasher or struggling to decipher technical tutorials, you can entrust the job to professionals. This allows you to spend valuable time doing things you enjoy or attending to other pressing matters.


Certain plumbing issues can pose significant safety risks if not handled correctly. DIY fixes can sometimes lead to unwanted incidents, from minor cuts and scrapes to potential electrical hazards. Professional plumbers adhere to stringent safety standards and use specialised tools to ensure that your plumbing system is repaired safely and functions correctly.

Preventive Measures

As the old saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure.” This is particularly true when dealing with household appliances like dishwashers. You can prevent future clogs and other issues by prioritising regular maintenance and proper dishwasher use.

Regular Maintenance

A consistent maintenance schedule can go a long way in ensuring the smooth operation of your dishwasher. This includes regular checks and cleaning of your dishwasher’s filter and drain system. Incorporating these simple practices into your routine can mitigate potential issues, prolonging your dishwasher’s lifespan.

Proper Use of Your Dishwasher

This includes scraping off food particles before loading your dishes, not overloading your dishwasher, and using the right detergent. Adhering to these best practices will prevent the need to unclog the dishwasher drain regularly.


Knowing how to unclog a dishwasher drain can save you time and inconvenience. However, it might be best to call for professional help when faced with persistent or complex issues. MJV Plumbing Services Pty Ltd offers expert plumbing services in South Melbourne, helping you keep your dishwasher, and other home appliances, in top working order. Trust us for all your plumbing needs – we’re here to ensure your home runs smoothly and efficiently.

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