How to Unblock a Dishwasher

Written by cleveland van cecil
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How to Unblock a Dishwasher
Dishwasher drain pumps can get clogged by large debris. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Your dishwasher has a water inlet and a water outlet, connected to the dishwasher pump. The pump circulates the water through the dishwasher, causing it to spray the dishes. The dishwasher has a drain into which the water goes after each cycle. If a lot of small food particles collect in the drain hose, the dishwasher may clog. Dishwasher blockages may be due to mechanical failure as well, potentially requiring a small amount of repair to the dishwasher pump.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Bucket
  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Washing powder

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  1. 1

    Unplug the unit from the wall or shut down the power at the circuit breaker if it's hard-wired.

  2. 2

    Remove water from the inside the unit using a bucket or cups. Clear out as much water as possible.

  3. 3

    Remove the screws from the kick-plate at the bottom of the machine.

  4. 4

    Locate the drain hose connected to the washer pump underneath the machine and put a small drain pan underneath.

  5. 5

    Pinch the wire clamp attached to the hose and the pump with a pair of pliers and pull the hose off. Drain the water into the pan. Remove the other end of the hose by pinching the clamp with a pair of pliers. Bend the hose in different places to remove the clog. Place the hose in your sink and pour water through it to remove the blockage.

  6. 6

    Open up the machine and pull out the wire basket. Unscrew the filter basket at the bottom of the machine and pull it out. Remove any debris.

  7. 7

    Grab the small piece of plastic at the front of the pump area, pull forward and lift out. Inspect the inside of the pump and remove any debris. Apply a pump cleaning powder, available from your dishwasher manufacturer.

  8. 8

    Reassemble the dishwasher by reversing the steps above.

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