Your Maytag Dishwasher Not Draining – Here’s the Fix

While it is not unusual for a bit of water to be standing in a dishwasher occasionally, an inch or more may indicate a Maytag dishwasher not draining properly. Fortunately, some steps may not require calling a service technician. This article explains the most common problems and solutions.

5 Reasons Your Maytag Dishwasher Won’t Drain

Before we get into the technicalities of how to diagnose and repair potential issues, it’s worth outlining the probable causes of the problem. When it comes to draining problems there are five common causes, so let’s address them in order of complexity.

1. Dishwasher Filter is Clogged

Many modern dishwashers have multi-filters consisting of coarse and fine filters that catch food scraps and other items and prevent them from circulating in the dishwasher. When they become clogged with grease or food particles, they restrict the water flow, and water remains in the dishwasher.

2. Drain Hose is Obstructed or Kinked

Dirty water exits the machine through the drain hose and is routed to the sink drain. An impingement, kink, or blockage in the drain hose restricts the water flow, and the dishwasher does not drain properly. 

3. Drain Pump Has Failed

When the drain pump motor fails to work, the impeller does not turn. It completely prevents water from draining. 

4. Faulty Drain Impeller

A rotating impeller removes water from the dishwasher. Sometimes one or more fins on the impeller break or become damaged. That slows the flow of water and results in excess water retained in the dishwasher. 

5. Dishwasher Control Board

The ‘brain’ of the dishwasher is the control board. It signals the components to turn off and on as needed so that the water in the dishwasher is not expelled. 

Diagnosing Why Your Dishwasher’s Not Draining

When you have confirmed you have a Maytag dishwasher not draining correctly, you may begin solving the problem independently. Ensure the unit is unplugged or off so you can work safely on the project.

Check Dishwasher Drain

  1. Remove the racks from the unit to find the drain grate. It is on the bottom of the unit. It can be removed with a screwdriver.
  2. Use a homemade flush of equal parts of vinegar and baking soda instead of caustic chemicals that can harm the drain. Pour the mixture into the drain and bottom of the dishwasher and wait 15 minutes. 
  3. Replace the grate and run the rinse cycle on the highest heat setting.
  4. If the dishwasher performs as it should, replace the racks because you are finished.

Clean the Dishwasher Filter

If cleaning the drain did not work, check the filter. The owner’s manual or an online model diagram will help locate it. 

  1. Remove it with a clockwise turn to release it.
  2. Remove the upper filter to get to the larger one below.
  3. Clear any debris from the filter.
  4. Replace the filter by turning it counterclockwise. Gently spin the sprayer arm to ensure it is replaced correctly. 
  5. Run the rinse cycle on the highest heat setting to see if you were successful. 

Clean the Drain Hose

If the issue persists, there may be a problem with the drain hose. It is probably at the back of the dishwasher, and you will need to access it by pulling the dishwasher from the wall. Removing the back of the unit may also be necessary. 

  1. Check for kinks and bends in the hose that might prevent the dishwasher from draining properly.
  2. If there are no kinks or bends, use pliers to loosen the hose clamp so it can be removed and visually examined for clogs. Have a bucket and towel handy to collect any water released.
  3. If there are no visible clogs, use hot water to flush the hose to determine if the water flows properly. Maintain a high-rise loop to ensure proper flow. 
  4. If the flow is impaired, use vinegar and baking soda to flush out debris. 
  5. Replacing the hose is another option if the clog does not break loose. 
  6. Reattach the clamp and run a rinse cycle on the highest heat setting to determine if the problem is resolved.

Test the Drain Pump

If a dishwasher screen shows an error code ‘DP’ or something similar, there is probably an issue with the drain pump that needs attention. It is necessary to disassemble the unit to access the drain pump. Use the user guide or manual to understand how to access the pump. 

  1. Lay the dishwasher on its side.
  2. Unscrew the base plate.
  3. Disconnect the anti-flood connectors.
  4. Use a multimeter device set to receive ohms readings. Connect the drain pump terminals to the multimeter. A pump motor in good condition shows a resistance between 20 and 40 ohms. Some models have an optimum reading in the 100s or 200s. There is a tech sheet behind the kick panel of the dishwasher that tells the appropriate range.

Here’s a short video that provides a visual guide to testing the drain pump continuity:

Dishwasher Drain Pump Continuity Testing

If the pump receives power but does not operate, it is necessary to replace it. Drain pump motors are difficult to repair, so it’s better to replace them. 

Replacing the Drain Impeller

Another task that requires disassembling the dishwasher is replacing the drain impeller. You will have to order a new kit from Maytag.

  1. Remove the pump.
  2. Unscrew the impeller with the help of a wrench to keep it from spinning.
  3. Discard the old drain impeller and clean the area with a vacuum and cloth to make it suitable for replacement.
  4. Install the impeller and everything removed to gain access to it. 

Replacing the Control Board

When a control board runs into problems, troubleshooting is quite complicated. The best thing to do is to replace it or call in a professional appliance repair technician to fully vet the machine and carry out any electrical repair work required.  

Verdict: Maytag Dishwasher Not Draining

The last thing you want from a dishwasher is improper performance resulting in dishes needing cleaning. There are common reasons the unit fails to drain correctly. Most of the time, the reason is a trivial issue that caused your dishwasher not to drain properly. The information above may save you from calling a service technician. 

Consult your specific maintenance instructions and information for the dishwasher model you have. Follow the directions in the owner’s manual for the dishwasher to perform at its best. A broken pump motor or control board requires the help of an expert.

You may also be interested in reading GE Dishwasher No Power, No Lights, Won’t Start | SOLVED


Appliance Service Technician | Website | + posts

Andy has over 8 years of experience working on residential household appliances, performing diagnostics, and repairs across most major brands. He graduated from the Denver Institute of Technology, is NASTeC certified, and has worked for Mr. Appliance. Andy has contributed to features on major publications including Better Home & Gardens, Family Handyman, and