Dishwasher Drain Hose Freezing – Why And What To Do?

If you've discovered that your dishwasher drain hose has frozen and won't drain, it's important to take action right away.  You might be wondering why this happens and what you can do to prevent it. Fortunately, we did research to learn the reasons behind this issue and how to prevent them.

A dishwasher drain hose freezing is a common issue during the winter months. The problem occurs when water from the washer freezes in the hose, blocking the water flow and causing the washer to overflow. There are a few reasons why this happens, particularly due to location and weather, for example:

  1. The dishwasher is Located in a Cold Area of the House
  2. Water Supply Line is Located Outside
  3. Drainage Problem
  4. Very Cold Weather
  5. Malfunctioning Dishwasher

To solve them, you can disconnect the dishwasher's power source, thaw the frozen line, drain it, and carefully clean up to prevent any damage.

This guide provides information on why the hose could have frozen and what you can do to thaw it and get your dishwasher up and running again. Let's get started!

Frozen plumbing with a thick layer of white frost in the chilly cold winter. The frozen water pipe froze in the harsh winter at low temperatures. - Dishwasher Drain Hose Freezing - Why And What To Do?

Why Does a Dishwasher Drain Hose Freeze? 

A dishwasher is a household appliance that many people rely on to clean their dishes. However, dishwashers can sometimes experience problems, such as a frozen drain hose. A frozen drain hose can cause a dishwasher to stop draining properly and can even lead to water damage.

Metal clamp for connection of dishwasher drain hose under kitchen sink close up.

There are several reasons why a dishwasher drain hose might freeze, including:

1. The Dishwasher Is Located in a Cold Area of the House

One of the most common causes of a dishwasher drain hose freezing is the location of the water supply line. The water supply line to the dishwasher is located outside, where it is exposed to the elements. When the temperature drops, the water in the line can freeze, causing the hose to freeze as well. In some cases, the freeze can be severe enough to cause the hose to burst.

If the dishwasher is located in an area of the house that is particularly cold, such as a basement or garage, this can cause the drain hose to freeze.

2. The Water Supply Line to the Dishwasher Is Located Outside

If the water supply line to the dishwasher is located outside, it is possible for the water to freeze and cause the drain hose to freeze.

3. There Is a Problem with the Drainage System

If there is a problem with the drainage system, such as a clog, this can cause water to back up and freeze in the drain hose.

4. The Weather is Very Cold

If the weather is very cold, this can also cause the dishwasher drain hose to freeze.

5. The Dishwasher Itself Is Not Functioning Properly

If the dishwasher itself is not functioning properly, this can also lead to a frozen drain hose.

What Should You Do If the Dishwasher Drain Hose Has Already Frozen?

Drain pipe or tube consist of y shape of pvc plastic pipe fitting and plastic corrugated flexible hose. To connect water drainage system with sink, basin, washing machine and dishwasher in home.

If you find that your dishwasher drain hose has already frozen, there are a few things you can do to try and thaw it out.

Disconnect the Power to the Dishwasher

Frozen pipes can lead to everything from burst pipes to leaks. Another potential problem is a frozen dishwasher drain hose. If the hose is frozen, water will be unable to properly drain from the dishwasher, causing it to overflow.

So, what should you do if you find yourself in this predicament? The first step is to disconnect the power to the dishwasher. This will prevent any further water from entering the appliance.

Remove the Hose from the Dishwasher and Thaw it Properly

If the water doesn't seem to be thawing inside the hose, you can also try using a hairdryer or a space heater to thaw it out. Set the hairdryer on the highest setting, or place the hose in a bowl of hot water.

If you have an electric heat pad, you can wrap it around the hose to thaw it out. Any non-toxic recreational vehicle anti-freeze liquid is also recommended.

Get antifreeze on Amazon.

Once the hose is thawed, make sure to dry it off completely before reconnecting it to the dishwasher. Inspect the hose; be sure to check for any cracks or holes that may have developed during the freezing process. If necessary, replace the hose before using your dishwasher again.

Run a cup of vinegar through the next dishwasher cycle to help clean out any residual ice.

How Do You Fix a Clogged Dishwasher Drain Hose?

hand tightens a bolt while repairing the drain under the sink.

A clogged dishwasher drain hose is a common problem that can lead to water backing up into the sink or even overflowing. There are a few simple steps you can take to clear the hose and get your dishwasher running smoothly again.

First, check the hose to see if it is blocked. If there is a build-up of food or grease, use a plunger to try and dislodge it. If that doesn't work, you might need to remove the hose and clean it out with a brush.

Once the hose is clear, reattach it and run the dishwasher through a cycle to make sure the water is draining properly. If your dishwasher still isn't draining properly, there could be an issue with the drain pump.

Consult a professional for help if you're unsure how to fix this issue. With these simple steps, you should be able to fix a clogged dishwasher drain hose and get your dishwasher back up and running smoothly.

What Are the Risks of Not Unfreezing Your Dishwasher Drain Hose?

One of the risks of not unfreezing your dishwasher drain hose is that it can cause your dishwasher to overflow.

When water freezes in the drain hose, it expands and can block the water flow. If this happens, water will back up into your dishwasher, causing it to overflow.

Not only is this a mess, but it can also damage your floors and walls or surrounding cabinetry. Additionally, frozen water in the drain hose can cause the hose to burst, which will require you to replace the entire hose.

To avoid these risks, be sure to regularly check your dishwasher drain hose for any signs of freezing and take steps to prevent it from happening in the first place.

See drain hose replacement on Amazon.

What Are Some Ways to Prevent the Dishwasher Drain Hose from Freezing?

Close up of container with liquid nitrogen,Cold metal pipe smoking from transferring liquid nitrogen

In the winter, when temperatures outside start to drop, many homeowners find that their dishwasher drain hose starts to freeze. This can be a major problem, as a frozen hose can cause the dishwasher to flood. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps that you can take to prevent your dishwasher drain hose from freezing.

Make Sure That the Hose Is Properly Insulated

This will help to keep the warm air inside your home from escaping and causing the hose to freeze. You can buy special foam insulation at most hardware stores.

Ensure the End of the Hose Is above the Level of the Drain

This will allow any water that condenses in the hose to drain back into the dishwasher instead of freezing in place.

Keep the Area around the Dishwasher Clear of Snow and Ice

This will help to prevent cold air from seeping into the space and causing the hose to freeze.

Run Your Dishwasher Regularly during the Winter Months

This will help to keep the water inside the hose from freezing.

Turn Off Dishwasher and Disconnect the Drain

If you know that a particularly cold spell is coming, you can turn off your water supply to the dishwasher and disconnect the drain hose. This will prevent any water from getting into the hose and freezing. Be sure to turn off the power to your dishwasher as well before you disconnect anything.

Once temperatures start to rise again, turn your water back on and reconnect the drain hose. Be sure to turn on the power to your dishwasher as well. You might want to run a cycle or two with just water before adding dishes again so that any residual water in the hose has a chance to thaw out completely.

Install Heated Wrap

Consider investing in a heated wrap for your dishwasher drain hose. These are available at most hardware stores and can be easily installed yourself. The wrap will help to keep the temperature around the hose consistent, preventing it from freezing even in very cold weather.

See heat tape for water pipes on Amazon.

If you have a garbage disposal connected to your dishwasher drain, make sure that it is turned off during periods of cold weather. The disposal can create warm air pockets around itself, which can cause nearby pipes - including your dishwasher drain hose - to freeze.

Drain the Dishwasher and Pump

Old and new dishwasher pumps on disassembled dishwasher

If your dishwasher is full of water and you can't turn it on, the first thing you'll want to do is drain the dishwasher. To do this, locate the small drain hose at the bottom of the dishwasher. The hose will likely be located near where the dishwasher meets the garbage disposal.

Once you've located the hose, disconnect it from the dishwasher and place it in a bucket. Turn on your garbage disposal to help drain any water that is left in the dishwasher.

Final Words

The most common reason dishwasher drain hoses freeze is because the drainage path becomes blocked with food particles, grease, or ice. There are several things you can do in the meantime to try and unfreeze the hose and resume the normal operation of your dishwasher. If your dishwasher drain hose freezes, follow these tips to try and unfreeze it before calling a professional.

To get other guides on the proper maintenance of your dishwasher, see our posts below:

Should I Be Able To Blow Through A Dishwasher Drain Hose?

Kitchenaid Dishwasher Beeping But Not Starting – What’s Wrong?

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