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Thread: Dishwasher not draining properly

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member llmercll's Avatar
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    Default Dishwasher not draining properly

    Hello, I recently successfully removed my busted garbage disposal and replaced it with pvc pipe. That went well, and was hoping it might have solved my dishwasher draining issue. Unfortunately it did not.

    There are two problems. the first is that while washing the dishes, the washer fills up and water splashes out, making a big puddle in the kitchen. The second is that once the dishwashing is complete, there is still a good bit of the water left in the bottom. If I don't remove the dishes immediately, it seems to "evaporate" onto them and make them slimy.

    When I set the dial to "rinse", the dishwasher will drain out completely, and then start a rinse cycle, so I don't think it's the pump itself, since it's capable of draining. It just doesn't seem to do it when it should.

    Anyone know what the likely culprit is?

    thanks!

  2. #2
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    As far as wash quality, make sure that the water at the tap is VERY HOT before starting a wash cycle. Dishwasher detergents do not work in cool or warm water...it needs to be HOT. Many newer DW have a preheat function...use that if available. Also, studies show that most peope use TOO much detergent. Also, the new "envirnmental friendly" detergents are crapola!

    Now, it sounds like the fill float may have a problem and you are getting too much water in the wash cycle.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member llmercll's Avatar
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    hmm any troubleshooting recommendations? I know where the float is, should I try tapping on it?

    thanks!

  4. #4
    DIY Senior Member Briandl's Avatar
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    Sounds like the troubleshooting recommendations he made were to try a load it with either the right amount of detergent or maybe even none just to rule it out. Also, run the water at the faucet until it's hot and then start the dishwasher.

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member llmercll's Avatar
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    My first run was without any detergent, and it still overflowed and didn't drain all the way. The water was VERY hot =(

    I'm not even testing it with dishes right now though, I just want to find a way to make it drain properly while washing to avoid flooding

    thanks =)

  6. #6
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    This is a plumbing forum and the problem is not in your plumbing. Your dishwasher is at fault.

  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    The pump should run long enough to evacuate all the water even if the dishwasher is overfilled, which it sounds like is happening. It is possible to "adjust the float", but probably not by you. The dishwasher can siphon, or drain water in the hose, back into the dishwasher after the pump stops. You have to check it as soon as the pump stops to see if the water was NOT pumped out, or if it comes back afterwards.

  8. #8
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    It is usually not the actual float that malfunctions. Under the tub is a microswitch which is actuated by the float. Given the leaking etc that you have had, you may find that switch with some rust or depostits. It is also possible for the float shaft to get "gunked up" but I look at the switches first.


    My comments about the hot water and detergent concern the other issue op mentioned...."slimy" dishes. That is not caused just because it did not pump out all the way!

  9. #9
    DIY Junior Member llmercll's Avatar
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    thanks for the replies! I took a few pictures of my dishwasher, during a rinse cycle to show how high the water goes. My float is on the left, I'm not sure what's on the right.

    model
    http://i54.tinypic.com/2epq0c3.jpg
    main leak area
    http://i52.tinypic.com/2drxa8h.jpg
    low fill
    http://i54.tinypic.com/30sc8jm.jpg
    high fill
    http://i54.tinypic.com/2pzfgr5.jpg
    dishwasher buttons and settings
    http://i56.tinypic.com/2qw1nqg.jpg

    I just ran it again on the rinse cycle. You can see how much it filled up by looking at the high fill picture. It's slightly above the heating element. It still leaked like crazy, even when the water was low "low fill" photo from the bottoms of both sides, but mostly the left. It seems like it drained very nicely this time, though. I Hung my dishwasher hose up, where before it was lying flat on the ground, maybe that helped the draining?

    http://i56.tinypic.com/2s8llqb.jpg

  10. #10

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    An air gap would be a good thing to have inline between the hose and tail piece.

  11. #11
    DIY Junior Member llmercll's Avatar
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    Well the dishwasher was always set up that way and didn't have any issues. I played with the float and seems to rise up and down very easily.

    By my pictures is the water getting too high?

    Also, when I do a rinse cycle only, it drains perfectly...but when I do a full cycle (which includes rinse and dry), theres still water in the bottom =(

  12. #12
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    An air gap is always the best way to drain a dishwasher, it is actually required in some places. The high loop that you show in your last photo does work and is acceptable in some jurisdictions.

  13. #13
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    But installing an air gap is not going to fix the problem that your dishwasher has.

  14. #14
    DIY Junior Member llmercll's Avatar
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    So do you guys think the most likely cause for leak is a bad gasket then? It the water isn't getting too high it can't be the float, so it must be that?

  15. #15
    DIY Junior Member llmercll's Avatar
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    things went from bad to worse. Now the dishwasher isn't even filling. It seems like the drain is on all the time now. I can't get the machine to fill with water anymore!

    Maybe I busted the floater.

    ugh

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