How to Troubleshoot a KitchenAid Dishwasher That Runs, Then Stops & Won't Drain

Written by tanya lee
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How to Troubleshoot a KitchenAid Dishwasher That Runs, Then Stops & Won't Drain
A clogged sink drain could mean the main house drain is clogged. (tap image by BlueMiniu from

A KitchenAid dishwasher that is not working properly can be a major inconvenience. You can adjust your dishwasher without calling a service technician, however. Not only will you have your dishwasher operational again much more quickly and with much less expense than if you called for service, you'll have the satisfaction of having fixed an essential home appliance yourself.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Fuse
  • Auger

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  1. 1

    Check the fuse box or circuit breaker panel to find out if the fuse has blown or the circuit breaker has been tripped. If the fuse is blown, remove it and replace it with another of the same amperage. If the circuit breaker been tripped, reset it by pushing the breaker back into the on position. Note that it is normal for the dishwasher to pause several times during the dishwashing cycle. If the start/resume light is blinking, press start/return to restart a stalled cycle.

  2. 2

    Look for the green light to find out if the cycle is completed. If you do not see the green light, press start/resume and close the door within three seconds to restart the cycle.

  3. 3

    Clean out the food waste disposer if it appears to be clogged. Make sure the dishwasher is unplugged before you do this or that you have removed the fuse or set the circuit breaker to off.

  4. 4

    Locate the drain hose emerging from the back of the dishwasher. Remove the other end of the hose from the drain and straighten it out if it is kinked. Make a U-shaped loop in the drain hose before you reinsert it into the drain.

  5. 5

    Check the interface between the drain and the drain hose. There must be an air gap or the dishwasher cannot drain properly.

  6. 6

    Look for a clogged drain. Turn on the faucets in a couple of sinks or tubs. If the water drains slowly, your main household drain may be clogged. Insert an auger into the drain and keep turning until you encounter the clog. Remove it with the auger. If the other drains do not seem to be clogged, it may be just the dishwasher drain that you need to clear with the auger.

Tips and warnings

  • If your dishwasher repeatedly blows a fuse or trips a circuit breaker, you should call for service. A short in the system is a fire hazard. Never install a fuse of higher amperage than the one that the circuit calls for or put a penny in the fuse socket to keep the fuse from blowing. Both practices create fire hazards.

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