How To Unclog A Dishwasher With Standing Water? (Guide)
There are many reasons why water may not drain out from a dishwasher. The usual cause of standing water is a problem with the drain pump or a blockage. Sometimes this can be as simple as food particles blockage or a bent hose pipe.
To unclog a dishwasher, you must first find out the cause of the problem and this involves checking if there’s a blockage in the drain hose, the spray arms, or the drain. If there is a blockage, you need to unclog it and fix the problem.
But how do you unclog a dishwasher effectively without running the risk of any further damages? Here are some steps to fix a dishwasher with standing water that you can give a try before you make that panic call to your plumber.
Steps by Step Guide to Unclog Dishwasher
1. Unplug the Dishwasher
Before you start working on your dishwasher, make sure you unplug it. Because you are dealing with water, there’s a risk of electric shock when you fix it and plug it back in. You don’t want t run the risk of electrocution while trying to unclog your dishwasher.
2. Remove Any Standing Water
To ensure water doesn’t get on your way while working, remove any standing water in the dishwasher. And because the water is not draining properly, you can use a cup to scoop out the water. Once the water level gets very low that you can no longer scoop with a cup, use a towel to soak the remaining water.
After you’ve removed the standing water, dry everything up with a towel.
3. Check the Drainage System
For a dishwasher not to have standing water, all of the water must drain out. So, the first thing you need to do is to check on the drainage.
If there’s no blockage in the pump and arms and they’re working fine, then you will need a plumber to unclog your dishwasher. However, if the plunger or arms are clogged, you can try to clean them out. First, unclog the drain pump.
If you’re not an expert, do not disassemble any of these components until you get help from a plumber. These components may be very delicate for even an experienced person to touch without breaking something.
4. Unclog the Drain Pump
You will need to open the panel and locate the drain and the drain pump before you start working on them. Depending on your model, you may have to remove the filter to find where the drain and the drain pump are. If you can’t locate it, read the user manual for help.
Before removing any piping from the pump, disconnect them and then remove the screws that hold it in place. The pump might be clogged because of debris such as small pieces of food. You can remove these pieces with tongs or something long and rigid. If the clog does not come out easily, take a plunger to clear it away.
You can also use a hair dry or compressed air to clear out any blockage in that area. Well, that only works for minor blockages.
5. Check the Sprayer Arms
If the water still does not drain out after removing the blockage, there might be a problem with the sprayer arms. You can remove these by loosening the spray arm cap and pulling them out. Get rid of all debris in here, such as rubber washers or sponge inserts.
After washing them thoroughly under running water, put everything back in place and see if the dishwasher works.
6. Clean the Filter
Dishwashers usually have a removable filter or drain hose. If you can wash the filter, do so with warm soapy water. If not, then use a cloth dampened with warm soapy water to clean the discharge hose and the strainer inside it.
Cleaning the filter will ensure there is no blockage in the drainage system. Review your warranty manual for standards on when to clean or replace a filter so that you do not void it.
7. Check the Drain Horse
Sometimes, a clog may occur in the drain hose. In this case, if you’ve already removed any standing water inside the dishwasher and checked for other blockages, then it’s time to work on the drain hose.
First, remove the section of the hose that goes from your dishwasher to your sink. You can use a pair of channel lock pliers to grip the hose and easily remove it.
There is another section of the hose that’s connected to your garbage disposal. Again, using a pair of channel lock pliers, you can pull out this section of drain hose from your sink drain or garbage disposal drain pipe. Check for blockages in these sections and remove them.
8. Run an Empty Cycle and Check
Once you’ve tried all or any of the above methods, you’ll want to check if your dishwasher is back to its old self. First, run an empty cycle with only a cup of water and no soap. If the problem is gone, then it’s time to put everything back together and enjoy your dishwasher again.
What If the Problem Persists?
If you’ve done all these processes, you should have already tried different methods on how to unclog a dishwasher. You’ve cleaned the drain pump, checked and cleared the spray arms, and done a thorough cleaning of your dishwasher filter.
If you run the complete cycle and your dishwasher still doesn’t drain, it’s time to dial the plumber’s number. You don’t want standing water in your machine, or it will be expensive to fix. It also compromises safety because of the electrical risk involved with water.
So, before things get out of hand, get help from a professional and restore your dishwasher to its normal working.
Unclogging a dishwasher that won’t drain properly is not rocket science. Most of the time, you won’t even need the help of a plumber because one or two steps above will do the trick. Once you’re successful, you can try to prevent this from happening again by using the right detergent and cleaning your dishwasher from time to time. Good luck!