07 January A mom showing her kids how to fill a dishwasher

Signs Your Dishwasher Is Clogged

Posted by PlumbWize

Technology can be a beautiful thing, especially when it makes our lives easier. For many people, a dishwasher is an invaluable part of their kitchens and something that they simply cannot go without. Unfortunately, sometimes the same technology that saves us time and effort can malfunction in a big way and end up costing us quite a bit of money and inconvenience. When your dishwasher experiences a clog of some sort, you could be facing some serious issues, especially if it overflows and you aren’t home to catch the issue right away. 

So what is there to do? The best thing you can do in these situations is to prevent the problem before it begins. To do that, it’s important to understand some warning signs that indicate a problem with your dishwasher so that you can take note and get help before a catastrophic failure and need a plumber in Oakville. Here are five early warning signs of a clogged dishwasher. 

Close up of a woman loading a dishwasher

1. Gurgling 

Gurgling in your drains is never a good sign. While it might not mean that you’re facing a serious plumbing issue immediately, it is definitely an indication that something isn’t quite right and that the time to look into the problem has arrived. When you hear gurgling in your drains, that means that there is a clog, or a partial clog, somewhere in your pipes, be it in the secondary lines or the main sewer line. Either way, this clog can prevent the free flow of water from your drains through your pipes. This includes your dishwasher, which can encounter issues when draining just like anything else in your home. If you hear the sound of gurgling pipes, it’s time to do some troubleshooting (or, even better, to call the professionals to come over and do so on your behalf). 

2. Water Overflow 

Another indication that something is amiss is when you find that your dishwasher has backed up into the kitchen sink. This means that the water is unable to drain for some reason. If this happens, there are a few steps you can try to identify and fix the issue. First, turn off the dishwasher. The second step is to run your garbage disposal to see if there something stuck in the sink that is causing a clog. If you don’t have a garbage disposal and aren’t able to find the clog on your own, consider reaching out to an experienced plumber. The last thing you want to do is continue to use the dishwasher in this state, even if it only backs up into your sink “a little bit”. Any water overflowing into your sink is an issue. 

3. Slow Draining 

There are a few different signs that your drains are moving slowly. The obvious, of course, is turning on the water and watching it slowly move down the drain as opposed to flowing freely as it should. Somewhat less obvious, however, are the signs that the dishwasher is draining slowly. If you open up the machine only to find an inch of water at the bottom, it’s possible the drain itself is the culprit. You’ll need to determine what is clogging the area and what you can do to fix the issue before it becomes a serious problem. 

Close up of a pile of unclean dishes

4. Unclean Dishes 

If you run your dishwasher and open it up after the cycle is complete only to find that the dishes are still dirty, the dishwasher might not be filling up with water. This tends to happen if there is a clog somewhere in the secondary kitchen line or the mainline of your plumbing that is preventing the water from flowing to the dishwasher. It’s important to determine where the clog is and to remove it as soon as possible to avoid potential damage to your plumbing or appliances. If you aren’t able to find the clog on your own – and you very well might not, especially if the clog is somewhere along the mainline – then it’s time to contact a professional for help. 

5. Loud Noises 

Dishwashers aren’t known for being the quietest of appliances, but the sound that they make is typically fairly predictable. If you notice that your dishwasher is making noises that are unexpected, or if it appears to be shaking or thumping when running through a cycle, there could be something wrong that is causing the dishwasher to encounter difficulty as it runs water in and out of the reservoir. Don’t ignore this issue – it could turn into something serious that ends with the need for a replacement appliance along with plumbing repair as opposed to just plumbing troubleshooting. 

How Can I fix a Clogged Dishwasher? 

The easy way to fix a clogged dishwasher is to reach out to professionals and ask them for help. If your machine is under warranty, this might cost you nothing at all. If you’d rather DIY the situation, there are a few things you can try before calling in a professional. The first thing you want to do is to ensure the drain-hose connection, power supply, solenoid, and drain-hose clamp are properly connected and have no clogs in them. 

If the above doesn’t reveal any issues, it’s a good idea to check your dishwasher’s filter, especially if you have an older machine. The filter is likely at the bottom of the tub. Check the filter and its cage, remove any debris you might see, and see if the problem is resolved. If that doesn’t work, the time to call in the professionals has likely arrived. 

What you don’t want to do is spend too long trying to diagnose or “fix” the issue that you inadvertently make the problem worse. An experienced plumber in Oakville will know what to do. At PlumbWize, we understand how difficult it can be to live without the plumbing in your home functioning well. We can help. For more information about dishwasher clogs and how our team can help, reach out to us today!


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