Dishwasher Does Not Drain

If your dishwasher is not draining, you may see water at the bottom of the tub. If excessive water is standing in the bottom of dishwasher, there are a few things that can cause this issue.    

Check for a blockage:


  • On models with a Fine and Ultra Fine filter, remove and check the Ultra Fine filter and Fine filter underneath. For more information, visit: Dishwasher - How to Clean Fine and Ultra Filters.

    • On models without an Ultra Fine filter at the bottom of the tub, 1-2 cups of clean water covering the bottom of the tub is normal. 

    • On models with an Ultra Fine Filter, water in the sump (filter area) is normal, but should not cover the bottom of the dishwasher.

  • Make sure there is not paper or large objects covering or blocking the sump area in the rear of the tub. Clear out large pieces of food from the bottom of the dishwasher, like noodles, lettuce, bones, etc.

  • 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.

  • 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, as 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. Clearing the air gap will allow water to flow better as the dishwasher drains. For more information, see Dishwasher - Cleaning Your Air Gap.

  • If a disposer was recently installed or replaced, make sure the drain plug inside the disposer was removed. Instructions for removing the drain plug are in the disposer's installation instructions. 

  • Do not use drain cleaner in the dishwasher. For more information, see: Dishwasher - Use of Drain Cleaner.


Detergent type and amount:




  • The dishwasher drain hose must contain a high drain loop for the dishwasher to be able to drain. The high drain loop must be attached to the underside of the counter and attached to the sink at a specific height. Measure the height from the floor to the highest point of the drain hose and make sure the height matches what is in the installation instructions.  

  • 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 disposer's installation instructions.


Portable dishwashers that are not draining and are connected using the unicouple will need service. If they are connected with a drain hose, then these suggestions apply.If the above suggestions do not resolve the issue in built-in or portable models, service will be needed. For service, please schedule an appointment with GE Appliances Factory Service.