How to Unclog a Dishwasher's Drain Hose

Written by jennifer habersham
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Anyone who has ever had to do dirty dishes by hand knows that the modern dishwasher is a true time saver. Unfortunately, after time, the little bits of food and grease that remain on the dishes when you put them in the dishwasher can accumulate in the drain hose. A clogged drain hose can lead to many different problems with your dishwasher, including leaking and burning up the motor. Thankfully, if you find yourself with a clogged dishwasher drain hose, you don't have to call in an expert to fix it. With some patience and some elbow grease you can unclog the hose yourself.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Gloves
  • Screwdriver
  • Bucket

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  1. 1

    Unplug the power cord to your dishwasher. You can do this by manually removing the dishwasher from the wall and unplugging it, or you can flip the power switch to your kitchen at the circuit breaker (although you will need light to drain the dishwasher hose).

  2. 2

    Put on your gloves, and, using your screwdriver, unscrew the screws from the kick plate of your dishwasher. The kick plate is the panel just below the door of your dishwasher.

  3. 3

    Place your bucket on the floor in front of the dishwasher.

  4. 4

    Unhook the drain hose by pinching the ends of the clamp and sliding it down the hose. Remove the other end from the pump. There will be two hoses in your dishwasher. The drain hose is the one that leads from the pump to the underneath of your kitchen sink.

  5. 5

    Point the hose into your bucket to drain any debris. Twist and scrunch the hose to help remove the waste.

  6. 6

    Test the hose by running water through it, and then reattach your hose in the same manner in which you detached it from your dishwasher.

Tips and warnings

  • If your drain hose is very short, you may want to use a shallow pan rather than a bucket.
  • Try running water through the hose to remove any stubborn debris.
  • Rinsing away as much food as possible before putting your dirty dishes into the dishwasher will help to prevent a blocked hose.
  • If you do not unplug the electrical power to your dishwasher before you start working on it, you could get shocked.

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