Kenmore Dishwasher Won’t Drain? 12 Ways To Easily Fix It

If you’ve landed on this page, chances are your Kenmore dishwasher has been washing dishes without issues until now. Although these dishwashers are known to be the best on the market, you will doubt their efficiency when you discover the Kenmore dishwasher isn’t draining.

A clogged drain hose and a faulty drain pump or valve are the most common reasons why the Kenmore dishwasher is not draining. However, there are plenty of other things that might alter the process. 

But no worries. 

In this article, you’ll go through the list of all possible causes for the Kenmore dishwasher draining problem and all solutions to get this weight off your shoulders.

Why your Kenmore Dishwasher Won’t Drain?

Opening your dishwasher and expecting clean dishes only to find standing water is a frustrating experience. Although many things could go wrong, the issue is often in the mechanism responsible for moving water out of the dishwasher. 

1. Drain impeller

The drain impeller is a small plastic piece that has curved blades and helps to push the dirty water through the drain hose. If this part is damaged or broken, your Kenmore dishwasher won t drain. 

There could be a few reasons why it could fail you. The most straightforward explanation is the drain impeller wears and tears over time. Or it could also be that something had been caught in the impeller and prevented it from turning properly.

2. Drain pump

A drain pump is another part of your Kenmore dishwasher responsible for pumping the dirty water out of the machine and into your home’s drainage system. A drain pump is the first to check when the dishwasher is not draining.

The most common reason it fails is the blockage in the pump itself. Anything from food particles to soap and grease buildup could cause the blockage.

But the poor electrical connection could also be why the drain pump doesn’t work as expected.

3. Drain solenoid kit

After the wash cycle, the drain solenoid is supposed to open the drain valve to drain the dirty water. If this part is faulty, the drain valve won’t open. And that is how your dishwasher ends up with the waster stuck in the machine.

Power surge, corrosion, and age are the most common reasons the solenoid kit fails.

4. Drain valve

Blockage in the drain valve is another issue that leads to the Kenmore dishwasher not draining. The drain valve is located under the sink and works with the solenoid kit, allowing the water to drain out of the dishwasher.

Very often, the valve becomes clogged with food particles. 

5. The wrong type of detergent

You won’t believe it, but even something as simple as the wrong detergent could cause your dishwasher draining problem. It typically happens when you use your dishwasher for the first time

There are powder and liquid detergents where the former would work the best for your Kenmore dishwasher

It’s because liquid detergents can form a film on the inside of your dishwasher, which causes draining issues later. The film clogs the drains and prevents the dishwasher from draining. 

6. Defective pump and motor assembly

The dirty water is pumped out through the drain hose by the motor that spins the impeller. So defective pump and motor assembly could be the other reason for dishwasher repair. 

The most common reason it fails is a clog in the drain line or failed bearings and seals.

7. Faulty garbage disposer

If your dishwasher is not new, the garbage disposer could be to blame when the Kenmore dishwasher doesn’t drain. When the water drains, it is supposed to flow through the hose and into the disposal. 

The water can go back into the dishwasher if something is blocking the hose or the connection between the hose and the disposal isn’t tight enough.

8. Check the ball

The check ball is a small, black rubber ball near the check valve in the back of your dishwasher. It has nearly the same job as the check valve 一, preventing water that’s been drained out from getting back into the dishwasher.

The check ball could be stuck, dislodged, or blocking the drain. And this is what prevents the Kenmore dishwasher from draining water properly.

9. Check the valve

The check valve operates with the check ball to prevent water from draining out of the dishwasher. It is located on the drain line and could be stuck in a closed position or clogged with food and debris.

10. Drain hose

A drain hose is a pipe that connects your dishwasher to the garbage disposer. As you might have guessed already, it gets clogged with food particles from time to time. 

A clogged drain hose prevents water from flowing through it properly.

11. Water pump belt

As the name implies, this is the black rubber belt under the dishwasher that helps to pump the water out. If the water pump belt breaks, the drain pump won’t be able to help the water out of your dishwasher.

12. Air gap

An air gap is another part of your dishwasher that could become clogged. It is a small plastic fitting on your sink and has a hose connected to your dishwasher. The other end of the hose goes into a hole in the dishwasher.

The purpose of the air gap is to allow water to flow out of the dishwasher and keep dirty water from flowing back in. 

13. Faulty timer

The timer not set to the correct cycle is another reason the Kenmore dishwasher won’t drain. The timer controls how long the wash cycle runs; if it fails, the dishwasher may need more time to finish the cycle.

How to fix a Kenmore Dishwasher that Won’t Drain?

Such a huge list of reasons why the Kenmore dishwasher is not draining leaves us with a not-less short list of solutions. You must mostly clean the part responsible for moving the dirty water out. But still, some parts might need to be replaced. 

1. Check the drain impeller 

Remove the lower rack and look for the impeller to check if the drain impeller is a problem. If you find out it’s broken, you have to replace it. It is easy to do yourself. 

Disconnect the dishwasher from the power and water. Then remove the lower access panel of your dishwasher, locate the impeller, remove it and install a new one. 

2. Check the drain pump

You must examine the drain pump to see if the drain impeller is not damaged. First, inspect it physically and make sure there are no foreign objects like broken glass, teabags, or debris. If you find the blockage, try to remove it with pliers or the plunger.

If it doesn’t work, you might need to disassemble the pump and clean it with a brush. Besides, check the wiring diagram for your dishwasher to ensure it is not the electrical connection causing the drain pump to fail. 

However, if nothing of the above helps, you may need to replace the drain pump, as it can’t be repaired.

3. Replace the solenoid kit

Before taking any further steps, you must check whether the solenoid kit has failed mechanically or electronically. Inspect the solenoid physically for any damage and use a multimeter to check the solenoid for continuity. 

You only need a screwdriver, pliers, and a new solenoid kit to replace it. First, locate an old solenoid and disconnect it from your dishwasher. Use pliers to remove and old solenoid, then screw the new one back. Make sure to tighten it securely.

4. Clean the drain valve

The first thing to identify if the drain valve is causing the issue is to check if it is clogged. If yes, clean it with a toothbrush or a small wire. In case it doesn’t help, you need a replacement part. 

Turn off the water, and remove the hose from the dishwasher to the sink first. Once you see the drain valve, unscrew the old one, screw the new one and tighten it securely. After that, reattach the hose and turn the water on.

5. Check the motor assembly.

Start a drain cycle and listen to the motor to determine if it’s working. When everything usually runs, check the drain hose for any signs of clogging. However, if you notice any unusual sounds, it’s a sign to replace the motor assembly.

6. Check the garbage disposer

The water should quickly go through the garbage disposal. If it doesn’t happen, it might be either clogged or blocked by something. Make sure nothing is stopping it. 

If you’ve just installed your dishwasher, check if the garbage disposer is installed correctly and if you’ve followed Kenmore’s user manual instructions.

Check whether the knockout plug is still inside the disposer to ensure it is closed when not used. 

7. Examine the check ball 

Check ball is among the first things you should check when the Kenmore dishwasher won’t drain. To check it, remove the dishwasher from the power source and look inside it near a drain. 

If you see a small black rubber ball, know it is a check ball. Putting it in the right place usually fixes the problem.

8. Replace the check valve

You either have to clean or replace the check valve when you identify it as the cause of the draining issue. First, locate the valve 一 it is usually located on the drain line. Then, clean or replace it.

9. Clean the drain hose

The drain hose is one appliance part that gets clogged often at both ends. So you need to remove the entire hose to clean it.

Unscrew the drain hose from the garbage disposer, clean it well with the brush or the vacuum cleaner and screw it back. You can even soak it in vinegar overnight.

10. Replace the water pump belt

Replacing the water pump belt is so easy you can do it at home. Unplug the dishwasher from the power outlet and remove the lower panel of the dishwasher. Then remove the old belt and place a new one there, ensuring it is tight and secure.

11. Clean the air gap

While you have the hose removed, check if the air gap is clogged. Take apart the air gap and clean out any debris trapped there. After this, reattach the hose and screw the air gap back.

12. Fix the faulty timer

The first thing is to check if the timer is even turned on. Set it for a longer cycle to check if that solves the issue. If not, then apparently, you need to replace the timer. Remove the control panel, unscrew the old timer, and screw in the new one.

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