GE Dishwasher Not Draining? 9 Easy Ways to Fix It Now

Are you noticing standing water in your GE dishwasher tub after a wash cycle? If so, this could be a sign of a GE dishwasher not draining issue. When a dishwasher fails to drain, this leads to a mountain of unclean dishes and puddles of stinky water.

So, instead of enjoying some free time while the dishwasher takes care of the unclean dishes, you now have to wash them manually and remove puddles of stale water. The good news is that troubleshooting a GE dishwasher draining failure is relatively easy.

Usually, this issue is associated with either a clogged dishwasher or component failure. Either way, our detailed troubleshooting guide covers all the possible causes and fixes for this frustrating issue. So, read on to get your dishwasher back in the game quickly.

Why is my GE dishwasher not draining?

Before rushing to your long-time stored toolkit, you need to take some to thoroughly inspect the GE dishwasher. Check for clogs in the filter or other components. Additionally, look for cracked or damaged parts. Let’s delve into the possible culprits that may cause the GE dishwasher not draining water problem:

A blocked filter

ge dishwasher clogged filter

This is one of the obvious causes of this problem. A clogged filter may prevent wastewater from flowing smoothly into the drain. Instead, it will build up and contaminate the dishwasher while creating an undesirable odor.

A GE dishwasher filter is designed to catch the finest food particles, preventing them from clogging the drain. However, if not properly cleaned, it will fill up with food chunks and eventually fail in its task.

Related Article: How to Clean GE Dishwasher Filter: Step-By-Step Guide

Inspect the sump area

ge filter

While you are at it, do not settle for inspecting the filter only. It would be great to check the whole sump area. This area is at the bottom of a GE dishwasher and consists of 3 main components:

  • The filter
  • The pump
  • Drain hose

So, if there is any sort of clogging or malfunctioning in this area, water leaks, unpleasant smells, and overflowing are possible scenarios.

An obstructed garbage disposal

Before reaching the food drain, a garbage disposal chops up any food residues. Then, the chopped-up particles flow smoothly into the drain and end up in the sewage. Therefore, if this part malfunctions for any reason, GE drainage failure is inevitable.

Bear in mind that food is not the only object causing garbage disposal blockage. For instance, a newly installed disposer might get plugged by its own drain plug. This silicone component should perfectly fit the drain opening, otherwise, it will block the disposer.

A problematic air gap

dishwasher air gap

Not all GE dishwashers are equipped with an air gap. Therefore, it is not often the culprit in the problem of a GE dishwasher not draining at the end of a cycle. However, when present among the dishwasher parts, it plays a crucial role in clogging prevention.

An air gap is a small gap of air that creates a vacuum to prevent dirty water from flowing back into the washer. It is separated into two tubes: one is attached to the drain hose, while the other is attached to the sink drain line. Once a wash cycle ends, the air gap pulls wastewater into the sink drain.

A defective drain hose

This hose is the last stop for wastewater and food debris before reaching the sink drain. The 6-foot flexible hose may become clogged with grease and food residues. Also, it might become kinked if you move the dishwasher with force. All these factors affect its functionality causing standing water in the dishwasher.

A defective drain pump

ge drain pump

A drain pump in a GE dishwasher pumps wastewater out of the appliance until it reaches the drain hose. A drain pump relies on a small mechanical impeller and an electrical motor to function properly. Any sort of malfunction in this pump may lead to serious complications.

These complications include overflowing, leaking, and standing water in the dishwasher. Also, a defective pump may lead to a GE dishwasher starting failure.

A clogged drain pipe

Sometimes, a GE dishwasher won’t drain due to an outside problem. More specifically, there could be a problem in the main drain pipe leading to the persistent draining failure. A plugged drain pipe won’t allow wastewater to drain. In fact, the unclean water would back up and flow back into the GE dishwasher.

A stuck drain solenoid

A drain solenoid or valve in a GE dishwasher is responsible for allowing wastewater out of the washer’s system into the drain hose. This electrical component opens up when it receives a signal from the control board. By the end of a wash cycle, it receives a signal to shut off.

Flowing food chunks may find their way to this valve and clog it, causing it to become stuck. Additionally, it might become defective due to wear and tear.

A defective control board 

After eliminating all the other causes of a GE dishwasher not draining problem, there is only one thing left to consider: the control board. This circuit board organizes all the functions of GE dishwasher. It receives your orders through the control panel and sends signals to the relevant parts. This way, your dishwasher should function smoothly.

A defective board won’t send a signal to the drain pump to open, leading to water backing in in the dishwasher. It might even send mixed on and off signals leading to inefficient and incomplete draining.

How to fix GE dishwasher not draining?

Owning a high-end dishwasher like GE Profile or GE Nautilus might lead you to believe that they are problem-free. However, neglecting basic and regular maintenance compromises their performance and lifespan.  These troubleshooting steps can solve and even prevent clogging and obstruction issues:

1. Clean the filter 

ge filter cleaning

A blocked filter won’t let water drain. Additionally, the trapped food particles will gradually stink inside the dishwasher, which is a health hazard. Fortunately, cleaning a dishwasher filter is easy by rinsing it under running warm water. It is advisable to clean a GE dishwasher filter every two to three months.

2. Resolve sump area issues 

If the sump area inspection of your GE Café dishwasher shows clogs or water puddles, you should remove them immediately. Otherwise, cleaning the filter alone won’t fix the problem. If there are cracks in the body of the sump, get a suitable replacement from a hardware store.

3. Clear garbage disposal obstructions 

Check the disposer carefully for food buildup and remove them by hand. Just do not try this when the disposer is turned on. In case the buildup is large in quantity, you can carefully insert a snake or pliers to deal with the multiple clogs. However, avoid breaking the disposer’s blades.

As for a blockage caused by a poorly fitted drain plug, you will need to remove the disposal and take the plug out.

4. Clean the air gap 

An air gap may malfunction if it’s unclean or clogged. To fix this issue, you need to remove it and clean it with soap and water. In other rare instances, an air gap might get corroded if you use harsh chemicals for the purpose of cleaning. Therefore, avoid this corrosive cleaning approach, otherwise, you should get a new air gap.

5. Replace the drain hose

drain hose for ge dishwasher

The drain hose carries ground-up food particles and debris from the disposer to the sink drain. It may become clogged if large food chunks are left on the dishes. Additionally, broken objects cause the blockage, and your GE dishwasher won’t drain properly.

However, a clogged drain hose can be easily cleaned with soap and water. The problem lies if the hose was severely pinched or damaged by rodents or harsh chemicals. In this case, you will need a replacement drain hose.

6. Get a new pump

Any component of the pump assembly in a GE dishwasher, especially the impeller and motor are prone to wear and tear. Unfortunately, they can’t be fixed. In fact, any malfunction in either of them might require replacing the whole pump assembly.

You can test the motor with a multimeter. Additionally, you can perform a manual spinning test on the impeller to ensure its functionality.

Related: GE Dishwasher Drain Pump Kit

7. Unclog the drain pipe 

DIY unclogging of a drain pipe is not a daunting task. All it takes is ensuring the presence of clogs before making any attempts:

    • Pour a bucket or two of hot water down the drain.
    • Use a drain snake and crank it until it reaches the clogs.
    • Twist the handle multiple times until the clog is removed.

8. Unclog the drain valve

A stuck drain can be freed by removing the deposits and spraying some silicone lubricant to ensure smooth operation. However, a damaged valve can’t be fixed. You should opt for a new one and connect it the same way the original was.

9. Replace the control board

If a GE dishwasher won’t drain due to a control board failure, you can have it fixed or replaced. Depending on the cost of both options, you can make a decision. Also, you might want to consider buying a brand-new GE Nautilus dishwasher if the overall cost of all these options is not very different.

How to prevent a GE dishwasher from not draining

A dishwasher with draining failure won’t make your life easy. It can lead to a full breakdown of the appliance and leave you with piles of dirty dishes and water puddles. But do not panic, there are a few simple things you can do to prevent this issue from happening in the first place:

Clean the filter regularly

Don’t wait for the filter to become blocked, causing water to flood your kitchen. Instead, you can remove it once every month or two to clean it before it gets fully clogged.

Use the right detergent adequately

If you use too much detergent, soapy foam and suds will accumulate over time. These residues will eventually clog the drain hose. Refer to the user’s manual to know the right levels of the detergent. Also, pour it into a measuring cup or scoop to ensure accuracy.

Run an empty cycle

An empty cleaning cycle is recommended for both dishwashers and washing machines. This cycle requires no other than a cup or two of white vinegar poured into the dishwasher’s tub. You can perform this cycle every month to ensure the removal of hard water, suds, and other types of deposits.

Final Thoughts

A GE dishwasher that won’t drain can be a hassle, but you do not have to experience this convenience. By implementing our troubleshooting steps and preventative measures, you can avoid the undesired outcomes of a dishwasher drainage failure.

However, if you are not comfortable with DIY troubleshooting your GE dishwasher, seek professional help. Also, if you want to learn more about GE dishwasher problems and error codes, check these articles out:

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