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Why is My Dishwasher Clogged?

Dishwasher clogs are a bit different than typical clogs because unlike a slow draining kitchen or bathroom sink, it’s more difficult to see a dishwasher clog developing. You might not realize it’s clogged until it’s too late, and a routine wash cycle ends up flooding your kitchen floor.

Common Causes of Dishwasher Clogs

When this happens to you, it’s important you determine the cause before you try unclogging anything yourself. It could be something as simple as someone left too much of their dinner on their plate before doing the dishes, or it could signify a larger issue that needs your attention sooner rather than later. You may find yourself with any of these common clogs. Read on to learn how to prevent them.

Dishwasher Issue 1: Clogged Hose

The dishwasher hose typically runs from the dishwasher to the garbage disposal and drain pipe underneath the sink. It’s in charge of draining the dishwasher, so naturally, food and other debris can clog the hose over time, especially if dishes aren’t rinsed before being loaded.

Since the hose is easily accessible, you can simply check under the sink to see if there’s a clog. If there is, the hose can usually be removed with a pair of pliers and the blockage can be cleared with commercial drain cleaner or a coat hanger.

Dishwasher Issue 2: Garbage Disposal Issues

A stopped-up dishwasher can also be caused by your garbage disposal, especially if it was installed very recently. Each disposal is installed with a knockout plug, a small piece that sits in a port where the hose connects. If the plug wasn’t removed after installation, the dishwasher won’t drain. Removing the plug is relatively simple – remove the hose using pliers and pull the plug out of the port. Just remember to re-attach the hose afterward.

Dishwasher Issue 3: Dirty Drain Filter

Each dishwasher has a drain filter typically located at the bottom of the interior. If the filter gets clogged with bits of food, not only will the dishwasher not drain completely, but your dishes may not be completely clean. If you notice residue on your dishes after running them through the dishwasher, it may be a good idea to check the filter even if the dishwasher drains fine.

To clear the filter, start by removing the bottom dish rack. You should see the basket-shaped filter underneath. You may want to consult your owner’s manual to see exactly how to remove it. Generally, it can be removed by hand. Once it’s removed, wash it with hot, soapy water and put it back in place.

Dishwasher Issue 4: Clogged Line

A clogged line is more complicated than some of the other clogging culprits. It’s usually deep underneath the dishwasher, and clearing out the blockage will require professional assistance. If your dishwasher isn’t draining and you can’t find a clog in the filter or hose, check some of the other drains and appliances in your home. If more than one seems to be draining slowly or you can hear gurgling sounds, there could be a clog in your home’s main drain line.

Dishwasher Issue 5: Damaged Sewer Line

If your sewer line is damaged or broken, you have an issue much larger than a clogged dishwasher on your hands. A damaged or failing sewer line could prevent all your drains from draining, or it could cause foul sewage backup to make its way into your home. These issues generally develop with older lines, but ground shifting, overgrown tree roots, and other external factors can damage even relatively new lines.

Schedule Plumbing Service Today

What can you do when your dishwasher becomes clogged? Contact the experts at Bonney for 5-star service. No matter what kind of plumbing situation you have on your hands, the certified experts at Bonney Plumbing or Boyd Plumbing can help get your pipes back up to par. We’ve been providing the greater Sacramento area with trustworthy and affordable plumbing service since 1978. For more information, call 800-444-0551 or visit us online to schedule an appointment today!