Five Symptoms of a Clogged Dishwasher Drain

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Dishwasher drain clogs can lead to major issues if they are ignored. Water can leak from around the dishwasher, leading to both obvious and hidden damages. The clog can also get into the main drain line, causing backups around the house. Know the main symptoms of a dishwasher clog so you can catch it early and schedule a prompt drain cleaning.

1. Abnormal Sounds

Dishwashers are rarely completely silent when in operation, but some noises indicate trouble. Gurgling sounds, particularly at the end of a wash or rinse cycle, can be the result of a blockage in the drain line. In some cases, the issue may not even be in the dishwasher drain, but instead in the mainline that the dishwasher line hooks into.  Shaking and vibrations while draining can also be the sign that something is blocking the drain.

2. Sink Backups

Does your sink backup whenever you run the dishwasher? In some cases, this can mean there is a blockage. If it happens infrequently and can be remedied by running the garbage disposal for a moment, then there may not be an issue. If it happens frequently and is more difficult to clear, then the drain lines need to be inspected for clogs. In some cases, the clog is in the dishwasher line, but in others, it could be in the sink drain or the main drain line.

3. Standing Water

Your dishwasher should drain completely at the end of its cycle. If there is still standing water in the dishwasher, then there is an issue somewhere in the dishwasher drain system. The clog could be in one of the drain lines, or it could be that the drain and filter in the bottom of the dishwasher are clogged.

4. Dirty Dishes

It can be frustrating to open the dishwasher after the cycle is complete and discover that there is still food residue on everything and nothing seems completely clean. First, make sure dishes are rinsed before they are loaded into the dishwasher. Next, verify that there is no food caught in the drain filter. If dishes still come out dirty after completing these two tasks, it's time to have the drain lines inspected for clogs.

5. Moisture Seepage

Moisture seeping out from around the dishwasher door, particularly the bottom of the door, may indicate a leak. It can also be a symptom of a failing door gasket, so you will want to inspect the gasket first to see if it needs replacement. If the gasket is fine, then the issue may be water draining slowly due to a clog.

Contact a plumber that specializes in drain cleaning if you suspect a clog in the dishwasher drainage lines.

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