Author Topic: Old dishwasher no longer drains. Suggestions?  (Read 3148 times)

CestMoi

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Old dishwasher no longer drains. Suggestions?
« on: April 16, 2015, 02:05:31 PM »
The old Magic Chef dishwasher that was in my apartment when I bought it no longer drains. It used to work fine.

About a year and a half ago, the super fixed a leaky pipe under the sink. He told me the dishwasher had somehow been disconnected from the pipe (don't look at me!), and supposedly fixed it. I don't use the dishwasher much, so when I got around to checking it, months later, it filled up with water, but didn't drain the water out. I tried several times, but after each try I had to remove all the water with some improvised scooping implement.

I'd like to fix this myself, if it makes sense to do so instead of buying a new one. Any suggestions on how to pinpoint the cause of the problem and proceed? I tried the Super first, but he told me they don't do appliance repairs (no kidding!).

Thanks in advance.

pucksr

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Re: Old dishwasher no longer drains. Suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2015, 03:15:00 PM »
There are two things that could be wrong. The pump could have failed or the drain line could be clogged.

1) If the drain line is clogged:
This happens. The easiest way to fix this without doing too much is to put a shop-vac on the end of the flexible drain hose that connects to the disposal or drain line and suck. You should also turn on the dishwasher "drain" function as this will help drain out your dishwasher. You might be able to talk the super into helping you with this one, since it is a clogged pipe and not really an appliance issue.

When he said that the "dishwasher had been disconnected from the pipe", that has me thinking he changed something that caused the drain to clog. The drain line for the dishwasher must either go up to a vent installed on the sink and then back down to the drain OR the flexible line must be run up rather high. The "vent" is the best option, but I am guessing you don't really have control of the plumbing.

2) If the pump motor has failed:
This is going to get way trickier. You could potentially order parts for this appliance. However, "Magic Chef" isn't a brand. It was owned by Maytag, which was bought/destroyed by Whirlpool. It now exists as a label for cheap microwaves and mini-fridges. You could try locating the part for this appliance. A good starting place is parts.sears.com. They aren't the best, but they maintain a rather diverse catalog of parts/diagrams. If you do find the part number on their site, look for the actual part number on other websites. Replacing it will not be that difficult for a mustachian, it just won't be easy. The hardest part will be finding the actual part. Remember that you can find dishwashers for ~$200 new. Don't go spending $70 on a part for a 10 year old dishwasher when you can go buy a relatively new one for $100.

CestMoi

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Re: Old dishwasher no longer drains. Suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2015, 08:49:29 AM »
Thanks pucksr, for the advice.I don't think the Super will help me with this, as I've already asked him for help and he refused. I believe he gave me the name of someone the building uses for appliance work, though, so I'll have to look into that.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Old dishwasher no longer drains. Suggestions?
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2015, 10:06:32 AM »
Do you have a disposal?  If the super connected the DW to the disposal, there might be a plastic disc inside the disposal fitting that still needs to be removed.  It's there to keep your sink water from coming out the side of the disposal if you don't have a DW hooked up.

Other possibilities:
--bad pump (I hope not!)
--Bad check valve on dishwasher (not a huge deal to replace)
--Clog in drain hose (no big deal)

pucksr

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Re: Old dishwasher no longer drains. Suggestions?
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2015, 02:45:13 PM »
As a quick comment, while the plug is frequently an issue in this type of thing, I don't think it would be the culprit here.
If the dishwasher EVER functioned after the super "hooked it up", I would imagine that it was flowing.

MMMaybe

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Re: Old dishwasher no longer drains. Suggestions?
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2015, 09:17:10 PM »
I would clean the filters and unscrew the bottom plate beneath them (sorry, dont know the name) and check for blockages. I tend to clean my filters every month, which helps keep things running smoothly.

When my dishwasher does this, its sometimes a lemon pip or a label or something that is stuck in there. I use a tiny bottle brush or old kid's toothbrush to give it a good scrub.

MikeBear

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Re: Old dishwasher no longer drains. Suggestions?
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2015, 09:30:40 PM »
Drill a hole in the bottom! ;)

Exflyboy

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Re: Old dishwasher no longer drains. Suggestions?
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2015, 10:44:29 PM »
OK first of all.. find where the dishwasher hose connects to the sink... its simply a 3/4 hose clamp onto the flex hose that goes to the sink plumbing.

1) Disconnect this hose and pull it off the sink plumbing.. Now if the hose is long enough pull some more slack from under the sink and point it over the top of the sink (if not point it into a bucket). Then try to drain the diswasher.. If it suddenly works, then the plug is in the sink plumbing... NOT in the diswasher hose.

2) If it still does not drain.. pull off the kick plate at the bottom of the dishwasher (should be two screws). Take a flashlight and look under the dishwasher.. you should see some of the drainhose.. see if you can see if its kinked.. Un kink it if it is.

3) Try the shop vac on the end of the hose to see if you can suck out the plug.

4) undo the screws that secure the dishwasher to the underside of the counter top and pull out the dishwasher.... Disconnect the hose and make sure its not blocked

5) can you hear the pump running when the dishwasher tries to drain (Guess this should have been number 1)?.. If not you need to resolve that.

6) Make sure the pump terminals are getting power.. If they are then either the pump rotor is jammed and/or the pump is toast.

If you need a new pump, do a Google search on the make and model number. You can almost always find parts on line for reasonable cost.

TomTX

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Re: Old dishwasher no longer drains. Suggestions?
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2015, 12:56:17 PM »
Clog is most likely - I ended up having to replace a hose with integrated check valve. By comparison the pump was quite easy, mostly due to access.

PencilThinStache

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Re: Old dishwasher no longer drains. Suggestions?
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2015, 09:06:58 AM »
Often, a drain hose will soften over time, which causes it to "kink." when you push the dishwasher back into its space. try replacing the hose with a ribbed, semi-rigid hose. I just had this issue and wasted $100 on a dishwasher repairman to come out and tell me this. The tricky thing is, you pull the dishwasher out, check the drainage hose, and it seems unclogged..you push the dishwasher back into it's slot, and it re-kinks the hose - same problem. Leads you to believe something's wrong w/the pump.