Advice Guide

How to fix a dishwasher that won't drain

by Yvette Fletcher Back to advice guides

A dishwasher that doesn't drain can cause concern in your kitchen, but you may not need to buy a new machine, or pay a professional for repairs.

Looking for reviews of great dishwashers? Sign up today for a £1 trial and access all our expert reviews and Best Buys.

How to repair a dishwasher that won't drain

Check out our video to see how to repair a dishwasher that won't drain.

1

Turn off your dishwasher before starting work

If your dishwasher isn’t draining there are a few quick and easy checks you can make before calling in a professional or buying a new dishwasher. But before you start any work, always make sure that your dishwasher is switched off at the mains.

2

Remove and clean the filters

The first things to check are the filters in the bottom of the dishwasher – blocked filters will stop your dishwasher draining. You'll find the filters in the bottom of the dishwasher; they come in three parts and are very easy to pull or twist out. Remove, clean and replace the filters. If you use your dishwasher regularly, it’s a good idea to clean the filters every week by running them under the tap.

3

Check the waste hose for blockages

If cleaning the filters doesn’t fix the problem, check that the waste hose at the back of the dishwasher isn’t squashed or kinked – if it is, this could stop the waste water from draining away. Pull your dishwasher out away from the wall or the back of the cabinet in which it is housed, and check that there's enough room for the hose to drain properly.

4

Check the sink waste for blockages

If the dishwasher waste water pipe is connected to the sink waste, check this for blockages. It could be that there is a blockage from your sink, which means that your dishwasher won't be able to drain away properly. 

If you've carried out these checks and the dishwasher is still not draining, then it’s time to call a professional to take a look.