Do Dishwashers Only Drain When On?

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Dishwashers are an essential appliance for maintaining functionality in the modern home kitchen via providing peace of mind for continually having sanitized dishes stocked in your cabinets. Suppose you are considering purchasing a new dishwasher; you probably have wondered if dishwashers only drain while the appliance is running. We’ve also asked this question and have discovered well-researched information to share with you!

Yes, dishwashers only drain water when the appliance is switched on. After completing the wash or rinse cycle, the dishwasher will automatically drain the dirty water via the draining hose. 

Perhaps your dishwasher is aging, and you opened the door to find a shallow pool of dirty dishwater collected at the bottom of your dishwasher.  Maybe your dishwasher is failing to drain properly? Or are you wondering how to force a dishwasher to drain?  These are great questions. Please continue reading; we have well-researched answers to share with you!

filter held by hand taken from a clogged dishwasher. Do Dishwashers Only Drain When On

Does a dishwasher drain automatically?

Yes, fully functional dishwashers do drain automatically after completing each washing cycle. The dishwasher will automatically drain the dirty dishwater and bits of food particles through the draining hose, into the garbage disposal, then through the kitchen sink.

In the event that your dishwasher is not draining automatically, something that needs clearing is clogging your appliance’s drain hose or filter.

How do you force a dishwasher to drain?

Before you attempt to force-drain your dishwasher, ensure that you take all the dishes out of the appliance, and remove the bottom dish rack out of the dishwasher.

Then, turn the dishwasher off and shut the electricity to your dishwasher and garbage disposal off as well. Never attempt to perform checkups or routine maintenance with the electricity actively flowing through these appliances.

Now that you’ve disconnected the dishwasher from any electrical power sources, please open the door and soak up the standing water with an old towel or two; it is essential to clean up the dirty water to prevent accidental falls and slips.

Check the condition of the drain hose that connects the dishwasher to the garbage disposal. Generally, this hose is located under the kitchen sink or behind the dishwasher, which if this is the case, you will have to pull the dishwasher out to access the drain hose.

Once you locate the drain hose, it is time to clear it via draining and unclogging the hose. Firstly, detach the hose from the clamp with small pliers. Set a small pan or a few old towels under the drain hose to catch any water droplets.

Once you have removed the drain hose, you can clear it with a commercial-grade de-clogger or bend an old wire clothing hanger to loosen and remove any debris causing the hose to clog.

Click here to view the BioFresh drain de-clogger at Amazon. 

How often do dishwashers drain?

The number of times a dishwasher will drain during various wash cycles can vary from brand to model. However, all dishwashers fully drain after completing the wash and rinse cycle. The dishwasher will flush out all remaining food debris and filthy water with each wash cycle.

Moreover, the number of times the dishwasher will drain depends on how many wash cycles the selected setting provides for each load. Or, if your dishwasher is equipped with sensors, it can sense how many cycles it will require to wash the dishes thoroughly.

How much standing water is normal in a dishwasher?

Suppose there is a small amount of water standing beneath the spray arms, which is okay, only if the water is one cup or less in volume. If water is covering the bottom of the dishwasher or leaking from the door, and it presents a nasty odor, there is an issue with the drain hose that connects the appliance to the garbage disposal and the kitchen sink– most likely, the drain hose is clogged.

Standing water should not occur in fully functional dishwashers. If this happens regularly, something is blocking your drain hose. To address this issue, you could either check the dishwasher’s drain hose and your kitchen plumbing; or you could contact a professional to evaluate the appliance and what could be causing it to malfunction.

Are you concerned about protecting your lovely kitchen cabinets from water damage? Read: “How To Protect Kitchen Cabinet Doors From Water Damage.”

A hand taking out dishwasher filter to clean it, dis washer cleaning concept, kitchen home appliances care and maintenance

What to do if the dishwasher does not drain?

There are circumstances where contacting a professional plumber for dishwasher or kitchen plumbing issues is necessary. However, there are a few simple methods to get your dishwasher draining again without contacting a professional and receiving a hefty bill.

Try these helpful suggestions to remedy your drain hose issues!

  • Run the garbage disposal for 30 seconds to clear small clogs in the disposal unit or an air gap to the connecting hose.
  • Inspect the bottom of your dishwasher for any clogs or pieces of debris that could block the filter.
  • Change or clean the filter. Suppose your filter is filled with food debris. This will cause a failure to drain because the food is blocking the water from flushing out of the appliance. Empty or replace the filter. If you are unsure of how to accomplish this task, refer to your owner’s manual.
  • Inspect the drain hose that connects the sink to the garbage disposal. Check for bends or kinks in the hose, straighten the hose to facilitate draining correctly.
  • Inspect the drain valve located at the valve bracket; these brackets are often found at the bottom of the dishwasher. Gently push the valve to ensure that it is flexible. If the valve is unmoveable, it is clogged.
  • Mix one cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar and pour the solution into the bottom of the dishwasher. Allow it to sit for 20 minutes. Once the water in the dishwasher starts to drain, run the rinse cycle with hot water to flush the drain hose.  The combined ingredients should dissolve small clogs and dissipate any grease that could be plugging the drain hose.
  • Listen to your dishwasher while it is washing, make a note of any strange sounds. If it is making a clicking or humming sound, the drain pump inside the dishwasher may need to be replaced.
  • Be mindful of how you are packing the dishwasher. Refer to the owner’s manual for exact instructions for stacking your dishes for optimal dishwasher performance.

How do I know if my dishwasher drain hose is clogged?

A dishwasher will present a few signs when the drain hose is clogged and requires attention. The first sign that the drain hose is clogged is when you open your dishwasher to empty your clean load of dishes, and you discover that there is a small pool of greasy, dirty water standing in the bottom of the dishwasher.

Another sign is when you hear the dishwasher struggling to drain during the final rinse cycle. Generally, the final rinse water is the cleanest water; if your appliance is struggling to flush out the purest water, you can be sure that something is clogging the drain hose.

Also, if you notice a foul odor emitting from the kitchen sink, this could be a sign that the drain hose is clogged. Because after the water flows through the drain hose, it goes through the kitchen garbage disposal and drains through the kitchen sink. If the drain hose is clogged, debris will get caught inside the garbage disposal, which will cause the dirty dishwasher water to pool in the sink.

Do you have a Bosch dishwasher that is struggling to drain properly? Read: “Bosch Dishwasher Doesn’t Drain — How To Reset The Drain.”

A hand taking out a dirty drain filter of dishwashing machine. Do Dishwashers Only Drain When On

In closing

Dishwashers are a great addition to your kitchen that could help you wash your dishes efficiently for yourself and your loved ones. We certainly hope this article has helped you gain clarity around the topic of dishwashers and how to unclog drain hoses. Please visit Kitchenseer.com soon for more informative and helpful content!

Be sure to check out some of our other posts before you go to help further your knowledge regarding dishwashers.

Does A Bosch Dishwasher Need Hot Water?

Do Dishwashers Waste Or Save Water And Electricity?

How Long Does A Dishwasher Run?

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