Dishwashers are an incredible modern convenience, but they can also be a source of frustration. Like most other plumbing appliances, your dishwasher needs a supply of fresh water and a way to drain its dirty water. While either side of this equation can become a problem, drain clogs are an issue more commonly faced by homeowners.
A correctly working dishwasher should drain water quickly and without much drama. While you may notice a few drops here or there (especially on plastic) after opening the door, you should mostly see a dry interior. If you can hear gurgling sounds or see water sitting in your dishwasher, there's a good chance you have a clog.
What Causes Dishwasher Clogs?
Most dishwashers don't require particularly complex plumbing setups. Your dishwasher most likely uses a drain hose that runs under your sink and connects to your drain or garbage disposal. Since modern dishwashers use relatively little water, this simple drain hose is more than sufficient to deal with the waste flowing out during a cycle.
As a result, there are only two locations where a dishwasher clog can occur:
- The dishwasher's drain filter
- The drain hose itself
It's easy to check and clean your drain filter, and your dishwasher manual should have instructions on how to do it. If the drain filter seems fine or the problem persists after cleaning, the hose should be your next culprit. While cleaning a dishwasher hose isn't complicated, it may require accessing the machine's underside. If you're uncomfortable with a little disassembly, a plumber can help.
What if the Problem Continues?
Of course, your dishwasher may not be at fault at all. If you've cleaned your filter and confirmed that the hose is clear, there's more likely a problem elsewhere in your plumbing. While dishwashers don't require much water, the constant draining may be stressing your home's drains in ways that your normal sink usage does not.
Unfortunately, locating the source of these clogs isn't always easy. You can start by checking to see if there are issues elsewhere in your home. Do other sinks or showers drain slowly? Even if you're not noticing a backup, slow draining can indicate a problem in your home's main drain line or even in the sewer.
Although most dishwasher clogs are relatively minor issues, they can sometimes be early warning signs of a bigger problem with your plumbing. If you can't resolve the issue yourself, don't assume that the problem will improve or that it isn't a big deal. Contacting a plumber now may allow you to discover the underlying cause before your drain stops working. For more information, contact a company like My Texas Home Services.