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How to fix a dishwasher that won't drain

By Yvette Fletcher

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

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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. Our video takes you step-by-step through how to try and repair a dishwasher that won't drain yourself.

Video guide: how to fix a dishwasher that won't drain

If you think your dishwasher might be on its last legs and you'll need a new one soon, our dishwasher reviews reveal which dishwashers will clean your dishes thoroughly, won't cost a lot to run, and will be reliable. 


Turn off your dishwasher before starting work

Before you do any work on your dishwasher, make sure that it is switched off at the mains.


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.


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.


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. You can use our free Which? Trusted Trader, where you'll find recommended tradesman who have passed our rigorous screening process. 


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