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Kenmore Dishwasher Not Draining

Kenmore Dishwasher Not Draining

Understanding Your Kenmore Dishwasher's Drainage System

If your Kenmore dishwasher isn't draining correctly, understanding its drainage system is critical to resolving the issue. Typically, the dishwasher drains water through a hose connected to your sink's plumbing or garbage disposal. Start by checking for clogs or kinks in the drain hose and cleaning the drain filter to ensure smooth water flow. Also, ensure the dishwasher is level, and the drain hose is installed correctly according to the manufacturer's guidelines.

Anatomy of a Dishwasher Drain

Your dishwasher's drainage process begins with the used water exiting through a hose connected to your sink's plumbing or garbage disposal unit. This water flow is crucial for ensuring your dishes emerge clean and dry. However, if this process has a hiccup, you're left with standing water and soggy dishes.

The first step in troubleshooting is to check the drain hose for any blockages or kinks. Take a peek under your sink and scrutinize the hose. If you spot any obstructions, gently remove them using a pipe cleaner or a long brush. Once cleared, run a short cycle to see if the drainage improves. If not, it's time to move on to the next component: the drain filter. Remove the filter, give it a thorough clean under running water, and reinstall it.

Common Symptoms and Quick Fixes

Signs of Drainage Issues

If you've noticed your Kenmore dishwasher leaving pools of water at the bottom after each cycle, it's clear that something's amiss with its drainage system

First, pay attention to how long it takes for your dishwasher to drain. If it's taking significantly longer than usual or if you hear unusual noises during the draining process, there might be an obstruction or malfunction somewhere along the line. Also, monitor the water level that accumulates in the dishwasher throughout the cycle. If it remains high or doesn't decrease as expected, it's a strong indicator of drainage issues.

Another red flag to watch out for is water pooling at the bottom of your dishwasher after the cycle completes. This suggests the water isn't draining, leaving your dishes in a soggy mess. Additionally, detecting any foul odors from your dishwasher could be a sign of stagnant water due to poor drainage.

DIY Troubleshooting Guide for Kenmore Dishwashers

Step-by-Step Drain Hose Inspection

If your Kenmore dishwasher seems to be holding onto water instead of draining it away, you can figure out what’s wrong by following these steps. Let's start with a step-by-step inspection of the drain hose, a common culprit in drainage problems.

By following these simple steps to inspect your Kenmore dishwasher's drain hose, you can often identify and resolve drainage problems quickly and easily.

Drain Pump Examination and Testing

The drain pump is responsible for expelling used water from the dishwasher, so you'll likely encounter drainage issues if it needs to be fixed.

Start by locating the drain pump at the bottom of the dishwasher near the back. Once you've found it, visually inspect the pump for any signs of damage or obstruction. Sometimes, foreign objects like small utensils or pieces of broken glass can get lodged in the pump, preventing it from operating correctly. If you spot any debris, carefully remove it to see if that resolves the drainage problem.

With the dishwasher disconnected from power, you can manually test the pump by turning the impeller wheel. This is typically done by accessing the pump from underneath the dishwasher. The pump is likely in good working order if the impeller wheel turns smoothly without any resistance. However, if you encounter resistance or the impeller wheel fails to turn, it's a sign that the pump may be faulty and need replacement.

Cleaning and Maintaining the Air Gap

This small device is crucial in preventing backflow and ensuring proper drainage from your dishwasher.

First, locate the air gap, typically installed on the countertop or sink next to your dishwasher. It resembles a small cylindrical or conical device with a cap on top. Begin by removing the cap and inspecting the air gap for any visible signs of dirt or debris.

To clean the air gap, gently scrub the exterior with a toothbrush or sponge and mild dish soap to remove any surface grime. Then, carefully disassemble the air gap by unscrewing the cap and removing the inner components. Rinse these components thoroughly under running water to flush out any trapped debris. Use a pipe cleaner or small brush to clean the interior of the air gap and remove stubborn buildup.

Once cleaned, reassemble the air gap and reinstall it in its original location. Ensure that all connections are secure and tight. Regularly cleaning and maintaining the air gap can help prevent clogs and ensure proper drainage from your Kenmore dishwasher. If you continue to experience drainage issues despite cleaning the air gap, it may be a sign of a more severe problem that requires professional attention.

Advanced Repair Techniques

When and How to Replace Key Components

When your Kenmore dishwasher starts acting up and refuses to drain correctly, it's essential to know when and how to replace critical components to get them back in working order. One of the first components to consider replacing is the drain hose. If you notice any visible damage or cleaning the hose doesn't improve drainage, it may be time to replace it with a new one. Be sure to choose a hose compatible with your Kenmore dishwasher model for optimal performance.

Another crucial component to check is the drain pump. The drain pump is responsible for expelling used water from the dishwasher, so if it's malfunctioning or damaged, you'll likely encounter drainage problems. If you've inspected the drain pump and determined it's faulty, replacing it with a new one can often resolve drainage issues. Remember to disconnect power to the dishwasher before attempting to replace the drain pump, consult your dishwasher's manual, or seek professional assistance if needed.

Troubleshooting Electrical Issues

Start by verifying that the dishwasher is securely plugged into a working outlet. If the dishwasher is plugged into a GFCI outlet, ensure it hasn't tripped and needs reset.

Next, examine the dishwasher's control panel for any error codes or indicators of electrical issues. Some Kenmore dishwasher models are equipped with diagnostic features that can help pinpoint the source of the problem. Refer to your dishwasher's manual for instructions on interpreting error codes and troubleshooting accordingly. Suppose you're unable to identify the issue through the control panel. In that case, it may be necessary to test individual electrical components, such as the door switch or control board, for continuity using a multimeter.

You can identify and address the root cause of your Kenmore dishwasher's drainage problems by systematically troubleshooting electrical issues. If you're uncomfortable with electrical repairs or cannot diagnose the issue, feel free to seek professional assistance from a qualified technician.


Troubleshooting your Kenmore dishwasher's drainage problems requires some research, from checking the drain hose to cleaning the filter and testing the pump. While DIY fixes can often work, recognizing when to call professional help is critical, especially if issues persist or you notice any concerning signs. Expert technicians have the experience and tools needed to tackle complex problems effectively.