Why is My Kenmore Dishwasher Not Draining – Let’s Fix It

If you are reading this Kenmore dishwasher troubleshooting article, the chances are that your Kenmore dishwasher is not draining, and it’s causing a big mess. Kenmore dishwashers have been known to be some of the best-selling dishwashers on the market.

They offer great features like stainless steel tubs and other amenities that make them more desirable than competitors. There are many reasons why a Kenmore dishwasher may not drain properly but don’t worry, We’ve compiled all the possible solutions into an easy-to-follow Kenmore Dishwasher Not Draining Troubleshooting Guide.

It’s been a long week, and you’re finally home for the weekend, looking forward to some time off. All you want to do is work on your latest DIY project or catch up on your favorite show, but when you open the dishwasher, it doesn’t drain. You start to panic because now all of those dishes have become dirty again, and there’s no way they’re going back into the dishwasher!

This blog post will teach you how to fix this problem so that it won’t happen again next time.

What Causes Kenmore Dishwasher Not Draining? Troubleshooting and Diagnosis

Kenmore Dishwasher Not Draining

If you are experiencing a problem with your Kenmore dishwasher not draining, there may be an easy fix! Follow this guide to diagnose the issue and get back on track.

Check Drain Hose

If your Kenmore dishwasher isn’t draining, the first thing you should do is check to see if there’s a clog in the drain hose. Lift up the front cover of your Kenmore dishwasher and remove any food or debris that may be blocking it. Some Kenmore dishwashers have two drain hoses, so it’s important to check both of them.

Kenmore uses a star-shaped clip that attaches the hose to the main drainage pipe in your sink, and if this clamp loosens or falls off then water will flow out instead of draining into the Kenmore dishwasher. The best thing you can do is replace any missing clips when they’re loose with new ones from an auto parts store; these are inexpensive and don’t take up much time.

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First, check for a kink in the hose connecting it to the drain under the sink. Any pressure on this area may cause an obstruction or kink, preventing water from draining properly.

Inspect the hose for kinks, around any sharp bends in the pipeline between cabinet and dishwasher, or behind/below your dishwasher. Clean out the kinks and test dishwasher drain operation.

Clogged Drain Filter

Check your Kenmore dishwasher filter for an accumulation of debris that may be preventing water from draining and causing a clog in the Kenmore dishwasher. If you don’t know how to locate or remove this filter, consult Kenmore’s owner manual on their website. 

Once it is removed, clean out any obstructions with a stiff brush before installing it again in its original position. Check the Kenmore dishwasher drain operation after re-installing the filter to ensure proper drainage has been restored.

Clogged Garbage Disposal

If the disposer has been installed recently, make sure that you don’t forget to remove the plug. There is a plug, installed by the manufacturer, fitted into your dishwasher’s disposal. Remove this plug if that part of the machine is not functioning properly.

One of the causes of a Kenmore dishwasher not draining is when you have an old disposer clogged with waste. To solve this problem, you should remove the hose from the disposer and clean out both the hose itself and also where it meets up with your sink.

Check Drain Pump

The Kenmore dishwasher’s pump is designed to maintain water pressure in the system, which will help keep it pumping out. One of the causes for a Kenmore dishwasher not draining may be an issue with this part.

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The drain pump is either not getting power or defective, preventing it from draining the water. If you suspect a bad drain pump, check its continuity with a multimeter to determine if it is running properly and get a new one for replacement purposes if necessary.

Inspect the drain impeller and replace it if it is damaged or worn out. Check that the impeller can spin freely. Spin the food chopper to check its performance: large food bits should not be able to slip past it.

Clean the Air Gap

One of the causes of dishwasher failure is an air gap becoming clogged. If the air gap gets blocked, this can cause your dishwasher to back up and not drain. To find your dishwasher’s air gap, look for the small silver cylinder sitting next to or behind your faucet.

Before worrying about other possible causes for a dishwasher not draining, check to see if it is clogged. Remove the top of the dishwasher and pull out any food or debris that may be trapped there.

Disassemble and clean the air gap to remove dirt, food buildup, or other debris before reassembling.


If your Kenmore dishwasher is not draining, another possible cause could be a timer that isn’t set to the correct cycle. Consult Kenmore’s owner’s manual for instructions on how to adjust the timer settings or troubleshoot any error codes you may see displayed on the machine.

Also, Test the timer with a multimeter, If it fails the continuity test then replace it.

Using the Wrong Type of Detergent

If the Kenmore dishwasher not draining, you may be using the wrong detergent. Kenmore’s owner manual recommends specific types of detergents for different cycles and water temperatures; consult Kenmore’s instructions to determine the right kind of soap for your machine.

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Also, if you’ve recently changed from a liquid to a powder-type detergent or vice versa, then use that new variety in place of what you were previously using (and also make sure it is appropriate for your cycle).

Stuck Check Valve

The drain hose of many dishwashers has a check valve to control the reverse flow of water into the dishwasher’s sump. Check valves might be found inside the upper sump assembly or near the chopper blade.

If the check valve gets damaged, water may initially flow out of the dishwasher while the drain pump is running but will then try to rush back into it after the drain pump stops.

Inspect the check valve for any damages or debris. Clean the check valve and make sure there is no debris in it, then replace if necessary.

If you need any help, Let me know in the comments below. I am happy to answer any questions or provide assistance with your Kenmore dishwasher not draining issue.

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