If your dishwasher isn’t draining, then you have a problem with your hands. The good news is that knowing how to unclog a dishwasher drain is fairly simple.

Most people can do this on their own, although don’t hesitate to call a professional if you need some additional assistance.

They can be tricky since they are connected to disposal and a sink. However, use these steps to unclog the drain and prevent future clogs.

Get the Dishwasher Clean and Clear

Before you can work on the clogged drain, you’ll first want to remove any dishes in the washer. Take the bottom dish rack out and remove it so you can access the basin, drain, and filter.

A clean dishwasher without any plates, utensils or glass

Now that the washer is empty and the bottom rack has been removed, you’ll want to make sure that there is not an electric source as this could be disastrous.

Turn off the breaker for the washer if needed or unplug the power source if this is easier.

Once the washer doesn’t have an electric connection, you’ll want to finish your prep work. Any standing water will need to be removed before moving forward.

A shop-vac is always an option if you have one handy. If not, scoop out as much water as you can and then soak up the excess with cloth towels. You’ll have access to the drain and the filters which are clogged.

Check the Drain Hose

Food often gets into the drain hose and clogs up the system. This hose is the tube that runs between the dishwasher and the garbage disposal or the sink. You’ll find it located under the sink or behind the dishwasher.

If it’s behind the washer, you’ll have to pull out the entire unit to get to the drain hose. This may be a sign to use a plumber.

Remove Hose and Clean

After you’ve removed the hose, disconnect it in order to clean it thoroughly. This usually requires some pliers. Find the clamp that’s holding the hose in place and unfasten it.

removing hose from dishwasher and clean it

Allow water and waste to escape and then run water through the hose to clean it out. Once you can tell that water is passing through freely, reattach and then follow the next steps.

Check the Drain

The drain for your dishwasher is most likely in the bottom of the washer. Newer models have a screen that you can pop out and take a look at the drain.

Use your hands to search for any objects or debris that may be obstructing the drain. Clean it out thoroughly and then replace the screen.

A sample drain of a dishwasher that needs to be clean

Prevent Future Clogs

Although you can follow these steps, preventing a clog is always the easiest. Make sure that you lightly rinse your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher and avoid putting any hard foods in the disposal.

You should also clean the filter in your dishwasher basic periodically. These steps will keep your washer in good shape for years to come. With a little attention, you can usually resolve clogs on your own.

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