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Water in the dishwasher: drain clogged - what to do?

  • What can clog "> Prevent blockages
  • Sp├╝lmaschinensieb
  • sump
  • Drain pump
  • Sewer hose and siphon
  • pipe system
  • A clogged dishwasher is always a problem. If there is water in the machine and it can not drain, it starts to develop unpleasant odors and negatively affect the cleaning performance of the device. Therefore, it is important in a clogged drain this immediately to get free, so you can continue to use the dishwasher, without having to wait for still dirty dishes.

    There is nothing worse if the dishwasher is clogged and the dirty wastewater, which could even contain leftover food, does not drain. Clogging is one of the most common problems with dishwashers, because sometimes something can clog the drain pump, sieve or hose. Depending on the cause, the device can be plugged in within a few moments and the program can be completed. However, not all causes of constipation are as easy to treat as a foreign body in the pump sump, which annoyingly often a specialist has ran. Nevertheless, blockages are not the biggest problem with dishwashers.

    What can clog?

    The dishwasher has a variety of components that can clog even with regular cleaning. The reason for this is that food scraps or small foreign objects enter the dishwasher every now and again, which then settle in the respective parts of the machine and prevent the water from draining. In contrast to the washing machine, a blockage in the dishwasher proves easier to solve, since the water supply in direct comparison is much simpler. Overall, there are the following parts of the unit and the water connection, which can clog:

    • Dishwasher sieves
    • sump
    • Drain pump
    • drain hose
    • Connection to drainage pipe including siphon connection
    • piping

    A major advantage here is the design of the dishwasher, because all components are in close proximity to the following part. So it is completely sufficient if you remove the strainer to get to the pump sump and the drain pump or dismantle the drain hose to check the siphon connection. Therefore, with a clogged machine, in a few moments you can check where the problem is and how to solve it afterwards.

    Prevent blockages

    The dishwasher is one of the most commonly used kitchen appliances and actually does hard work every day. It is therefore necessary that the care of the machine is not neglected to prevent possible blockages. It is particularly important to remove food particles and foreign bodies from the dishwasher, so that the water can be pumped out without resistance. For general prevention, follow these steps:

    Step 1: Always remove leftovers, toothpicks or cords from the dishes before placing them in the dishwasher. This could clog or shut down the pump.

    2nd step: Clean the machine monthly with machine cleaner. This frees hard to reach and visible areas of limescale, dirt and grease, which are deposited in the machine.

    Step 3: Use dishwasher salt and decalcifier. This prevents additional stress in the water and the machine can do its job effectively.

    This not only increases the performance of your machine, but also the service life. Lime, grease and mold due to rotten food leftovers greatly reduce the useful life of an electrical appliance and it is therefore important to clean the dishwasher regularly. These points can save you a lot of work.

    Tip: As an alternative to a machine cleaner, you can also clean the dishwasher once a month with vinegar essence and soda. To do this, disperse one to two tablespoons of soda on the floor, fill the cleaning agent compartment with vinegar essence and start the empty machine.


    Basically, dishwashers have a sieve, but some manufacturers incorporate several, which can be removed separately. A clogging of the sieves is quite easy to recognize, as they are located on the bottom of the dishwasher and collect in the washdown the large food debris. In other words, when spaghetti, potatoes, onions, leftovers, and more accumulate on the ground, the water can not drain off, and each time you rinse, the rice is thrown around again. This is not ideal because it does not really clean the dishes. The dishwasher screen is cleaned as follows:

    • put on rubber gloves
    • remove food particles that have collected on the floor
    • they easily recognize the strainer at the drain because it is located in the middle of the dishwasher floor
    • unscrew the drain
    • Now you recognize the sieve, the round cylinder with fine-meshed net
    • lift this out
    • clean this and the drain itself under hot water
    • Dish soap can help against stubborn dirt
    • however, be careful not to damage the net
    • then put the sieve back into the machine
    • start the program again, preferably without dishes

    By doing this, you can quickly check if the sieve is the main culprit for the blockage. Since it is the bridging of the flushing room and the drain, all the rinse water flows through here and also the leftovers, which should not even be in the machine. If the sieve is to blame, the machine will then be able to pump off the water immediately and the water will flow from the washing room into the pump sump. In a few moments you have solved the problem.


    The pump sump is in direct connection with the strainer and the drain pump and provides a storage facility for excess water, dirt and food particles. The name pump sump fits very well here, as insufficient cleaning the water in this tank is extremely cloudy and dirty. Here numerous food remnants and small parts can collect, which lets through the sieve or with a blockage after unscrewing the sieve into the pump sump arrive. If you need to check the sump, it can be a nasty business. Put on gloves.

    • Do not screw the strainer back into the dishwasher
    • the pump sump is now free
    • if the water is clear: remove visible food particles and small parts
    • if the water is cloudy: "fish" for leftovers and small parts
    • Be very thorough
    • Depending on the type of food particles or foreign bodies, it is worth using a fork or other items for conveying

    After checking the pump sump, you should now run a short program and see if the machine can use the drain again. The food particles usually accumulate at the machines directly at the interface to the drain pump, because here the dishwasher develops the strongest suction. So do not be surprised if most of the leftovers and debris are in the corner of the pump sump.

    Drain pump

    The drain pump is the heart of the dishwasher when it comes to pumping out the water. It consists not only of the pump, but also of the impeller housing, which is needed to carry the water into the hoses. The drain pump is particularly important and must be checked regularly for dirt so that it can not accumulate too much here. Since it can only be reached via the pump sump, it is worthwhile cleaning the pump sump before the check, as this will make it easier to get to the pump. Proceed as follows:

    • The cover of the drain pump is on the right side of modern equipment, on the left in older models
    • this is only slightly hacked and can easily be lifted out
    • Now you can reach into the drain pump and look for foreign bodies
    • Small sticks or special pipe brushes can also help here
    • pull possible dirt into the pump sump and remove the foreign bodies by hand

    It may also be that the drain pump is defective. This is especially noticeable if your dishwasher is completely clean, but the water is not draining. Then you either have to claim your warranty or let a specialist check the dishwasher.

    Sewer hose and siphon

    The drain hose connects the dishwasher to the pipe system and can also clog or bend. Look at the hose and make sure it is not kinked. If this is not the case, you should disassemble the hose from the siphon port or together with the siphon port. This requires a screwdriver. After the hose has been disassembled, it should be completely rinsed with water to release the blockage. Again, a special pipe brush helps. The siphon connection is easier to clean here, as it simply has to be turned off. Once you have plugged in the two components, you can reconnect them to the dishwasher.

    pipe system

    Another possibility is blockages in the general pipe system. These are extremely hard to detect, but it often happens that in case of a blockage, the sink in the kitchen can not drain as well. Normally, the dishwasher and sink are connected and this is the best indication of a potential problem. Use either a pipe cleaner or, in case of stubborn cases, a professional specialist.

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