Dishwasher Does Not Drain

If water is standing in the bottom of dishwasher, check the following items to see if it rectifies the problem. To minimize the possibility of electric shock, unplug this appliance from the power supply before attempting any maintenance or cleaning. Some water, usually one to two cups, remaining in the bottom of the tub is normal.

Check for a blockage:

  • Make sure there is not paper or large objects covering or blocking the sump area in the rear of the tub.
  • Check the drain hose where it connects below the sink for blockage or a kink in the hose. New dishwashers come with a white corrugated drain hose, which should be used. Re-using old, worn out drain hoses may promote kinking and blockage.


Check for a clog:

  • Make sure the kitchen sink drain is not clogged.
  • If a disposer is installed, run the disposer to clear the drain system. Do not put hands into the garbage disposer. Serious injury could result. You should always turn on your garbage disposer prior to running the dishwasher to clean out any food or debris within the drain system.
  • If an air gap is installed, remove the cap and remove any debris. For more information, see Dishwasher - Cleaning Your Air Gap
  • Do not use drain cleaner in the dishwasher. For more information, see Dishwasher - Use of Drain Cleaner


Check that the right type and amount of detergent is used.


If a disposer was recently installed make sure the drain plug inside the disposer was removed. Instructions for removing the drain plug are located in the installation instructions. Download a copy of the Owners Manual and/or Installation Instructions.

If the dishwasher will not drain after checking these suggestions, service may be needed. If you would like to schedule a service appointment, please contact GE Appliance Service at 1-800-432-2737 or schedule a service appointment online.