Life without a dishwasher can be difficult but sometimes your favorite appliance can also give up on you. This is probably the most irritating part of your day and it can really throw the entire schedule out of the window. One of the reasons for this happening can be some standing water in your dishwasher. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons behind this and ways of how you can fix them.
There can be multiple reasons for there to be standing water in your dishwasher ranging from a clogged filter, a blocked drain pump or the garbage disposal to an air gap in the system.
Most of the time you can fix them by yourself but in some cases, you might need some professional help.
What Are The Causes Of Standing Water In Your Dishwasher
Before we can get to solving the issue, you will have to figure out the reason behind the standing water. Don’t worry, most of these issues can be easily found out and they are relatively inexpensive to fix as well.
Before you start diagnosing what the problem is, you have to make sure to take some essential safety precautions. First things first, make sure that the appliance is switched off and plugged out of the socket. You don’t want any electric shocks while trying to fix the system.
One of the most common issue behind standing water is a clogged system. This is also one of the most common reasons faced by customers. How often have you just put the dishes into the washer without rinsing them properly? A lot of people don’t really bother with rinsing their dishes, but this is how food particle often get stuck somewhere in the appliance.
This problem can happen with the filter system, the drain pump or the garbage disposal. You will have to individually check each of these components to figure out what is behind the issue.
The other reason is poor maintenance. Very few actually service their appliances according to the user manual. They just brush it off, but this is also the reason why your dishwasher might be giving your issues. Regular maintenance ensures that there is no clogging in any of the parts especially the drain basket, filters and any of the hoses.
The other issue can be a wrong way of using the appliances. Remember how it is recommended to read the user manual before using a machine and we always choose to not do it? Well as it turns out, this is said because of a reason. I have come across so many people who have been using their appliances in the wrong way and then they complain about it breaking down regularly.
One of the examples of the above issue can be using the wrong kind of detergent with your dishwasher. If you use regular soap it can lead to excess froth formation which can lead to clogs.
And the final reason can be some broken component inside your appliance. This is an especially be the case if your appliance has been moved recently or if it is old. Parts do tend to wear down over time and this can lead to them malfunctioning every now and then. One of the better things here is that you can usually get the malfunctioning parts replaced rather than buying a whole new machine.
What Are Some Of The Parts In Your Dishwasher
It is important to understand what some of the components in your dishwasher do before we start trying to fix them.
Most of these components are pretty simple to understand and locate in your appliance so no need to worry here. If you have a really hard time wrapping your head around them then you should go ahead and call a professional for fixing your appliance. They will guarantee that your appliance is fixed and do it efficiently and cost efficiently.
Starting with the air gap, which is also known as the air cap. Although it is not necessary for your appliance to have this, some state’s plumbing codes do require the manufacturers to put this on. The function of this component to stop any dirty water from entering the dishwasher, this way every time you run a cycle, the water is going to be clean.
The next component is the dishwasher filter. This component is responsible for catching all of the food particles and making sure that the circulating water is as clean as possible. This is usually located at the bottom of the dishwasher. But I would recommend going through the user manual once before trying to find out.
The drain hose is what connects the drain pump to the garbage disposal or the air cap while the drain pump pushes the water to the drain line or the garbage disposal from the dishwasher.
To find out where each of these components are located, go through your user manual once, you can even access them online. This is because each manufacturer places them slightly differently.
Way To Fix A Dishwasher With Standing Water
Blocked Garbage Disposal
The first thing to keep in mind is that the garbage disposal and the dishwasher share the same pipe to the outside line. This means that the dishwasher and the garbage disposal drain through the same line. This can lead to the drainage pipe being clogged with the garbage disposal isn’t cleaned or used often.
So how to find out if your garbage disposal is stuck? It’s very simple, just take a flashlight and look down the disposal pipe. If you see any food items stuck in the blades or somewhere down the pipe, you will have to do a deep clean. Even if the pipe smells bad, it can mean that food has been stuck down there for a long time, but you can’t see it.
First make sure that your garbage disposal is turned off, as putting your hands inside a garbage disposal can be very risky. Take some ice cubes and salt and keep it over the disposal and let it run for a minute. This should clean a lot of the large debris stuck there.
After this, pour some baking soda and vinegar into the pipe and let if fizz for a minute or two. Scrub the insides of the waste disposal using a toothbrush. Pour some warm water in the sink and let it self-clean itself. Finally, you put the cherry on top, place some orange and lemon peels into the disposal and let it run to freshen the smell inside the pipe.
Cleaning The Filter And The Drain Basket
The filter and the drain basket as I mentioned above is responsible for cleaning and catching any food debris and particles to ensure that the water circulating in the dishwasher is clean. In some machines this basket and the filter are separate components while in some machines, they come as one.
Usually, you can find them at the bottom of the dishwasher, but again, make sure to go through your user manual once to be sure. If your dishwasher has been running for some time, there is a high chance that the filter might have been clogged by food particles or even soap scum. It is pretty easy to check and clean if there is any blockage or not.
Locate the filter and the drain basket and take a look if you see any obstructions or not. Even if you don’t see anything, it would be a good idea to clean it, nevertheless. You simply have to take out the filter and the basket, you can check the user manual about how to remove this component. Once it is out, simply taking a toothbrush, some warm water mixed with a mild detergent and scrub it thoroughly.
Once this is done, you can run the dishwasher once to check if the issue has been fixed or not. Some filters are self-cleaning but still, there is a possibility that something might have gotten stuck down there.
Unclogging The Drain Hose
The drain hose is responsible for removing all of the dirty water from your appliance. But this pipe can easily get bent or get stuck with some food particles. If this happens, then there is no way for the dirty water to get out of the system. Fixing this might get a little technical so if you are not comfortable with getting a little down and dirty then go ahead and call a professional.
Usually, you can locate one end of the drain hose connected to the back of the dishwasher but you should refer to the user manual just to be sure. First, check if the pipe is bent or stuck anywhere, if this is the case then make sure that you straighten the pipe out.
If the hose is okay then you will have to check for clogs, take a look at the user manual about how to disconnect the hose from the dishwasher.
To unclog the hose, you will also need a long wire, a hanger or anything through which you can unclog the pipe. You can also take a garden hose and clear out the pipe using high pressure water.
When you remove the hose from the dishwasher you should keep an empty bowl beneath it, as sometimes excess water drips out and creates a mess. If you are unclogging the drain hose using a wire, make sure you do it gently as thin sharp wires can easily create holes in the hose.
You can also adjust your drain hose using a high loop installation method which ensures that there is no settled water or debris in the pipe. You can simply fasten the hose creating a high loop to the underside of the countertop, making the top of the look about 32 inches above the ground.
Unclogging The Drain Pump
Just like the drain hose, the drain pump and the drain can also get clogged by food debris or any small pieces of glass and ceramic. You can fix this issue at home as well, but this can also get a bit technical. If you are not comfortable doing it yourself than make sure to call for some professional help.
You will probably have to remove the filter to access the drain and the drain pump, refer to the manual to be sure. Also make sure that the appliance is disconnected from the power source. The first step here would be to take a look at the drain and check if there is any obstruction.
If there is any visible obstruction, remove it carefully using a wire hanger or any thin and straight wire. After this, pour in half a cup of baking soda down the drain and pour vinegar on top of it. Wait for the fizz to stop and pour some hot water over it. Don’t use chemicals here as they might get on the dishes when you wash later.
Unclogging The Air Cap
Not all dishwashers have an air cap, it usually looks like a small tap next to the water tap covered with a metal covering. If you don’t see something like this, you don’t have to pay attention to this step.
In case you do, you simply have to remove the cap and check if there is any debris stuck in there or not. if you do find something you might have to use a tweezer to take the stuff out. Clean the inside of the cap as well using a long brush. If the debris is stuck deep inside the cap, use a thin wire to push it towards the garbage disposal pipe.
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If none of these solutions seem to be working, then you will probably have to call the company helpline or some professional for help.
Make sure that your dishwasher is disconnected from the power source before you try to fix using any of the ways mentioned above.
Usually, the problem of standing water is not as complex and is caused by some stuck food debris which can easily be fixed if you locate which component has been blocked.