We occasionally receive calls from people with a clogged dishwasher. Of course, as drainage experts and emergency plumbers, we’re always happy to help out when you need it. But when it comes to the dishwasher, it’s often a simple fix that will solve the problem in a matter of minutes without you having to waste time or money.

How to Fix a Clogged Dishwasher

Firstly, before you start working on the issue, make sure the power to the machine is switched off fully. It’s most likely that the source of your problem is a simple blockage that doesn’t require drain repairs. If you open up your dishwasher door and see there’s still water accumulated at the base, it’s very likely a clogged filter. At the bottom of every dishwasher is a filter. Different dishwasher models may have different layouts, but the technique is the same. With most dishwashers, there is a plastic arm with tiny holes for water. When you turn on the dishwasher, this plastic arm rotates and sprays your dishes with water from below. When you need to clean your dishwasher’s drain, you need to remove this. It’s usually straightforward and just a matter of holding the arm at its centre and lifting it out.

Next, you’ll want to remove the strainer that looks like a sieve. You should also be able to lift this out (and it may require a clean if there are any obstructions like food or debris). Beneath the strainer is usually the filter. This is typically a module with a cap that can be unscrewed or lifted out depending on the model. You will likely see food and particles inside the filter basket. You can remove the filter basket and clean it.

Finally, you can check the holes underneath the filter to ensure that the holes are free and clear. Then, you can take all the pieces (the strainer and the filter) and clean them under the kitchen sink with hot water. It can help to use an old toothbrush to give them a proper scrub and remove any debris or fats that might have accumulated. Once everything is clear, you can replace the filter and strainer.

The last place to check for a blockage is the S-bend that connects your dishwasher to your drains. This may be behind the dishwasher or, in some cases, under the sink. This can be dealt with by following the steps we layout in our post, “how to fix a clogged sink“.

If you have cleaned the filters and the drain pipe from the U-bend is not blocked, you might want to contact an appliance repair specialist as a mechanical part may be malfunctioning such as the water pump. If the dishwasher is fine but the drain is blocked, we would be delighted to help. You can give us a call today on 1800 437 246


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