Skip to Content

KitchenAid Dishwasher Not Draining

A KitchenAid dishwasher that doesn’t drain properly can be an inconvenient and perhaps smelly problem. Fortunately, the solution is often within your grasp.

Typically, a dishwasher that doesn’t drain can be traced to the cycle being interrupted before it was able to complete properly. Close the door and press the start button to allow it to complete. You can also reset the dishwasher by disconnecting it from power for one minute to correct the problem.

The answer to this problem is simple but there may be some more complex issues that are associated with it. Here are a few to consider.

KitchenAid Dishwasher Doesn’t Drain Completely

If your KitchenAid dishwasher is not draining properly, there are a few things you should try first. Go down through this list and then check for a more specific solution if needed at the bottom of this article.

Drain Valve – The water that drains out of your machine goes through a drain valve. It is a valve that keeps the water in the machine when necessary and allows it to go through the hose at the end of the cycle.

A drain valve can sometimes be clogged with food or debris. If it is not clogged and is not working, it can be replaced.

Incomplete Wash Cycle – One of the most common issues associated with a dishwasher not draining is for the cycle to be incomplete.

The interior computer for your dishwasher has a memory and if the cycle is interrupted by the door opening, either on purpose or inadvertently, it wants to start the cycle from that point.

The problem is, the computer can get confused, so sometimes, you just need to allow the cycle to continue and start from scratch on the next run.

Drain Pump – If you check the drain valve and it is operational, the drain pump may be the problem. This pump pushes water from the dishwasher through the drain hose and into the garbage disposal.

If it is determined that the drain pump is the problem, it can be either repaired or replaced. Often, a qualified KitchenAid technician should be contacted for this job.

Drain Hose – If there are any problems with the drain hose, it will keep the water from draining properly. Although it can occur at any part of the hose, it is typically found where it takes a turn or connects to the garbage disposal.

To unclog the drain hose, disconnect it and run water from a garden hose through it. It should push any debris out of it quickly. Be sure not to kink the hose when you reconnect it.

Check Ball – This is a relatively simple machine, as it is just a ball that plugs the hole and keeps the water from returning into the dishwasher.

Sometimes, the check ball can get stuck in position and keep the water from draining from the dishwasher. Locate the check ball and operate it manually, removing any debris that may be stuck in place.

Garbage Disposal – If the issue is not with the dishwasher, it may be with the garbage disposal.

Before you work on the garbage disposal, make sure that you unplug it. You can then try using a plunger or reach in with your hand and remove any debris that is causing it to be clogged.

There is also a small slot on the bottom of the garbage disposal that can be turned with an Allen wrench. This is an easy way to unclog a stuck garbage disposal and get it operational again.

KitchenAid Dishwasher Drain Pump Keeps Running

Do you have a problem with your dishwasher drain pump continuing to operate and run continually? You certainly are not alone.

Control Board – In some KitchenAid dishwashers, this is a known issue with the control board. You can check online to see if your model dishwasher is included in the list.

If there is a known issue with the control board, you can remove your control board and they will send you a brand-new one. In many cases, this will correct the problem.

Until you get the new control board, you can either wash your dishes by hand or you can unplug the dishwasher after it runs through the cycle to keep the drain pump from burning out.

Reset Dishwasher – Sometimes, you have to reset the dishwasher and start with a new cycle. This can be done by unplugging the dishwasher or turning it off at the circuit breaker.

Your dishwasher should be disconnected from power for at least one minute before it is reset. If that doesn’t work, you can try leaving it disconnected from the power overnight.

Be aware that correcting this issue by disconnecting from the power is not always a permanent fix. At times, you may find that the problem comes back in the future.

Turbidity Sensor – One other issue that can cause the drain pump to continually run is for the turbidity sensor to go bad.

The turbidity sensor is often located under the sump and it is a small, twist on or clip-in part. If you are able to remove it by hand, you can order a new one and replace it.

KitchenAid Dishwasher Goes to Cancel Drain

The drain cycle is just as important as the wash cycle in many ways. Unfortunately, there are times when a KitchenAid dishwasher may go to cancel drain at the wrong time.

Here are a few things you can do to try to correct the problem:

Check for Debris – If debris has built up in the bottom of the unit or in the sump area, it can cause the cancel drain feature of the dishwasher to activate.

You can correct this problem by removing any of the debris by hand. Run it through a cycle with the dishwasher empty and then try it again.

Drain Hose Location – In order for the drain hose to siphon properly, it needs to terminate about 20 inches above the bottom of the tub level.

If the drain hose is too high or too low, then it will have difficulty siphoning the water out of it. The dishwasher may detect this problem and cancel the drain feature.

Wash Pump – If your wash pump is not working properly, then it may activate the cancel drain feature.

If you can access the wash pump, spit it by hand to see if it is spinning freely. You can also disconnect the unit and check for continuity using a multi-tester.

Contact a qualified KitchenAid technician if you are not comfortable with working with electric parts.

KitchenAid Dishwasher Doesn’t Drain at End of Cycle

Is your dishwasher not draining at the end of the cycle? There are a few issues that can result in this problem.

Drain Valve – If the drain valve is not operating properly or is clogged with debris, it will not allow water out of the dishwasher.

Drain Hose – Check the drain hose to see if it has clogged or kinked. Some of the most common areas where a clog occurs are where the hose turns or where it connects to the garbage disposal.

Garbage Disposal – Although it is not part of the dishwasher, the garbage disposal needs to be operating properly for the dishwasher to drain.

Often, a problem with the garbage disposal can be identified by water backing up into the sink. Unplugged the garbage disposal, clean it, and try again.

KitchenAid Dishwasher Not Draining Not Clogged

inside of the dishwasher

If your dishwasher is not draining and it is not clogged, it may be a more serious problem.

Drain Pump – In order for the water to siphon out of the dishwasher, it needs to be forced through the hose with a drain pump.

Check the continuity of the drain pump using a multitester and if it is not working, it needs to be replaced.

Siphoning – If there is a problem with the drain hose, it is not going to drain properly. The drain hose doesn’t need to be clogged, it may just not terminate high enough above the pan to create a proper siphon. Check your owner’s manual for the specifics.

KitchenAid Dishwasher Not Draining During Cycle

A dishwasher will typically drain a number of times during a cycle. If your KitchenAid dishwasher is not draining, check the following:

Clogged Line – If the line is clogged or kinked, water will not travel through it. Your dishwasher will not drain, even if the pump is operating.

Garbage Disposal – Check the garbage disposal to see if it is operating properly. In most cases, clogged garbage disposals will back up into the sink during the operation of the dishwasher.

Drain Pump – Finally, if the drain pump is not operating, it will not push the water out of the dishwasher.

A working dishwasher is a real treat to have in the kitchen. It saves us time and effort, but when there is a problem, it needs to be corrected. Fortunately, most issues can be corrected by the homeowner quickly and easily.