Watch Out For These 3 Dishwasher Plumbing Problems

Posted on: 6 November 2020

Dishwasher problems can often be frustrating. Not only can they be a huge inconvenience, but they can result in floods that may cause additional damage to your kitchen. Like most appliances that rely on your home's water supply, dishwasher failures can sometimes occur due to an underlying issue with your plumbing.

Note that the rubber gasket that seals the door is a common cause for leaks on many dishwasher models. Always check and, if possible, reseat the gasket when you are experiencing a leak. If this doesn't solve the problem, it may be due to one of these three plumbing-related issues.

1. Household Drainage Problems

Your dishwasher uses a significant amount of water that must drain with each use. If your dishwasher is not emptying fully, then the problem may not be with the appliance or its associated plumbing at all. If the main wastewater line or sewer line in your home has backed up, it can easily cause your dishwasher to back up. Since the washer cannot drain, it may flood your floor when the door opens.

Pay special attention to the behavior of other drains in your home, especially your kitchen sink. If these drains are running slowly, then you may have a deeper problem. Since dishwashers (especially older models) use large quantities of water, they may back up entirely even if your other fixtures only seem to be running slowly.

2. Garbage Disposal Issues

If you have a garbage disposal, then your dishwasher's drain hose should connect to it directly. This design is an essential safety feature since it ensures that clogs back up into your sink. Unfortunately, it also means that issues with your garbage disposal may cause your dishwasher's drain to become clogged and back up.

As a first step, try running your garbage disposal to clear any blockage. If this doesn't work and your kitchen sink drain also seems to be backing up, then an issue with the garbage disposal may be to blame. If you know how to do it, you can remove the garbage disposal canister to clean and check it. If not, contact a plumber to diagnose the issue further.

3. Clogged Dishwasher Lines

Of course, the issue may also be much closer to the dishwasher. There are two main drainage features on most modern dishwashers: a filter basket and a flexible drain hose. The filter basket stops large particles from entering the drain hose and, ultimately, the rest of your home's plumbing. The drain hose runs under the cabinet and loops above the sink faucet to prevent backflow into the dishwasher.

You should be able to inspect the dishwasher basket yourself, but check your unit's manual for instructions. If the basket is clogged, try cleaning it to resolve any issues with water backing up. If not, the problem may be in the flexible hose. In this case, call a plumber if you are not comfortable disconnecting and cleaning the drain hose on your own.

Reach out to a professional who provides plumbing services if your home has any issues with its plumbing. 

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