How to Spot if Your Dishwasher is Blocked

Everything in your home that uses water is linked to the drainage system and then into the main sewer line. This includes your sinks, toilets, bath, shower, washing machine, and even your dishwasher.

Washing the dishes is a job best left to the machine but there’s always the chance that the dishwasher could be adding to a sewer or drainage problem.

The main thing to focus on and make sure you do before loading the dishwasher is that the washing works better without food pieces on the plates and other items. Use the garbage disposal or the trash can for the food waste, not the dishwasher. Lazy loading with really dirty plates won’t give you great results and it just forces food waste and grease in your plumbing and drainage. This will lead to problems in the future.

There are some early warning signs that your dishwasher is getting blocked and not working as efficiently as it could, and here they are:

 

Dirty dishes

The easy spot is the result of the wash. If your dishes are still dirty or not as clean as you’d expect, there’s something wrong. After checking that the salt and rinsing detergent are topped up, you might want to check the water is filling and draining correctly.

You dishwasher might not have filled with water because you have a clog in your main or kitchen line. Get it checked out before it gets worse.

 

Gasping and gurgling

Sounds and smells from any of your drainage or sewage lines are a bad sign. It’s not always catastrophic but you’re highly recommended to act quickly if you see, smell, or hear something unusual.

If you do hear an unusual gurgling coming from your drains, it’s likely an indication that you have water trying hard to push through a blockage.

Clogs can appear anywhere in your drainage system and could be as far as the main sewer line, but they won’t get better on their own. Hear some gurgling from your dishwasher? Get it checked out right away.

 

Slow-flowing waste water

Not always easy to spot this one, but if your dishwasher is draining slowly or the sink next to it (which is usually using the same drainage pipe) is draining slow, you might have a clog nearby.

Slow draining water is a key indicator that you have something blocking the pipes and with the sink or dishwasher it’s usually some grease build-up or food waste stuck. A quick plunger to the drain hole for either the sink or dish washer can help, but get it plunged or checked to halt the problem from getting worse.

 

Water backed-up

Just as above, that link between the dishwasher and the sink can often cause more obvious problems. If your dishwasher goes into its drainage cycle and the water backs up into your sink, then you have a clear clog.

If the water has nowhere to go but up, there’s a block. Check your U-bend and drainage further down. If the dishwasher is pushing waste water, again there’s a clog somewhere. It might be a simple plunger job, or a job for an expert like us. Whichever it is – get on it fast!

 

Water waiting

After a cycle your dishwasher should be empty. You should have clean plates, pots, pans, and cutlery and you shouldn’t see water in the bottom of the machine. If you do, you have a drainage issue and you’ll probably also have a poor finish on your dishes.

Good drainage is essential to the quality of your wash and water waiting for you when you open the door of a completed wash is a sign you need a plumbing inspection. Try cleaning out the drainage trap (a weekly job really) and a quick plunge to see if you can shift the water.

If not, you have a problem further down and you might need to call us.

 

Be gentle with your dishwasher…

Don’t overload you dishwasher with food waste. Scrape and rinse your dirty plates and pots in the garbage disposal or trash before you run a wash. Food and grease don’t get on well with plumbing and a simple clean before you put them in will save you future problems.

Got a problem with your Colorado plumbing? Contact us now and we’ll help you get back in the flow!