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Nov 21 2019

Dishwasher Is Not Working Properly? Troubleshooting Your Dishwasher

Your dishwasher may very well be the hardest working appliance in your home. It does all the dirty work, nobody wants to do. We have gotten so spoiled by our dishwasher, that we never really think about living life without it. But sometimes, like all things, your dishwasher may decide to call it quits. Chalk it up to wear and tear over the years, or improper usage, regardless of the reason, it is pretty inconvenient when your dishwasher is not working properly, especially around the holidays.   

Warning Signs To Look Out For

When your dishwasher is not working properly it is important to try and catch issues early on. The earlier you catch a malfunction, the earlier you can make repairs. This can save you time, money on more extensive repairs, stress, and help prevent unnecessary damage. In order to make repairs in a timely fashion, it is important to be able to recognize the warning signs. Some of the most common warning signs that something is amiss are:   

Slow Drainage 

If you notice slow drainage in your kitchen you could have a sewer line clog. A clogged sewer line is a pain in and of itself, however it can also affect your dishwasher. A clogged sewer line, can cause your dishwasher to clog. Slow drainage in your kitchen should be addressed right away to alleviate the drainage issue, but also prevent other clogs. 


A running dishwasher can sometimes cause the kitchen sink to back up. The dishwasher drains directly into the garbage disposal. If there is still food in the garbage disposal, it can cause the garbage disposal to clog, causing the sink to backup. Shut off the dishwasher, and run the garbage disposal to clear out the food. If the problem persists, contact your plumber for further diagnostics.  


Gurgling in your drains is a definite warning sign and should not be ignored. It can be a sign that there is  a clog in your sewer line or one of your drain pipes. If your pipes are gurgling, contact your plumber to get to the bottom of things.   

Dirty Dishes After A Cycle 

If your dishes are still dirty after your run your dishwasher it could be because there was too much food debris on the dishes, or you are using the wrong detergent.  If it is neither it could be from low water temperature, insufficient water supply, faulty inlet valve, or clogged inlet screen. Call a professional to inspect your dishwasher and make repairs accordingly. 

Dishwasher Not Draining Completely 

When your dishwashers not working properly it might not drain completely. This is a definite sign of a problem. There are several reasons why this might happen:   

  • There could be a clog in the drain line. This is the most common reason why your dishwasher isn’t draining properly. It is also one of the simplest fixes. There could be a clog in the drain pan, or in the drain line. This should be the first thing checked if your dishwasher isn’t draining. 
  • If your dishwasher isn’t clogged, it may be a faulty drain pump. If the pump is damaged, or continually won’t drain the dishwasher, it is time to replace it. 
  • Your dishwasher may also fail to drain if the electric control board goes out. This controls all of the functions of your dishwasher, if it gets damaged it could fail to tell your dishwasher to drain. In which case it needs to be replaced. 
  • The timer could also be faulty. Your dishwasher’s timer regulates all parts of your dishwasher’s cycles. If the timer goes bad it may fail to signal your dishwasher to drain.
  • Your check valve could also cause your dishwasher to not drain properly. A check valve prevents excess water from entering the sump. If water ends up in the sump at the end of the draining process, the check valve may need to be replaced.

  When your dishwasher is not working properly it can really put a damper on your holiday entertainment plans. Which is why it is a good idea to have your plumbing inspected before the holidays arrive. Professional drain cleaning is a good way to keep things moving throughout the holidays and for the rest of the year. Schedule your appointment today. 

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