Aside from being a major nuisance to your kids who’ll have to clean the dishes, a dishwasher with a pool of water that won’t drain will eventually begin to smell and create a health hazard. For this reason, it is important to fix a clogged dishwasher as soon as possible.

The causes and the repairs are fairly straightforward for anyone with a few tools and some handyman skills. Otherwise, some plumbing help from your local plumbing pro can get the job done for the price of a simple service all.

The Causes

Aside from the complete breakdown of the drainage pump, water not draining properly is caused by food or other debris blocking either the drainage basket of the drainage hose. Repair of the pump is usually not worth the money or effort and a new dishwasher is usually required. Clearing a blockage however, is a much simpler, if somewhat messy job.

The Repairs

  • Most dishwashers are directly wired into the electrical system and there is no external switch that controls the electricity powering the appliance. Therefore, it is essential that you turn off the power to the appliance at the breaker box. This procedure will ensure your safety as water and electricity can be a lethal combination.
  • Next, clear all the water out of the bottom of the drain. Remove the screws holding the drain basket in place and clean out the drain and the area underneath. Many times, it is not actually large particles of food that have clogged the drain but a thick film of grease that has accumulated. Be sure to remove all of this or you will have further problems.
  • Replace the drain and then move onto the drain hose. The drain hose is held in place by a hose clamp at either end. Use a screwdriver to loosen the screws as little as possible and remove the hose. Flush it with some warm water and a little dish soap to help remove any buildup of grease. Replace the hose and tighten the screws.
  • Run the dishwasher through a complete cycle and your repair is complete.

Completing these repairs only requires a little dexterity and a few tools. However, if you have neither the time nor the inclination, a little professional plumbing help will solve the problem in less than an hour.