Why Your Samsung Dishwasher Is Not Draining

Why Your Samsung Dishwasher Is Not Draining

Draining is a very important operation that ensures your dishwasher continues to work properly. Without it, your plates, glasses, and silverware will come out with grime and a funny smell.

So what stops your dishwasher from draining? Let’s talk about it.

Why is your Samsung dishwasher not draining?

If your dishwasher isn’t draining, this may be due to a clogged sink drain or drain hose. It can also be caused by damage to the drain pump motor.

Unplug your dishwasher and check for blockage in the sink drain or garbage disposal. Also, make sure that there are no clogs or kinks in the drain hose.

If this doesn’t resolve your draining problem, you can also try the following steps:

  • Make sure that the drain hose is connected to an air gap or has a high loop.
  • Clean the filter assembly and the sump area thoroughly.
  • Test the drain pump for continuity and replace it when damaged.

Continue reading below if you need a more detailed guide on how to carry out these steps.

Indications of a Draining Issue

As you know, Samsung dishwashers display error codes on the control panel when they detect a problem. If your dishwasher is experiencing a draining issue, you may see one of these error codes or light signals.

For Models with Digital Display

5C, SC, 5E, SEDrain Error
OC, 0C, oE Over-Level Water Error
3CPump Operation Error

For Models that Use Blinking Lights

Drain Error
Heavy (models with Express 60)
Heavy and Quick
Heavy and Smart Auto
Over-Level Water Error

Other than the error codes, there can also be visible or audible indications that your dishwasher isn’t draining properly. 

  • Gurgling or thumping sound during the draining cycle
  • Standing wastewater in the tub
  • Slow or delayed draining than normal

So how do you fix a draining issue in a Samsung dishwasher?

Causes of Draining Issues and How to Fix Them

To apply the correct troubleshooting method, first you need to know the cause of your draining problem. 

With that in mind, here’s a quick overview of all possible causes and how to resolve them.

Clogged Sink Drain or Garbage DisposalMake sure your sink drain or garbage disposal isn’t clogged with too much food waste or debris. 

If your dishwasher is connected to a garbage disposal system, check that the garbage disposal cap has been removed during installation. 
Faulty Drain HoseDisconnect the drain hose from both ends and test it for blockage. Clean the drain hose and ensure it has a high loop and is tightly reconnected.
Clogged or Damaged Filter AssemblyRemove the filter assembly and clean it in running water. Make sure not to poke any holes in the screen of the fine filter.
Faulty Drain Pump Component (Impeller, Motor, Solenoid, Check Valve)Test all drain pump components for continuity. If any of these parts are damaged, you’ll need to replace the entire assembly.

As promised, let’s dive deeper into each cause and troubleshooting methods. 

Clogged Sink Drain or Garbage Disposal

Dishwashers are connected to either a sink drain or garbage disposal to get rid of the wastewater after each cycle.

However, both the drain and garbage disposal are vulnerable to clogging from food waste and other debris coming from both the sink and dishwasher.

Solution: First, if your dishwasher is connected to a garbage disposal system, make sure that the cap has been removed during installation. If not, this will block the wastewater from entering the disposal.

If you’re unsure how to do this, follow these steps.

  • Step 1: Prepare a pan or towel to catch water spills. Then, disconnect the drain hose from the garbage disposal. 
  • Step 2: If the cap is still intact, knock it out using a screwdriver and a hammer.
  • Step 3: Uninstall your garbage disposal to take out the broken cap from inside it. This will prevent your cap from clogging the disposal or pipes.
  • Step 4: Reinstall the garbage disposal properly and reattach the drain hose. Make sure that the drain has a high enough loop and isn’t twisted anywhere.

If you have uninstalled your garbage disposal, you should also clean it from any dirt build-up or debris that may have caused the blockage and draining issue.

This is also true for dishwashers connected to a sink drain. Since sink drains can be blocked by large food scraps such as bones and fats, it is also a good idea to clean them regularly.

You can unclog a sink drain using the following methods.

  • Pour a pot of boiling water or a mixture of baking soda and vinegar down the sink drain.
  • Use a plunger or drain snake to force any food residue down the drain.
  • Remove the trap and check it for blockage.

If clearing your sink drain or garbage disposal doesn’t work, then the draining issue is caused by the dishwasher itself. 

Faulty Drain Hose

All wastewater passes through the drain hose before getting into the garbage disposal or sink drain.

Since most drain hoses are less than an inch wide, any small clogs in between could stop the wastewater from coming out.

It is also likely that your drain hose has kinks or irregular bends that are restricting the flow of water out of your dishwasher.

A drain hose that is not connected to an air gap or doesn’t have a high enough loop may also cause draining issues. Without these, water may flow back down the drain hose and re-enter your dishwasher.

Solution: First check your drain hose for any bends. Make sure that the dishwasher isn’t sitting on top of the hose, pinching it shut.

Then, check if your hose has a high loop or is connected to an air gap. The loop should be at least 15 – 20 inches higher than its connection to the sink drain or garbage disposal.

If the drain hose has no kinks or damage and is looped properly, check it for clogs next.

You can disconnect the hose from both ends and pour some water inside it to test if the water can pass freely. Clear out any clogs inside your dishwasher when necessary.

On colder days, the water inside the hose can freeze, stopping it from draining. If this happens, try dissolving a spoon of salt in boiling water and pouring it carefully inside the hose.

Clogged or Damaged Filter Assembly

Most Samsung dishwashers have several layers of filters to prevent food scraps and other debris from clogging or damaging the draining components.

But due to its function, the filter can easily be clogged with sifted dirt over time. An unclean filter assembly could stop the water from going into the pump and out of the drain hose.

Solution: Take out your dishwasher’s filter assembly to clean it. 

Take note, however, that Samsung dishwasher models may have unique filtering systems. So be sure to check your manual first before removing it.

If you are still unsure how to remove it, follow these steps.

  • Step 1: Open the dishwasher door entirely and remove the lower racks.
  • Step 2: Turn the filter assembly counterclockwise while holding the propeller in place. Slowly pull the entire filter assembly out.
  • Step 3: Detach both the fine and coarse filters from the main filter. Clean all filters in running water using a soft brush and mild soap.

However, be gentle when you brush the screens to not poke a hole in them. Bigger gaps in the filter may cause larger food scraps to sneak through.

Be careful when reinstalling your filters. Make sure that the connection is tight and correctly repositioned to avoid deforming them.

Faulty Drain Pump Assembly

If the problem is not in the sink drain, drain hose, or filter assembly, then you might be looking at a malfunctioning drain pump.

The drain motor pump has several components responsible for the entire draining cycle. Let’s take a closer look at each one. 

Malfunctioning Drain Impeller

The drain impeller forces the wastewater out of the dishwasher by spinning in a certain direction.

However, if the impeller gets stuck or damaged, the water in your tub won’t have enough force to pass through the drain hose.

This usually happens when some dirt or food residue has made its way to the impeller, blocking it from spinning correctly.

It is also possible that the impeller has simply been worn out over the years.

Solution: Take out the entire drain pump assembly to access the impeller. Clean the impeller and make sure that it can move freely.

A working impeller will have a jerky motion when you try to spin it. So don’t be surprised when this happens.

However, if the impeller is damaged, you would need to call an expert to have it fixed or replaced.

Damaged Drain Pump Motor

The drain pump motor powers the impeller to spin strong enough to force the wastewater to climb up the drain hose and into the sink drain or garbage disposal.

Because of that, the drain pump motor is prone to wearing out faster than most draining components.

If you hear a low humming sound, this means that the motor can no longer spin the impeller. On the other hand, a loud squealing means that the motor’s bearing is already damaged.

Solution: Remove the pump assembly and test it for continuity using an ohmmeter. If the pump is damaged, you’ll need to replace it immediately.

Here’s a guide on how to replace an old dishwasher pump. You can also call an expert to help if it’s too technical for you.

How to Replace Your Old Dishwasher Pump

Step 1: First, unplug your dishwasher. Make sure that there is no more residual power by pressing the power button and checking if the panel lights up.

Step 2: Turn off the water supply valve.

Step 3: Remove the kick panel by unthreading the screws. Set them aside for later.

Step 4: Unthread the water supply line from the inlet valve using a 5/8th inch wrench. Place a towel or a pan underneath to catch spills.

Step 5: Unscrew the junction box cover and take it off. Take note of the location of the wires so you won’t be confused in reconnecting them later.

Step 6: Disconnect the wires by untwisting the wire nut.

Step 7: Unthread the strain relief nut and detach it from the junction box.

Step 8: Disconnect the drain hose from the garbage disposal or the sink drain. Feed the hose through the cabinet hole to pull the dishwasher out.

Step 9: Slowly pull your dishwasher out of the cabinet. Adjust the leveling legs down if necessary by turning the adjustment rod clockwise.

Step 10: Move the drain hose out of the way and slowly tip the machine back so that it’s resting on its rear panel.

Step 11: Unscrew the access panel and remove it. Disconnect the leak sensor wire connector and set the panel aside.

Step 12: Lift the locking tab using a small flathead screwdriver. Slightly turn the drain pump counterclockwise to detach it.

Step 13: Disconnect the wires from the old drain pump to remove it completely.

Step 14: Install your new drain pump into the chamber and connect the wires. Make sure to place it correctly and rotate it clockwise to secure.

Step 15: Reinstall everything back in place by retracing the steps above.

Faulty Drain Solenoid

The drain solenoid is responsible for opening the exit valve so the water can go into the drain hose. An electric signal is sent to the solenoid during the draining cycle to open the valve.

Alternatively, the solenoid closes the valve so the water doesn’t drain during washing.

If the solenoid becomes faulty, it won’t be able to open the exit valve and block the wastewater from getting out of the dishwasher.

Solution: You can use an ohmmeter to test the solenoid for resistance. Once you touch the probes, you should see a reading of around 40 ohms.

If the ohmmeter remains in infinity, then the solenoid is damaged and needs to be replaced. Ask your local appliance repair expert if this is out of your comfort zone.

Stuck or Worn Out Check Valve

The check valve is a little rubber flap that opens one way and prevents the water from re-entering the water pump.

However, just like other components, the check valve is also vulnerable to clogging as well as wear and tear.

When this happens, it can be stuck in an open position and cause the wastewater to backflow. It can also get stuck in a closed position, blocking the water from getting out.

Solution: First, take out the check valve and clean the housing area. Make sure that the check valve isn’t damaged and can move freely.

If the valve is damaged, you’ll need to replace it. Luckily, the check valve is inexpensive and you simply need to buy the right type for your dishwasher model.

By following the steps above, you’ll be able to fix your draining issues in no time. 

If DIY repairs are not your cup of tea, hire a professional to perform the troubleshooting for you.

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