Skip to Content
chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up chevron-right chevron-left arrow-back star phone quote checkbox-checked search wrench info shield play connection mobile coin-dollar spoon-knife ticket pushpin location gift fire feed bubbles home heart calendar price-tag credit-card clock envelop facebook instagram twitter youtube pinterest yelp google reddit linkedin envelope bbb pinterest homeadvisor angies
Daughter Helping Mom

It is difficult to see if a dishwasher clog is developing. You might not realize it’s clogged until it’s too late, and a routine wash cycle ends up ruining your flooring! It’s important to determine the cause before you try unclogging anything. It could be something as simple as someone did not fully clean their plate before doing the dishes! However, it can be a much more serious issue that needs your attention sooner rather than later. So how do you know what type of clog you’re experiencing? Well, Armstrong Plumbing is here to help.

Hose Clog:

The dishwasher hose runs from the dishwasher to the garbage disposal and your drainage pipe. Its main purpose is to drain the dishwasher, so naturally, food and other items can cause blockage over time, especially if you don’t rinse your dishes before loading the dishwasher! Luckily for you, the dishwasher hose is easily accessible! You can simply check under the sink to see if there is a blockage starting to form. If there is, the hose can usually be removed by hand or with tools and the clog can be cleared with a hanger or air. Be careful not to use the drain cleaner as it can cause harm to your pipes and appliances!

Garbage Disposal:

Did you know that clogs in your dishwasher can also be caused by your garbage disposal? Your disposal is installed with a small piece of rubber called the knockout plug, where the hose connects. If you recently installed new disposal, it is possible that the knockout plug was never taken out, which means your dishwasher won’t drain. Removing the plug is relatively simple, remove the hose using pliers and pull the plug out of the port. Just remember to re-attach the hose afterward.


Each dishwasher has a drain filter typically located at the bottom of the interior. If the filter gets clogged with bits of food and debris, not only will the dishwasher not drain completely, but your dishes may not be completely clean. If you notice film or residue buildup on your dishes after running them through the dishwasher, it may be a good idea to check the filter even if the dishwasher is draining. To clear the filter, remove the bottom dish rack. You should see a basket-shaped filter underneath. You may want to consult your owner’s manual to see exactly how to remove it. Generally, it can be removed by hand. Once it’s removed, wash it with hot, soapy water and put it back in place.

Line Clog:

A clogged line is more complicated than some of the other issues. It’s usually underneath the dishwasher, and clearing out the blockage will require professional assistance. If your dishwasher isn’t draining and you can’t find a clog in the filter or hose, check some of the other drains and appliances in your home. If more than one seems to be draining slowly or you can hear gurgling sounds, there could be a clog in your home’s main drain line.

Broken or Damaged Sewer Line:

If your sewer line is damaged or broken, you have an issue much larger than a clogged dishwasher on your hands. A damaged or failing sewer line could prevent all your drains from draining, or it could cause foul sewage backup to make its way into your home. These issues generally develop with older lines, but ground shifting, overgrown tree roots, and other external factors can damage even relatively new lines.