After you finish washing a load of dishes, you may notice a pool of water sitting in the bottom of your dishwasher. In some cases, this situation points to incomplete draining of the unit. However, it may also point to seepage of water back into your dishwasher after the draining cycle ends. In either case, there are a number of steps you can take to fix the underlying issue and prevent water from accumulating in the future.
Water buildup at the bottom of your dishwasher may be the result of a clogged or kinked drain hose, a clogged drain basket or clogs in the sump that sits beneath the drain basket. You can deal with drain hose clogs by removing the lower front panel on your dishwasher, detaching the hose and cleaning it out with running water or a straightened hanger. Typically, you can undo a kink without detaching the hose. After identifying the location of your washer’s drain basket, you can use a straightened hanger to dislodge any clog-producing food particles. If this doesn’t work, removal of the drain basket will provide you with access to the sump, which contains a series of filters you can pull out and clean.
All dishwashers contain a pump with two devices called impellers. One impeller pumps in the water used during washing, while the other one pumps water out. Removal of any food debris, plastic shards or glass shards in the lower pump (the one responsible for pumping water out) may solve your water accumulation issues.
Float Assembly-Related Issues
The float assembly, found in the bottom of your dishwasher, helps control the amount of water that flows into the machine during operation. If debris gets caught underneath this assembly, your dishwasher may overfill. You can check for debris by pulling the cap off the component and lifting the assembly to its uppermost position.
Garbage Disposal-Related Issues
In some cases, a clogged drain hose connected to your garbage disposal may be the underlying source of water accumulation in your dishwasher. You can check for this problem by shutting down power to the disposal, detaching the hose and running a screwdriver through the inlet of the disposal. If your garbage disposal drain hose connects to an air gap (which normally prevents water backflow), you can check for clogs here, as well.
Timer- and Motor-Related Issues
Water accumulation in the bottom of your dishwasher may also be the result of problems with the timer that controls the washer motor. While a casual do-it-yourselfer may feel comfortable performing most of the fixes we’ve discussed so far, you need a specialized device called a multi-meter to check this component. If you feel at all unsure of your DIY abilities, contact a professional plumber for advice and assistance.
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