Phone Number



843 Ewen Avenue, #11 New Westminster, BC, V3M0K6

5 Common Causes of Dishwasher Clog & Solutions for it

Property owners must maintain their dishwasher properly to get the full use-value out of the appliance. This includes completing necessary repairs as needed. At New West Plumbing, we offer a full array of routine maintenance and repair services. Clogs are common with dishwashers and require immediate servicing. Here are the 5 top reasons for a clog and how to fix it.

1. Gurgling Noises

When you hear gurgling noises or if the dishwasher shakes or causes thumping noises, it means the water cannot flow through a clog. The clog could be within the secondary or main sewer line.

2. Water Backing Up in the Sink

The dishwasher connects directly to the kitchen sink drainage system. If water backs up in the kitchen sink, there may be a clog in the dishwasher. However, it is urgent that you rule out garbage disposal issues or food trapped in the kitchen sink first.

3. Slow Draining in the Dishwasher

Water pooling around the bottom of the dishwasher indicates a clog in the kitchen sewage lines. It could be a full or partial clog and must be removed quickly.

4. Water Backed Up After a Cycle

Standing water inside the dishwasher after a completed wash cycle indicates improper draining. Our technicians will inspect the dishwasher and the drain basket. If the problem isn’t found there, it is more likely a clog in the drain itself.

5. It Isn’t Cleaning the Dishes

A clogged dishwasher prevents water from filling inside the appliance during a wash cycle. When this happens, water will not reach all the dishes, and the dishes will not get clean.

5 Reasons Your Dishwasher May Be Clogged

The following are reasons why you could experience a clog in your dishwasher:

1. Clogged Filter Basket

The purpose of the filter basket is to capture food and prevent it from clogging in the water lines. It must be cleaned regularly to prevent food from covering the dishes or becoming stuck to the dishes. Hard water issues could cause a clogged filter basket. A great way to prevent this issue is to soak it in vinegar to remove any existing food deposits.

2. Clogged Drain Hose

Dishwashers drain via a hose connected to the kitchen sink drain. Sludge can build up inside the drain and cause clogs and wastewater backups into the kitchen sink. Regular drain cleaning could decrease the risk of a clog and keep sludge away from the sink and the dishwasher drains.

3. Garbage Disposal

After a garbage disposal installation, clogs could form in the dishwasher lines. If the plumber didn’t remove the knockout plug, the dishwasher will become clogged. The easiest way to eliminate the problem is to contact us at New West Plumbing, and we will remove the plug for you.

4. Clogged Drains

Multiple clogs throughout the plumbing system could present serious problems with the sewage lines. If this happens, the problem isn’t the dishwasher specifically. The dishwasher could drain even if the clog is not close to its drain or the connecting sewage line. Yet, if water backs up into the kitchen sink causing gurgling sounds, it could affect how well the dishwasher drains, and you need prompt plumbing services to address the clog.

5. Broken Sewer Line

A dishwasher clog can cause a serious problem such as a broken sewage line. This could block your entire plumbing system. If this happens, you need to schedule a professional inspection. You can contact us at New West Plumbing for these needs.

How to Unclog Your Dishwasher

After confirmation of the clogged dishwasher, here are some steps to fix the problem.

1. Diagnose the Cause of the Clog

The most prevailing cause is improper usage. Homeowners that place cooking oils or excessive food into the dishwasher cause clogs. Dishwashers aren’t designed to eliminate excess oil or food. We start by inspecting the dishwasher and sink drains. If the clog is within the kitchen sink, we can remove the drain and restore dishwasher services.

2. Gather the Right Tools for the Job

When correcting a clog, our technicians will use the correct tools each time. Among the tools we use are:

  • Drain snake or auger
  • Phillips head screwdrivers
  • Bucket
  • Baking soda and vinegar
  • Gloves​

3. Gain Access to Dishwasher Drains and Clear Debris

We start by shutting off the power to the dishwasher. The following are additional steps we take:

  • Remove dish racks from the unit, and locate the drain grate. The drain grate is at the bottom of the unit, and we remove it with a screwdriver.
  • Use a drain snake to remove debris in the water lines. Our Burnaby plumber pros may also use a baking soda and vinegar mixture to flush out the drain, too. It is less harmful to the water lines than many drain cleaning chemicals.
  • Restore the grate to its proper position and put the dish racks back in place.

4. Know When It Is Time to Hire a Professional

While some homeowners complete DIY plumbing projects, it is best to hire a professional to assess and repair the system. Our professional plumbers in Burnaby, Coquitlam and New Westminster have the correct tools for every plumbing project, and we will complete the task correctly in the first place. We know how to manage complex clogs, and we will find the source of the problem quickly and recommend the necessary repairs. We provide a complete estimate for all services we provide.

Hire An Expert Plumbing Specialist

Clogged plumbing drains present not only a nuisance but also present health risks for you and your family. If you are a business owner, a severe clog could shut down your business completely because of flooding in your workspace that presents an immediate health risk to workers. Contact New West Plumbing today and set up an inspection for your residential or commercial plumbing lines today!