While LG Dishwashers are generally considered excellent appliances and receive positive reviews from users who praise their reliability and performance, they still may face issues that may be confusing if you are uncertain about how these machines work.
Unfortunately, one problem that does seem to occur with these is that they will stop draining, causing dirty water to remain inside the dishwasher and hamper its ability to clean the dishes.
While this may seem overwhelming initially, don’t worry! It’s usually not as bad as it seems. This article will discuss why this problem occurs and how you can get it fixed and back to working order easily.
Why is your LG Dishwasher Not Draining?
LG dishwashers dispose of dirty water by draining it through a hose and into the garbage disposal. When the water isn’t draining, it usually means that there is a blockage or problem somewhere along the drainage path.
So we first need to inspect these items to ascertain the location of the problem.
1. The Garbage Disposal is Full
Many modern LG dishwashers are linked directly to your home’s garbage disposal. This allows the water to drain away while simultaneously removing all the food buildup that has been washed off the dishes.
When the garbage disposal is full or the air gap separating the disposal from the dishwasher becomes blocked, the water will struggle to drain away.
So you’ll need to unblock the drain and ensure the air gap is functioning properly so that the dirty water not only can leave the dishwasher but also cannot flow back into the machine.
2. The Drainage System is Blocked
The filter should ideally catch small pieces of food that get washed off the dishes so they can’t clog up anything in the drainage system. However, sometimes things slip through, and over a long enough period, you may find that the buildup has become severe enough to prevent the water from properly draining away.
Inspecting the bottom of the dishwasher where it connects to the drainage system and removing any blockages there may help the water drain away correctly.
3. The Dishwasher Filter is Clogged
As mentioned, the dishwasher filter should catch most of the food debris so it cannot make it into the drainage system. This filter should be cleaned out every few weeks; otherwise, it can become so clogged that it will allow water to exit the machine.
The good news is it’s super easy to remove and can be cleaned in just a few minutes.
4. The Dishwasher Drain Hose is Kinked
The drain hose is a tube that connects the dishwasher to the disposal. The dirty water will flow down this dishwasher drain hose and out into the waste. What can often happen is this thin, bendy tube becomes kinked or pinched, which will prevent water from flowing through it.
This most commonly happens because the dishwasher is pushed too far back against the wall, leading to pinches or crimps in the hose. So the drain hose will need to be straightened out for the water to flow through it.
5. The Check Valve has Become Stuck
The check valve is a small device that allows water to flow from the dishwasher but stops water from flowing back in. This can help to prevent backwashing and having dirty water re-enter the machine and contaminate it.
Sometimes this check valve flapper can become stuck, which means the excess water cannot exit the machine. When this happens, you must unstick the valve so the water can drain away manually.
In some rare circumstances, the check valve flapper may actually break, in which case it will need to be replaced with a new one.
6. A Faulty Drain Pump
Dishwashers expel the dirty water through a drain pump which pushes the water out of the machine and into the drain hose. If the drain pump motor starts to fail, you may hear a strange noise while operating.
This is usually an indication the drain pump has started to fail and will struggle to push the water out of the dishwasher. When this happens, the drain pump will need to be replaced.
7. The Dishes Haven’t Been Loaded Correctly
The method in which a dishwasher cleans dishes is using slightly pressurized hot water that jets up from the spray arm located at the bottom of the dishwasher.
This means that if the dishes have been loaded in a way that the spray arm can’t reach them, or where water can form pools inside things such as bowls, then the water won’t be able to drain correctly.
This issue can also occur if too many dishes have been loaded into the washer. You’ll need to review how the dishes have been loaded to make sure the water can reach all of the dishes and that the water can correctly drain away from them.
8. A Rinse Aid is Required
If you’re finding that a lot of water seems to remain on the dishes after the wash cycle has finished, you may need to use a rinse aid.
This is designed to reduce the surface tension of the water, which helps the water drain off the dishes more easily.
How to Fix an LG Dishwasher Not Draining?
As you can see, this problem most commonly occurs due to a buildup of debris or a user error which can easily be solved with a bit of cleaning and making sure you operate the dishwasher correctly.
In some rare cases, there may be a failure that requires a particular component to be replaced.
1. Run the Garbage Disposal
If the garbage disposal becomes blocked and the air gap between the dishwasher and drain isn’t functioning correctly, it will cause water not to drain or potentially even back up into the dishwasher.
One of the easiest ways to address this and ensure everything is clear is to simply run the garbage disposal and kitchen faucet for about 30 seconds.
This helps to mulch anything stuck in there up and flush it away, leaving the garbage disposal as clean as possible.
2. Remove Severe Blockages
If water continues to build up even after the garbage disposal has been cleared out, there may be a more severe blockage preventing the water from draining away. Here you’ll need to inspect the drain hold underneath the filter to remove any severe buildups that impede water flow.
Hopefully, the blockage is close enough to where you can get it out manually using something like a wire coat hanger. Still, if the blockage is deeper down, you can purchase something like a drain snake from home depot which will reach much further into the drain system to remove any blockages.
3. Clean the Dishwasher Filter
Dishwasher filters will naturally get clogged up with food residue and debris over time, and as such, needs to be cleaned out intermittently to ensure the water can drain away.
- Start by opening the dishwasher door and pulling the bottom drain rack all the way out to gain access to the filter.
- The filter is usually located at the bottom of the dishwasher underneath the spray arm and can just be lifted straight out.
- You may be able to simply run the filter under some warm running water to remove the majority of the buildup. If things are particularly stuck, then you may want to let the filter sit in a sink filled with hot water and little dish soap to loosen the debris.
- Clean it gently using an old soft brush or a sponge.
- Re-install the filter into the dishwasher.
4. Unkink the Drain Hose
If the drain hose becomes kinked or pinched, then water won’t be able to drain away. You’ll need to carefully pull the dishwasher out of the kitchen cabinet in order to inspect the drain hose visually.
If you notice any kinks or areas where it may become pinched, try to arrange it so water can flow through it unimpeded. This may require you to disconnect the hose at one end to untangle it.
Once the hose is arranged correctly, you should very carefully push the dishwasher back into place. Be sure to leave enough room between the dishwasher and the wall so as not to re-introduce kinks or pinches back into the hose.
5. Unstick the Drain Valve
You’ll find the drain valve located at the bottom of the dishwasher just before it connects to the drain hose. This one-way valve should allow water out of the dishwasher while preventing it from backing up into the dishwasher.
Try to push the drain valve manually to free it; if the valve cannot open at all, even when under outward pressure, then it will need to be replaced with a new one.
6. Replace the Drain Pump
Once a drain pump has failed, the only option is to replace it as they are too difficult to repair by yourself. We recommend contacting LG customer support, who will help arrange for a trained technician to replace the pump for you.
7. Adjust how you Load the Dishes
The dishes need to be loaded so the spray arms can reach inside bowls and dishes, but also so the water can drain out of them and not pool up.
The general rule here is to place all the dirty dishes face down. You’ll also notice a natural angle to the trays that tips them slightly and allows the water to drain out.
8. Apply a Rinse Aid
Rinse aids can be very helpful in assisting with drainage by allowing the water not to stick to the dishes through surface tension.
You can pick up rinse aids at your local supermarket and add them alongside your regular detergent for increased drainage performance.