How to Unblock a Dishwasher

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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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

Reassemble the dishwasher by reversing the steps above.