Dishwashers are usually huge timesavers for busy Seattle residents, but sometimes they get clogged. Frequently, this problem occurs when things like labels on the bottom of cups and plastic containers find their way into the dishwasher. However, these clogs can usually be fixed pretty quickly if you’re handy with tools. If this sounds like you, here are three places you can try looking before you call a professional:
The Air Gap
If your dishwasher uses an air gap, you’ll find it on top of your sink near the faucet. An air gap allows your dishwasher to drain without the risk of wastewater from the sink backing up into the dishwasher. Occasionally, air gaps get blocked and need to be cleaned out. To do this:
- Remove the cover and plastic cap on the sink to access the dishwasher drain hose.
- Use an air gap brush or bottlebrush to clean around the drain hose.
- Push the brush through the line running to your sink until you can see it when looking into the drain.
The Dishwasher Drain Hose
The drain hose runs from your dishwasher and either attaches directly to your sink and garbage disposal or to the air gap. To clear a clogged drain hose, do the following:
- Go to your breaker box and turn off the power to the dishwasher (and garbage disposal if applicable).
- Turn off the water supply to the dishwasher.
- Place a shallow pan on top of a towel under your sink to catch any water.
- Consult your owner’s manual and detach the drain hose at both ends.
- Use a flexible hose brush to clean the hose fittings and any debris in the line itself.
- Flush out the drain hose with water by using the bathroom sink or a garden hose.
- Reattach the drain hose at both ends.
- Restore the power and water to your dishwasher and run it through its drain cycle.
The Filtration System
The filtration system is located under the spray arm at the bottom of the dishwasher. While the system is good at dealing with chunks of food, it’s not particularly well suited to handle non-food items. There are a variety of ways the filtration system might be configured, so it’s important to consult the owner’s manual for your specific dishwasher model. The good news is most of the time cleaning it involves a series of fairly simple tasks that can be done using only a screwdriver.
If you’re comfortable completing basic home maintenance jobs, troubleshooting a dishwasher will usually be a pretty manageable task. However, if your dishwasher still isn’t draining after you clean the hoses and filter, then it’s possible the problem could be with your sewer line or garbage disposal. If you need help, call Best Plumbing at all at (206) 208-0429. We’ve been serving the Seattle area since 1968, and we’re here to help you with all your plumbing needs.
Photo Credit: Erean, available under Creative Commons CCO.