As every good plumber in Melbourne knows, a dishwasher is a crucial kitchen appliance, especially for larger families! Not only do they save time cleaning after meals, but full dishwashers typically use less water to clean cutlery and plates than hand washing. However, when a dishwasher isn’t draining properly, it can be extremely irritating to troubleshoot as the dirty dishes pile up. Thankfully, we’ve gathered some quick troubleshooting ideas to try at home, making it easy to identify if it’s an issue with your dishwasher’s water connection and plumbing, or if the appliance needs a service or replacement.

Signs that your dishwasher isn’t draining correctly

Have you opened your dishwasher after a cycle only to discover it is still filled with dirty water? You may be having a drainage issue. Your dishwasher may not be draining correctly if: 

  • Running your dishwasher causes water to back up in your sink — Your dishwasher is connected to the drainage of your kitchen sink, so if it’s backing water into your sink there may be a blockage. 
  • The dishwasher drains slowly — This could be due to a partial clog in your kitchen sewer line. 
  • Water remains in the dishwasher after a cycle — If there is standing water at the bottom of your dishwasher it could be due to food blocking your drainage system.

Simple dishwasher troubleshooting

If you notice that your dishwasher is leaking or there is a foul odour, it could be a problem with your home’s plumbing. Before hiring a plumber, here are a few places that you can check.  

1. Clean your filter

If there’s a good amount of standing water collecting at the bottom of the appliance, the filter that protects food from washing down the drain may be blocked by tough food remnants. To unclog your dishwasher, begin by removing the bottom dish rack and look at the bottom of the system, the filter is often located beside the base of the spray arm or in a back corner. Typically, these filters can be removed by hand, but some may require a screwdriver so be sure to fully inspect the covering.

Remove the covering and pull out the filter; if this is the source of the clogged drain it will be covered with a layer of food or debris in the fine mesh. Handwash the filter and, if needed, the casing in the kitchen sink with water and a soft sponge or brush. It is important to avoid using a harsh scrubbing brush to avoid damaging the fine mesh components of the filter.

The filter is then ready to be replaced within the dishwasher and the water should drain easily with the next cycle. Regular cleaning will help to avoid filter blockages, so clean the filter and coverings and always remember to scrape your plates before placing them in the dishwasher.

2. Check your drain hose and valve

If the strainer and filter have been cleaned but the water in your dishwasher is still not draining, there may be a blockage in the drain hose. Disconnect the dishwasher from electricity and pull out the machine from the cabinetry to expose the circulating hose and drain hose. These hoses provide water from your plumbing to the dishwasher pump and drain wastewater at the end of the cycle.

Disconnect the hose from the valve and check that it’s clear and doesn’t show signs of visible damage. If it appears obstructed, try physically removing the blockage, this will also fix a slow running drain. If you can’t identify any problems with the drain hose and valve, the issue may lie within your home’s plumbing.

When to call a plumber?

If you believe the issue isn’t with the appliance itself but the water supply to and from the dishwasher, you may need to get in touch with a plumber in Melbourne to confirm that it is installed correctly and there are no issues with your home’s plumbing. Our expert team can also recommend plumbing improvements for your kitchen renovation, to ensure you never have issues again! If you are having similar drainage issues with your sink or toilet, it may be an issue with your home’s sewer plumbing. After a careful inspection of the supply and drain hoses, a plumber will be able to let you know if the issue requires a local repair person familiar with your brand of dishwasher.

Looking for a Melbourne plumber?

If you require a local plumber in Melbourne, the friendly team of JPG Plumbing is here to help! Our plumbers are experts in general plumbing and maintenance services including clearing blocked drains, toilet repairs, installing hot water systems and detecting water leaks.

If you would like to improve your home’s plumbing or you require our 24/7 emergency service, then give us a call on 0400 978 442 or contact us today by filling out our online enquiry form.