GE Dishwasher Not Draining | How to Fix it

A dishwasher is no longer considered a luxury. It is now a necessity that frees up precious time. Everyone is busy these days, and doing dishwashing chores is not an option. Most people want their dishwashers fixed immediately when a dishwasher stops working correctly. 

So if you find your GE Dishwasher Not Draining properly, then here is a list of symptoms and fixes to get your dishes back in action.

GE Dishwasher Not Draining Diagnosis and Fix

If you have noticed a pool of dirty water sitting in the bottom of your dishwasher, look out for these tell-tale signs that your GE dishwasher is not draining properly. Then follow up with these recommendations, most of which can be self-diagnosed and even fixed by following our simple steps.

Standing Water in Bottom of GE Dishwasher

It’s time to empty the dishwasher. You open the door to find water pooled at the bottom. A tedious chore has now become a source of frustration. Obviously, your GE dishwasher is not draining correctly. It’s time to investigate and figure out why it’s not draining. You have found water at the bottom of your dishwasher, and there could be several reasons for this. 

Is It Normal for Some Water To Remain in the Dishwasher?

Yes, it is normal for some water to remain in your dishwasher. 

Typically, you will find one to two cups of water at the bottom of your appliance. This water helps keep the dishwasher’s seals from drying up. Any standing water will drain when the cycle starts and will be replaced with fresh water at the end of the process. So rest assured, you will never have dirty water mixed with clean water washing your dishes.

There may be several reasons why your dishwasher is not draining correctly. However, many have a quick fix that will have your dishwasher working great in no time. 

If you are going to try to fix your dishwasher yourself, you will need tools to remove the doors to access the interior of your dishwasher and a voltmeter. In addition, you will need to check your user’s manual when attempting repairs to your dishwasher.

Clogged Filter and Sump

Clogs and blockages are the first things you should be looking for. For example, a possible reason for your dishwasher not draining correctly is a clogged filter and sump. 

Water from your dishwasher drains through a filter into a sump which directs water to a drain hose. Food particles left on your dishes can clog the filter and sump. You can fix this problem in a matter of minutes.

Whenever working on appliances, be sure to shut off the electricity. You will have to remove all of the dishes from your dishwasher. Once you have removed the dishware, remove the racks for easier access. You will need to remove any standing water. Using a small cup and towels or even a wet vacuum cleaner, wipe up any remaining moisture with paper towels or a towel. Once you have done this, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the filter basket and the sump at the dishwasher’s bottom.
  2. Clean thoroughly with hot water and soap.
  3. Remove any food particles.
  4. Rinse both the filter basket and the sump with hot water.
  5. Replace the sump and filter basket.
  6. Start the dishwasher to check if the water drains properly.

Drain Pipe and Garbage Blade

Food, fat, or grease may have past the filter and sump and found its way into the drain pipe. This pipe is typically a flexible tube. You will have to pull out your dishwasher to access the drain pipe, and you will find it on the back of your dishwasher and attached to your sink disposal. Remove the drain pipe and check it for any blockages. 

You can clear any blockages with a small wire like a coat hanger. Because you already have the drain pipe removed, it would be a great time to replace it with a new one. 

Once you have cleaned the drain pipe, reattach it and run the dishwasher to see if the problem persists with your GE dishwasher not draining. If it is not draining, there are a few other causes you may have to consider.

Air Gap and High Loop

Air gap and high loop might sound like gibberish to some, but they are ventilation methods. The high loop method has always been preferred, but the air gap method is gaining popularity. 

Dishwashers need proper ventilation so the dirty dishwasher does not find its way back into the dishwasher when draining. There are two standard ventilation methods: the high loop and the air gap.

The high loop method of ventilation requires that the drain hose is looped as high as it can go under the countertop before it is attached to the drainage system. The highest part of the loop is located above the dishwasher’s flood level, preventing wastewater from backing up into the dishwasher. The hose is attached firmly to the bottom of the counter. The hose must be taut.

You can also use an air gap, a small fitting attached to the sink, or a countertop. The fitting has two connections: the drain pipe from the dishwasher is connected, and another hose runs from the fitting to your sink’s drain pipe. The air gap method allows fresh air into the drain pipe, preventing suction and stopping water from flowing back into your dishwasher.

You can quickly fix problems with either ventilation method. With the high loop method, check your drainage hose to see if it is still attached as high as possible. Ensure you have no kinks or bends in the hose that might hinder the drainage process. It is best to inspect both ends of the hose to see if they are correctly attached and that there is no air leakage. 

Dishwashers with the air gap method of ventilation have an even easier fix. Take the cap off the air gap fitting and remove any debris. Clean it thoroughly with soap and water. Then remove the hose from the air gap to the drain and ensure there are no blockages. You can use a long thin wire to clear any food particles. Replace the cap and run the dishwasher to see if the problem has been solved.

Blocked or Kinked Drain Hose

Often, drain hoses are located in a storage area under the sink. These hoses are usually made from flexible rubber or plastic and are designed for low-pressure use. You may inadvertently kink the hose when moving items, and a kink in the flexible hose will prevent the dishwasher from draining properly.

You can inspect the hose for apparent kinks and straighten it out with your hands. Unfortunately, once the hose has been kinked, it will be prone to kinking again. The best way to fix this problem is to replace the drain hose with a new one.

The drain hose can become blocked with food particles, a common problem with older dishwashers. If any areas are sagging, food or debris can collect and eventually build up enough to cause a blockage.

There is a simple way to check for blockages in your drain hose. It is essential to disconnect the power from your dishwasher. Pull your dishwasher out and place towels beneath the drain hose. Find the drain hose connection to the drain pump and disconnect it.

Blow into the end. If you can’t push air through the pipe, it is clogged. If it is a minor blockage, you may be able to clean it with a long thin tool such as a coat hanger. Replacing the hose with a new one might be best for more significant blockages.

Faulty Drain Pump

A dishwasher’s drain pump is designed to remove the dirty water from your dishwasher. Newer models often have an error code that will flash to inform you that the drain pump is not working correctly. If your dishwasher does not have this option, a few other clues will tell you that the drain pump is the issue.

The most obvious sign is that the dishwasher stops running during the drain cycle and will not attempt to drain at all. If you have exhausted all other causes, you will have to inspect the drain pump to see if that is the problem.

Dishwashers draining too slowly may have a drain pump that is not working as efficiently as it should. The drain cycle should only take a few minutes, and the user manual for your dishwasher should give you the approximate time for draining. If you feel the drain time is too long, you can be proactive and check your drain pump before it quits altogether.

Pooled water in the bottom of your dishwasher or water leaking from the bottom of the door are clear signs of a drainage problem. Once you have exhausted all other possible causes, you may have to replace your drain pump with a new one.

Suppose you suddenly hear different or unusual sounds like humming from your dishwasher during the drain cycle. In that case, it could mean that there is debris in the pump preventing it from removing the wastewater. Inspect the drain pump for any food particles and remove them. If removal is impossible, you will have to replace the pump with a new one.

Another sign of a faulty drain pump is a high-pitch squeal during the drain cycle. Drain pumps rely on bearings to drain correctly, and older bearings will impact your drain pump’s efficiency. You may be able to replace the bearings. If you cannot do this, your best bet is to replace the drain pump.

How To Test for a Faulty Drain Pump

Testing for a faulty drain pump without calling a plumber is possible. However, you will need the right tools to avoid a costly repair. You will need a voltmeter, screwdriver, and pliers. Consulting the user’s manual is also a good idea to help you quickly locate the drain pump.

Most dishwashers access the drain pump through the sump at the bottom of your appliance. A barrier of black wires is usually covering it, and you can twist and lift it. Clean everything thoroughly. Replace and hook up your voltmeter. A good drain pump has a reading of 30 to 40 ohms resistance.

How to check the drain pump on your dishwasher ?

Faulty Drain Solenoid Valve

Dishwashers have two types of motors: single-direction and reversing motors. The only dishwashers with a drain solenoid valve are those with a single-direction motor. 

The solenoid stores electricity and uses it to move a lever that opens the valve to allow the wastewater to drain. If you have a faulty solenoid, it will not be able to send the message to the lever to open the valve to allow drainage.

You can check your user manual to determine the type of motor your dishwasher has, or you can count the number of wires attached to the motor. Two or three wires indicate a single direction, while four wires indicate a reversing motor. If you have a dishwasher with a single-direction motor, you can test your solenoid valve to see if it works correctly.

How To Test the Solenoid Valve

If your dishwasher is not draining correctly, it may be an issue with the solenoid, the timer, or the electrical wires connected to it. You can check these yourself with only a few essential tools.

How to check the solenoid valve on your dishwasher?

Read through your user’s manual to determine the location of your solenoid valve. Once you have found the solenoid valve, check it for any corroded or loose wires. You will be looking for discolored, broken, or frayed wires. 

Wires that look at all suspects should be replaced. Corroded wires might not be causing your current problem, but if they are showing wear, they will cause a problem down the road, which you can avoid with preventative maintenance.

If everything looks good, remove the solenoid and use an ohmmeter to check for electrical continuity. A solenoid in good working order will have a reading of approximately 40 ohms; any reading other than this will mean you need to replace the solenoid.

How To Force a GE Dishwasher To Drain

You have opened the dishwasher door to find a pool of water at the bottom of the dishwasher. You have a drainage issue and need to drain the excess water before investigating the possible causes. Luckily, for most GE models, this is a simple process. You can watch the short video below if you prefer a visual step-by-step guide.

How To Drain The Water Out Of Your GE Dishwasher

Press the start button for three seconds. You will hear the draining sound. Wait until it has stopped, then check to see if the standing water has been drained. If not, repeat the process.

Many GE models have a “stop” or “cancel” button. Press this button. If your dishwasher does not have this, open the door to cancel the cycle. Once the spring has stopped, open the door so you can access the control panel. Press the start or restart button and hold it for one second. Wait several moments and then check to see if the water has drained. If not, repeat the process.

If you have tried these steps and the water still has not drained, you will have to clean the water manually. Shut off all the electricity and grab some towels. It is best to empty the dishwasher of all the dishes, and you can then remove the racks for better access. It is best to lay some towels on the floor in front of the dishwasher to catch any spillage.

You can use a small cup to remove as much water as possible. Then place towels inside the dishwasher to sop up any remaining water. Or instead, you can try a wet vacuum to speed the process along. Once you have thoroughly cleaned out the dishwasher, you can investigate the possible cause of your GE dishwasher not draining.

GE Dishwasher Models

Here is a list of the GE dishwasher models covered by the recommendations within this article.

Dishwasher Model No.

GE Dishwater Not Draining SOLVED

We have all encountered appliances that do not work as efficiently as they should. Your GE dishwasher should be an appliance that eases your workload every day. 

When it doesn’t, you will be happy to know that there is usually a straightforward fix to the problem that you can do yourself without involving a plumber. A little time and a few tools are all you need to get your GE dishwasher running in no time.

You may also like to read GE Washing Machine Not Draining Fully

FAQs: GE Dishwasher Not Draining

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Having renovated two homes and completed countless repairs, it was time to share this experience with the world. From repairing kitchen appliances to remodeling entire homes, my 30 years of experience will hopefully help you on your journey to a beautiful and functional home