An open dishwasher with plates, cups and utencils inside

4 Reasons Your Dishwasher is Backed Up

If you live in a busy home, it’s likely that you’re using the dishwasher a lot, it’s an important appliance, but it comes with it’s own unique set of problems. If you’ve ever opened the door and discovered water in the bottom of your dishwasher, you may think that you have a plumbing problem. When the water will not drain correctly from your dishwasher, there are a number of possible causes. A clog in the drain hose, filter basket, garbage disposal, or a blocked sewer line could be affecting your dishwasher. Let’s look at four common causes of a backed up dishwasher.

  1. A Clogged Drain Hose

When the dishwasher requires draining, the water is forced through a drain hose that connects to the drainpipe and garbage disposal unit. When a clog forms in this hose, it can cause the water to back up into your dishwasher. The most common causes of clogging are soap residue and food debris.

2. Filter Basket Food Scraps

The dishwasher filter basket is designed to prevent pieces of food that are stuck to the dishware from going into the drain. If food scraps enter the drain, they can form a clog that can be hard to remove. This system works well, but if the filter basket is too full of food, the water cannot pass through. It’s important to remove the filter basket regularly, clean the particles of food and finish by soaking in white vinegar. The vinegar will remove any remaining particles of oil or grease that could cause food to stick to the filter basket.

3. The Garbage Disposal Plug

If you’ve had a new garbage disposal unit installed recently and the dishwasher isn’t draining correctly, there could be an easy fix. New garbage disposals have a plastic plug installed, and this must be removed before the unit will work efficiently. If you remove the plastic plug, you may notice that the dishwasher drains as intended.

4. A Sewer Line Blockage

The sewer line from your home is located underground, and it carries the wastewater to the sewer main under the street. This line can become clogged with a variety of materials, including grease, oil, food debris, household waste, and more. But, there are other possible reasons for a sewer line blockage, such as aging pipes, pipe collapses, tree root intrusions, and more. Because a sewer line is located underground, many homeowners believe they are safe, but this is not the case. If the soil shifts drastically, a tree root finds a crack leaking water, or the pipes are too old, the sewer line can break. If you’ve noticed that you have slow running drains and toilets that don’t flush correctly, it’s likely that you have a sewer line problem.

It’s is possible to fix some minor plumbing issues yourself if you’re confident with tools. But, a sewer line blockage is a job for your local certified plumber. They have the training, experience, and specialized tools to solve your problem.

By Giovanni Longo President Flood Brothers Plumbing
Giovanni Longo is a 3rd generation master plumber who has been practicing his craft and trade in the greater Los Angeles area for well over a decade and a half. A plumbing and hydraulics-engineering innovator, Giovanni’s particular world-class expertise focuses on dealing with challenging sewer system designs as well as resolving complex commercial and residential draining issues. As a certified Flood Mitigation expert, he is also well versed in a wide variety of water damage and remediation solution.