Dishwashers make washing dishes easy, but there is nothing easy about them when food, paper, and scraps clog up a dishwasher and cause a backup. The occasional clog is average, considering the job a dishwasher does on a regular basis. However, a backup of dirty water is a problem no one wants.

Side Effects of a Clogged Drain

Clogged drains are more than a nuisance. Ignoring a dishwasher clog has more consequences than you may think.

Dirty Water

Bubbling brown water is alarming at any time. When it is a clog, your drains work harder to do their jobs. No one wants their dishes washed with dirty water that harbors debris and bacteria.

Sour Smells

Clogs cause portions of pipes and drains to dry out that should never dry out. The result is nose-cringing odors. Worse than that, the opposite can happen, and water can get stuck in the pipes. Stagnant water is a breeding ground for harmful bacteria and horrible smells.

Leaky Pipes

Any clog backs water up and puts pressure on the pipes. The diverted water has nowhere to go, and the floors and walls take on damage and cause flooding.

If you notice growing water stains, leaky pipes are a possible suspect, though a dishwasher clog is not a red flag many people notice. But, if ignored, mildew, mold, and even bugs are possible outcomes from its worsening over time.

Health Risks

Other health risks exist besides dirty water when a dishwasher experiences a clog. People with asthma and sensitive allergies suffer from the odor and invisible irritants. Clogs also cause skin irritation because of the menaces plaguing the stagnant water.

So what causes dishwasher clogs? There might be more culprits than you think.

1. Garbage Disposal Knockout Plug

A homeowner or professional replacing a garbage disposal sometimes forgets to pull the knockout plug. If a dishwasher acts clogged, check the plug and remove it if required.

If this is the source of the problem, the issue should be resolved.

2. Deep Drain Clog

The sewer line sometimes clogs further down than someone can reach. The clog might be due to a sagging sewer line, damaged pipe, flushed debris, or pouring grease down a drain.

A Sagging Sewer Line Is Not Your Fault

It happens over time. A professional is the best person to call if you think or know it is causing the sewer drain clog.

Sewer Pipes Break or Rupture

Shifting soil, corrosion, leaking joints, and increased traffic are all potential causes. A professional will need to repair or replace the pipes.

Flushing Debris Down the Toilet or Other Drains Will Clog a Sewer Drain

The shortlist of things you should never flush includes wet wipes, dental floss, eggshells, coffee grounds, napkins, diapers, or any non-organic material.

Methods exist to help you unclog a drain, like a drain cleaner or plungers, but sometimes, it is so deep that a professional with the proper equipment will require a call.

Pouring Grease, Fat, or Oil Down a Drain is a No-No

Use a container like an empty coffee can to pour hot grease into so you can dispose of it properly. Hot water does not help wash grease down a drain.

3. Clogged Filter Basket

Dishwashers have a filter basket fitted to the drain that catches scraps of food and debris to protect items from entering the drain. You may find removing the basket challenging, but you can free it from the drain.

Grab the filter basket and pull gently. Do not forget to clean the filter basket regularly to prevent a clog. If you forget, soaking it in vinegar will dissolve deposits.

4. Clogged Drain Hose

If cleaning out the filter basket does not help, making your way toward the dishwasher drain with the hose is the next step. The dishwasher drains through the hose that connects to the garbage disposal or kitchen sink.

It is typical for the drain hose to have an interior build-up of sludge. If you are handy around the home, cleaning drains under the sink or dishwashing hoses is possible. However, calling a professional for maintenance and repair is often the best practice.

5. Broken Sewer Line

A dishwasher backing up could be a serious issue. Every drain in a residence will clog and cause a mess. The only option is to call a professional for an assessment as soon as possible.

The fact is that all pipes age and degrade. Materials take on damage: The older a home, the older the pipes.

6. Improper Loading

Your dishwasher has a specific way that it needs to be loaded to give you consistent cleanliness and make sure that no clogs develop. Not arranging dishes at an angle and avoiding stacking them on top of one another will ensure that the spray arms are not blocked and the particulates can be broken down and not build up a clog.

Signs You Are Dealing with a Dishwasher Clog

If you think there might be a clog but are still unsure, here are a few expert ways to know you have a problem.

The Machine Makes Weird Sounds

While you should hear the water slashing and moving inside the dishwasher, you should not hear thumping and gurgling sounds, and the unit should not be shaking. If any of these occur, you most likely have a clog in your main or secondary line.

Your Sink Is Full of Dishwater

Your drainage system is connected to your dishwasher and the kitchen sink, so when the dishwasher is running, if you notice the water is beginning to back up into the sink, there's a good possibility your dishwasher has a clog.

Your Dishwasher Has a Slow Drain

Another major indicator that the clog is present is if water pools at the bottom of your dishwasher and takes forever to drain. This could be from a clog in the machine or your kitchen sewer line and can lead to much larger issues, so get it cleared as quickly as possible.

Did You Find the Dishwasher Clog?

If there is still a clog and dirty water backup, it is time to call Drain Blaster Bill. Our 24/7 service is same-day, so the water damage is kept to the bare minimum. 100% satisfaction is our guarantee, and we always offer free estimates so you understand every aspect of the process.

Find out what makes us a 5-star company today by giving our office a call at 763-913-8719 or send us a message online and we will get back to you shortly!