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Dishwasher Won’t Stop Draining

Dishwasher Won't Stop Draining

Dishwashers are wonderful machines that make our lives so much easier. However, dishwashers can malfunction when parts get too old, things break, or leaks occur. A common problem dishwashers’ experience is that they won’t stop draining, which wastes water and prevents the dishes from getting washed. 

If your dishwasher won’t stop draining, there may be water in the machine’s base, your drain hose might be below water level, or you could have a faulty flow meter. If it continues to drain after correcting these problems inappropriately, you should look at the user manual or call a plumber. 

Below, you will learn the signs that your dishwasher is draining too frequently, and the common reasons why this malfunction may occur. You’ll also learn some general steps on how to solve these problems. 

Dishwasher Stuck On Drain

If your dishwasher is stuck on drain, it could indicate a few different issues.

One of the most common causes is a clogged or dirty filter. Check if the filter is clear of any debris or blockages.

Another possible reason could be a faulty drain pump or motor. Check if the pump and motor are functioning properly.

Additionally, a malfunctioning timer or control board can also cause the dishwasher to get stuck on drain mode. Check if the timer or control board is functioning properly.

To fix the issue, try resetting the dishwasher by turning off the power for a few minutes and then turning it back on.

If the issue persists, try cleaning the filter and drain hose, or replacing the drain pump or motor.

If the timer or control board is faulty, replace them.

If you’re not comfortable troubleshooting and repairing your dishwasher, it’s best to call a professional technician to diagnose and fix the issue.

How Will I Know if Dishwasher Is Draining Too Frequently?

How Will I Know if Dishwasher Is Draining Too Frequently?

To determine if your dishwasher is not working properly because of an overactive drain, lookout for the following symptoms. 

The Drain Turns On Before Selecting a Cycle

If you turn on your dishwasher, don’t select a cycle, and close the door, you shouldn’t hear anything. 

However, if your drain is being inappropriately activated, it may turn on once you close your dishwasher door, even though you did not select a cycle. If this happens, there is likely something wrong.  

The Drain Stays On for Over a Minute

Another indication that your drain is working overtime is if it continues to run for over a minute after you’ve selected a cycle. 

Typically when you run your dishwasher, the drain will come on for about a minute before shutting off. It does this to remove any remaining water that was leftover from the last wash.

However, if something isn’t working properly, the drain will stay on after this initial period, which will prevent your dishwasher from doing any cleaning. 

Warning Lights Turn On

Depending on your machine, you may have a warning light that comes on when your dishwasher is draining too frequently. Some machines have a light that says check water, which indicates the machine isn’t getting enough water, which may be caused by frequent draining. 

To determine what your dishwasher’s lights mean, look at your user manual. If you notice any draining-related indicator lights coming on, you may have a problem with over-draining. 

Why Won’t My Dishwasher Stop Draining?

Why Won’t My Dishwasher Stop Draining?

Some of the common reasons your dishwasher may constantly be draining include water in the base, the drain hose is below water level or a faulty flow meter. 

Water in the Base

Dishwashers have an anti-flood switch that resides in the base (AKA the bottom) of the machine. Whenever the base fills up with water, a float rises. When the water pushes the float to a certain level, it triggers the anti-flood switch, which causes the water to drain out. This prevents the electrical parts located above the base from getting wet. 

If you hear your dishwasher continuously draining after you turn it on, you may have a leak that is filling the base of your dishwasher with water, thereby activating the anti-flood switch. 

Listed below are the steps you should take to get water out of your base and fix your dishwasher. 

  1. Turn off the power. Before you do anything, make sure your dishwasher is unplugged. You don’t want to electrocute yourself accidentally.
  2. Take off the base plate. To get to the base, you’ll need to put your dishwasher on its back. On the bottom of the machine, you’ll see the base plate. It’s typically adhered to the machine via two or four screws. Some machines have additional mechanisms to keep the base plate on, such as clips. To get to the base, unscrew and undue everything that is tethering the plate to the machine. 
  3. Remove any water from the base. If you find water in the base of your machine, you’ll need to remove it. To do this, get a sponge and a bowl and sop up the water. Another option is to let the dishwasher sit unplugged for about a week. After a week has passed, the water should naturally evaporate, leaving you with a dry base. This option will leave you without a dishwasher for a week, so make the choice that’s right for you. 
  4. Find the source of the leak. After you get rid of all of the water, you’ll need to determine what caused the water to accumulate in the first place. To find the water source, you should turn on the machine, run it, and look for leaks. Once you’ve found the source, turn off the machine. 

Once you’ve found the leak, you’ll need to repair it to stop water from getting into the base. Take a look at your dishwasher’s user manual to determine how to fix the leak. If you can’t figure it out, you may need to hire a professional. 

Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on September 16, 2020.

The Drain Hose Is Below Water Level

If the end of your drain hose is below your dishwasher’s water level, it will create a siphon effect that will cause the water inside the dishwasher to drain out. 

Typically, the water in the dishwasher fills up to just below the door seal. If your drain hose is lower than that seal, then the water will continuously drain. 

To fix a drain hose that is below the water level, follow the steps below. 

  1. Look at your drain hose. Take a look at your drain hose to determine if it is lower than the door seal. This will let you know whether or not the drain hose is causing your draining issues. 
  2. Use a crook. Typically drain hoses come with a crook attachment, which you can use to adjust the hose to make sure it doesn’t go too far into the open pipe drain. When used correctly, the crook will prevent you from experiencing the siphoning effect.
  3. Test it out. Once you have adjusted your drain hose with the crook, test it out. If your dishwasher is now working properly, you’ll know that you fixed the problem. 

If you’d like to see how to do this in more detail, check out this informative video by Espares, an online parts store that provides excellent troubleshooting information. The video demonstrates where you will find the drain hose and what a properly installed drain hose looks like. 

Faulty Flow Meter

For Bosch, Balay, Constructa, Kuppersbusch, Neff, Siemens, or Tecnik dishwashers, a common issue that can cause the drain to run continuously is a faulty flow meter known as an impeller jug. 

The flow meter is a spinning wheel that is connected to the dishwasher’s control board. It tells the dishwasher when it is full. However, if it is faulty, the dishwasher can’t sense when it is full, causing it to drain continuously. 

Replacing the faulty flow meter requires a lot of steps. Some of the steps include turning off your machine, taking off the base plate, side plates, and top plate, and turning off the water. Then you’ll need to enter into the machine to replace the flow meter.

How-2-repair created an informative step-by-step video guide demonstrating how to perform these steps on the machines listed above.

What if It’s None of the Above?

Dishwasher Won't Stop Draining

If you’ve looked into all of the potential problems listed above, but you still can’t figure out why your dishwasher is continuously draining, look at your dishwasher’s manual. There may be unique problems associated with your machine which aren’t covered in this article. If you still can’t figure it out, it may be time for you to call a plumber. 

Final Thoughts

Sometimes dishwashers won’t stop draining, which prevents your dishes from getting cleaned. Some common causes of this problem include:

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on September 16, 2020.

  • Water getting into your machine’s base from a leak.
  • Your drain hose is below the water level of your dishwasher.
  • You have a faulty flow meter, so your machine can’t determine whether it is full. 

If you can’t determine what is wrong with your machine, get out your user manual. Your manual may have a section that goes over draining problems and how to fix them. If you can’t find anything in the manual, it may be time to call a plumber. 

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on September 16, 2020.

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