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How to Fix a Clogged Dishwasher

By Edited Jun 5, 2016 1 1

With the modern kitchen succumbing to a variety of extremely useful tools, machines, and appliances, a dishwasher is among one of the most utilized of this assortment. For as reliable as many dishwashers are nowadays, there are certainly times when they may cease to work the way they should because of the significant amount of food residue and debris that simply wont drain effectively. When your dishwasher becomes clogged, rather than call a plumber immediately, you can follow the steps in this article in order to take corrective action, and put your beloved dishwasher back into commission to serve another day.

Things You Will Need

  • a Clothing Hanger made of Wire
  • a Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Paper Towels
  • Gloves
  • a Garden Hose

Step 1

Before attempting to clean out any unwanted food and debris from your dishwasher, you will first want to drain it of any and all water. The water may be very cool, or it may be very hot, so it is important that you be cautious of this possibility when you go to drain your dishwasher of the water. Once you drain the water, be sure to check your dishwasher drainage cover to see if any food or debris is congregating there.

Step 2

If your dishwasher is not working the way it should normally work, it may very well be filled with food and debris. Clearing out what you can see in your drain cover, with a paper towel, will be the second step you will want to take in unclogging your dishwasher drain. While you can certainly use your bare hands to retrieve these food pieces, because the nature and consistency of stagnant food, you may want to consider wearing gloves before you engage in this adventurous endeavor.

You can easily locate your dishwasher's drainage cover on the backside towards the base. Your screwdriver will come in handy in order to unscrew the screws that hold your drainage cover in place. Be sure that, when you remove the screens and your drainage cover, that they are placed in a safe location where they are out of reach of children. Of course, you will need to have your screws available for when you screw your dishwasher drain cover back on.

Step 3

More often times than not, simply clearing out the food and debris with a towel and your own hands may not be sufficient enough to clean out your dishwasher drain. If this is not effective, however, you may have to resort to the next step: using a clothing hanger made of wire to help you clear out the impacted food debris. In order to most effectively probe your dishwasher drain, and break up the food debris that is being a continual nuisance, you will have to stretch out your wire clothing hanger. Because of the flexibility inherent to a wire clothing hanger, you may need to experiment with slightly different configurations of how you actually use the clothing hanger wire in order to achieve the maximum affect.

Step 4

Once you have cleaned out the drain cover, you can now proceed to put the cover back on with your screws and screwdriver. If, after running it, your dishwasher still will not drain, you will want to move on to the next step: effectively checking the draining hose. In order to best handle and inspect your draining hose, you will want to remove it from the pump assembly after you remove the screws that hold the bottom panel of your dishwasher in place.

Be observant for any kinks or folds that may lead to entanglement and ineffectiveness of your draining hose. If you find these deficiencies, it may be time to purchase a new draining hose for your dishwasher. If your draining hose looks normal, without any significant kinks or folds, your dishwasher clog blockage may actually be inside your draining hose. These observations should be made when your draining hose is fully unraveled and untangled, and having a pan or container underneath will help to catch excess water that drains from the hose while doing this.

Step 5

If a clog is discovered in your draining hose, the quickest way to remove it is by using water pressure that will be forced through the hose. Much like blowing a spit ball out of a straw, you can achieve this water pressure by taking your draining hose outside, and attaching it to your garden hose at full water pressure power. No drainage hose clog will stand a chance at surviving when you take this step to removing the clog.

In order to detach your dishwasher draining hose from your dishwasher, you will want to loosen the clamp and slide the clamp up the draining hose.

Step 6

Once you have cleared any clogs from your dishwasher draining hose, you will want to firmly reattach it to your dishwasher. It will be held in place tightly when you proceed to fasten the clamp.

Step 7

Even after you clean out your dishwasher draining hose, your dishwasher may very well not work the way it should because of a remaining clog. In this step, you will want to take your screwdriver and reach into your dishwasher and unscrew the draining basket from the drain. Handling of the loose screws, like mentioned earlier, should be done with caution and placed away from small children. Now, proceed to clean the drainage basket very thoroughly in order to get all the nuisance food and debris out. Screwing the draining basket back on will be important, as well, once you have effectively cleaned it.

As you can see, having a clogged dishwasher drain can quickly become a real hassle and inconvenience. Not only will this cause you to loose precious time by having to wash your dishes manually, but, engaging a plumber to fix it for you can also incur you a hefty price tag. Before you resort to calling a plumber, your dishwasher drain clog predicament may very well be something you can handle on your own. With this Info Barrel article in hand, be sure not to underestimate your own abilities when it comes to unclogging your dishwasher drain.

Tips & Warnings

When you stretch out your clothing wire hanger, you should be cautious of the tip. If children are nearby, the wire tip can easily penetrate an eye or skin, which can lead to further complications that may require medical attention. Ideally, children should be in a different room when any tools are around and work is being conducted to fix anything in your home.

If you have tried all the steps in this article, to no available, then that would be the time to call a professional. Rather than pay a significant amount of money out of pocket, right away, would be a very unwise decision, especially when there are many first line steps that you can take that could very well potentially fix any clog in your dishwasher.

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Comments

Oct 1, 2010 4:37pm
Deborah-Diane
Very helpful info on how to fix a clogged dishwasher. Thanks!
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