I understand how you’re feeling right now. Maybe you’re trying to prepare your dishes for the next meal, but your dishwasher isn’t draining water, right?
Honestly, just a few days ago on February 23rd, 2023, my wife Adiba Islam informed me that our brand-new GE dishwasher was not releasing water.
I was shocked because it wasn’t even 7 months old. I immediately checked the filter and heard some beeps, then I cleaned it as much as I could but had no luck.
Then, I called my friend Ahsan and asked him what the problem could be and if he could suggest how to troubleshoot this issue. After an hour, he visited my house, inspected my dishwasher, and fortunately fixed the issue.
Well, In this article, I will mention the things he did and some preventive measures you can take to avoid this issue in the future.
Common causes for not draining water
The reasons why your GE dishwasher is not draining water can vary, but a blocked or kinked hose is often the primary cause. Additionally, a malfunctioning drain line or defective pump may also be responsible for this issue.
Look at the bellow table:
|Clogged or Blocked Drainage System||Clear out any debris or foreign objects in the hose/pump|
|Faulty Drain Pump||Replace the drain pump|
|Drain Solenoid or Check Valve||Replace the solenoid or check valve|
|Clogged Air Gap||Clear out debris or replace the air gap|
How to fix the water draining issue in the GE dishwasher?
In short: To resolve the water drainage issue in your GE dishwasher, inspect the hose, drain screen, air gap, and filter for blockages caused by food particles or debris. If they are clear, replace the pump.
I will split this guide into two sections: one for simple solutions, and one for more complex troubleshooting, to cater to all levels of experience.
Basic Troubleshooting that anyone can do!
In 95% of cases, checking some very basic things can resolve the issue.
This includes cleaning the drain screen, filter, and chopper blade of any debris or food particles and ensuring that the drain hose or air gap is free of blockages.
Step 1: Check the Drain Screen
When the dishwasher does its job, food particles from your dirty dishes gather on the drain screen. If left uncleaned for a long time, they may prevent the water from draining.
To clean the drain screen, take a cup or bowl and pull out all the remaining water. Inspect the screen and clear any visible debris or food particles, making sure it is free of blockage.
Step 2: Clean the Filter
If the drain screen appears to be clean, check the filter. GE dishwashers have two types of filters: one is fine and the other is the ultra-fine filter.
- Take out the bottom rack and set it aside.
- Locate the filter assembly and remove it by turning it counterclockwise.
- Rinse the filter with warm soapy water.
- Use a sponge or soft-bristled brush and carefully remove any stubborn particles.
Once done, reassemble the filter in its place by turning it clockwise until it clicks into place
Don’t use scouring pads or brushes to clean the filter. Instead, only use a soft-bristled brush or sponge, which is gentle enough to remove any debris without causing harm to the filter.
Step 3: Check the Garbage Disposal
This device is typically installed between the drain and the trap beneath the kitchen sink and is powered by electricity. It breaks down food waste into small pieces and flushes them away through the municipal sewer system.
However, if there is an accumulation of food in the unit, it may become obstructed and restrict water flow, leading to issues with the kitchen sink’s drainage.
You don’t need to disassemble the unit. Simply run the disposer thoroughly with plenty of water. This may solve the drainage issue.
If your model has an air gap, remove the cap and clear any debris that may have accumulated.
Related: GE Dishwasher not drying dishes after cleaning! What to do?
Step 4: Unclog the drain hose
Typically, the drain hose is considered the second primary culprit after the filter. Like the filter, the drain hose can get clogged with food particles and carbon build-up over time, which blocks water flow.
Thankfully, cleaning the drain hose is a pretty simple task. Here’s how:
- Unplug the dishwasher.
- Identify the drain hose.
- Disconnect the drain hose from the pump.
- Inspect the hose and the connection point at the sink drain or garbage disposal for any blockages.
- Take a screwdriver or a straightened wire hanger and remove any obstructions.
Once done, reattach the hose and check if the dishwasher drains now.
In case you are unable to access the blockage, detach the hose from the sink drain or disposal completely. If it seems to be damaged, replace the hose with a new one.
Complex troubleshooting for DIYers
Though cleaning the air gap, drain hose, or filter usually fixes this issue, if it does not, there could be damage to one of the dishwasher’s internal components, such as the valve, pump solenoid, piston and nut assembly, timer, door switch, or drain motor.
The solution? Test and then replace the faulty components if necessary.
Step 1: Test the Drain Check Valve
First, inspect the check valve. It allows dirty water to drain through the hose and then prevents water from flowing back into the dishwasher.
If it is faulty or stuck closed, water won’t be able to drain out of the dishwasher.
First, check the valve if it is clogged with debris. If it is not, replace the valve with a new one. (Check the price here)
Step 2: Test the Drain Solenoid
This is the father component of the check valve and draining hose. It controls the direction of the water flow by opening and closing the diverter valve, which directs water to the appropriate drains cycle.
If the pump solenoid is faulty, it will not open to let the water drain properly. To test and replace the drain solenoid, you have to disassemble the dishwasher.
Here’s a video guide from RepairCleanic that shows the exact process of how to easily test and replace this component.
Step 3: Test the pump motor
If the drain solenoid and check valve are functioning properly or you have replaced them but still your GE dishwasher isn’t draining the water, the problem might be with the main control board or pump motor.
To replace the pump motor, follow these steps:
- Turn off the power and water supply to your dishwasher.
- Take off the dishwasher’s lower front panel to access the inner parts.
- Look for the drain pump motor, which is usually located at the bottom of the dishwasher and connected to the drain hose.
- Use a screwdriver to unscrew the motor from the dishwasher carefully. Lift it out of the machine and disconnect the electrical wires.
- Check the motor’s continuity using a multimeter. If it shows no continuity, the motor is faulty and needs to be replaced.
- Install a new drain pump motor (Check here) and reconnect the electrical wires. Place the motor carefully back into the dishwasher.
Once done, reassemble the dishwasher and check whether the water drains now properly.
Pro Tip: When you disassemble the pump motor unit, check the hose line that is connected to it carefully. You might find some food particles stuck in the hole. If that is the case, clean it. (Check this image)
Need a video guide to performing the replacement process properly? Here it is:
GE Dishwasher Control Board
If all of the previously mentioned components are functioning properly, the issue may be with the main control board. If that is the case, the only solution to get the dishwasher working again is to replace the control board.
Q: Why is my GE dishwasher not draining water?
Your dishwasher may not be draining water due to a clogged drain hose or filter, a faulty drain pump, or a malfunctioning solenoid valve.
Q: Can a faulty air gap cause the dishwasher to not drain water?
Yes, a faulty air gap can prevent proper draining. The air gap prevents the backflow of water from the sink into the dishwasher.
If it is clogged or faulty, water may not drain properly. Check the air gap and clean or replace it if necessary.
Q: How can I prevent my dishwasher from not draining water?
To prevent your GE dishwasher from not draining water, make sure to clean the dishwasher regularly, use the correct detergent and amount, avoid overloading the dishwasher, scrape off large food particles before loading, ensure the dishwasher is level, and check the air gap, float switch, and garbage disposal for clogs or faults regularly.
Q: Can a broken spray arm cause the dishwasher to not drain water?
No, a broken spray arm is unlikely to cause the dishwasher to not drain water.
However, a malfunctioning spray arm can prevent proper cleaning, leading to food particles and debris clogging the dishwasher’s drain hose. Check the spray arm and replace it if necessary.
Abdul Kader is the CEO and founder of Homespoiler.com. With his expertise in electronics repair, he provides in-depth information on how to fix appliances, wiring, and other electrical-related issues. More about us