GE Dishwasher Not Draining | 12 Proven Fixes

Obstruction in the drain valve, drain line leakage, faucet leak, inappropriate water level, and dirty filters are the most common causes of a GE dishwasher not draining.

Well, GE produces one of the most popular dishwashers in the world, with many features to make your life easier. But they are not perfect.

There are many GE dishwasher problems that happen with them, including the GE dishwasher won’t drain properly or at all.

So, this article will give you some simple tips on how to fix the dishwasher not draining problem, without calling a repair person.


Causes of GE Dishwasher Not Draining? Here is How to Fix

Sometimes, your GE dishwasher won’t drain, but don’t worry.

Check out the listed causes for not draining water and corresponding tips before you call the technician!

1. Obstruction in Water Intake Valve:

This is very common and can be caused by many things, such as hair, soap scum, food particles, etc.

To clear the obstruction:

  • Remove the detergent trap and check it for debris. Clean or replace if necessary.
  • Make sure the sump pump is working properly (turn it on and watch for bubbles) and that the water intake valve on the bottom of the dishwasher is opening and closing properly.
  • In addition, make sure that there aren’t any objects that are getting sucked into the dishwasher that are blocking these openings. This can cause damage to your dishwasher and even a fire hazard!  

2. Check the Drain Impeller: 

The drain impeller is responsible for forcing the suds down into the drain tube.

If there is damage, then the suds won’t drain properly and will collect in the bottom of the tub. 

To check it:

  • Remove the bottom panel of the dishwasher (3-4 screws).
  • Then, take a check at the bottom of the tub where the drain tube comes out.
  • If there is a lot of gunk there, then you need to replace the drain impeller.

3. Check the Drain Line Leak:

If you have a stainless steel drain line, you may need to. This is a pretty frequent issue with older homes that have copper plumbing.

Even if your home was built with PEX or plastic plumbing, replacing the drain line’s still a good idea if possible.

To replace it:

  • Remove the access panel from the dishwasher’s bottom.
  • Then, unscrew the two screws holding the plastic retaining ring in place.
  • Remove the ring and check the drain line for leaks.

If there is a leak, use a solution of baking soda and water (1 part baking soda to 4 parts water) and a toothbrush to clean it.

Be sure to get into all the cracks and crevices. Let the dishwasher dry, and then reinstall the retaining ring. It’s possible that you’ll need to replace the drainpipe as well.

GE Dishwasher won't drain

4. Sink or Faucet Leak:

Another thing you should check is to make sure all the faucets and drains are clear. If they are clogged, it can prevent your dishwasher from draining properly.

To clean out a clogged drain, simply remove the stopper and use a drain opener or snake to unclog the drain.

If you have a sink, you can use a plunger or pour a cup of baking soda down the drain and then use a hose or plunger to unblock it.

Still not draining? Check out the next step.

5. Check the Drain Pump: 

Next, check to see if the drain pump is functioning.

The drain pump is located on the rear of the dishwasher, towards the tub’s bottom.

If it isn’t working properly, it will suck air into the suds instead of pushing them down into the drain tube.

If it has rusted, then replace it. Also, if it makes a clicking noise when you turn it on, that is a sign that something is wrong, and you should have to repair it right away before any more damage occurs.

6. Check the Drain Solenoid Kit:

On most newer dishwashers, there is a drain solenoid kit located near the top of the tub. This will open and close the water seal at the bottom of the tub.

If this is the issue, you will need to replace the drain solenoid kit as a whole. You can get it from any good appliance repair shop. 

7. Check the water level: 

If none of these solutions worked for you, then it’s time to check the water level. On most dishwashers, the water level is located on the back of the machine above the tub.

You need to make sure the water level is all the way up. If it’s not, then add water until it is.

Ensure the water comes out of the dishwasher when you pull the lever or turn the knob on the end of the handle.

If the water does not come out, you may leak somewhere from the water supply valve to the dishwasher.

If possible, you should replace the supply line in this situation.

On the other hand, if the water comes out but only a little, that means the water level is too high, and you should remove some of the cleaning products from inside the tub. 

Then, fill the tub with water and see if the water drains out now.

If it does, then the water level is too high, and you need to remove more cleaning products. Continue doing so until the water comes out freely.

Now, you should test the water level again. If it is still too high, you must remove more cleaning products.

Keep removing them until the water comes out freely, and then test the water level one last time.

If it’s OK now, then all is well. If not, it’s time to call an appliance repairer. 

8. Check the Water Pump Belt: 

If the above steps did not solve your problem and your GE Dishwasher is still not draining, then it’s time to check the water pump belt.

The water pump belt goes around the outside of the pump and moves it back and forth, which pumps the water through the dishwasher.

Check the manual that came with your machine to see where the water pump is.

  • However, in most dishwashers, it is usually found on the left side of most dishwashers, right behind the front wheels.
  • Remove the screws holding the pump’s plastic cover in place, then the belt.
  • See if the belt is cracked or missing any of the little loops where it connects to the dishwasher.
  • If it is, replace it immediately! This is a very common cause of leaking dishwashers.

9. Dirty Filter:

Fixing GE Dishwasher draining issue

Another common reason a GE dishwasher will not drain is if the filter in the water supply line is clogged with sediment.

In this case, the water does not pass through the filter and into the tub. Instead, it sits in the bottom of the reservoir and backs up into the suds pump area.

This can create a number of issues and harm to the motor.

To test the water filter:

  • Turn off the water supply valve at the kitchen sink.
  • Then, open the faucet one-quarter turn and let it flow for about five minutes.
  • If the water coming out of the faucet is milky white or has a milky white film on the top of it, then the filter is probably clogged.
  • You need to clean it. Do It!

10. Are You Using the Correct Detergent?

If all else fails and you are 100% convinced the problem is not in your dishwasher, then try using a different type of detergent. 

Almost every homeowner uses liquid dish soap to clean their dishes. That’s fine, except when you are washing your dishes in a dishwasher. In this case, you need to use a “dishwasher detergent.”

You can get this product at any good home center or hardware store. Just ensure you get the one that says “dishwasher safe” on the label.

You also need to make sure you use enough of it. Most homeowners use about 1/2 cup for every 50 pounds of dishware. I recommend using 1-1/2 cups per 50 pounds. 

GE-Dishwasher-draining problems

11. Clean All External Surfaces: 

Now, go around and clean all external surfaces of your dishwasher. You know, all those places where dirt and grime can hide and cause future problems.

By cleaning these areas now, you will prevent a lot of later hassles.

12. Run a Cleaning Program: 

Run a normal cleaning program on your dishwasher. Make sure the door is shut and the unit is turned on. Allow at least an hour for it to run, and check the drain after each load.

If it still does not drain, call an appliance repairer. I Hope I Have Helped!

Call an appliance repaired immediately if I haven’t helped enough or still have problems.

Don’t wait until your dishes are un-cleanable because of the buildup of mold and mildew or something else gross.

These things happen even if you use a cleaning product specially designed for the purpose.

Related Posts:

GE Dishwasher Maintenance Tips

Many things can get on the dishes, even when you are careful. So, for dishwashers to function properly, it is imperative for you to clean them on a regular basis.

Here are the following tips that you can follow to prolong the performance of your GE dishwasher.

  • Wipe out the trap every time you use the dishwasher. This will keep your dishes cleaner and fresher in between washings because it prevents food and other residues from building up in there.
  • Each time you use the dishwasher, pour a cup of white vinegar into it and run a cycle without any dishes in it. The vinegar will help remove food particles that may not be visible to the eye, like dried-on dairy products or sauces.
  • Use an all-purpose cleaner to clean off any sticky residue from spilled drinks or food like butter or syrup. These substances can cause odor issues if they remain on the dishes.
  • Clean the racks at least once a month to remove built-up food particles and odors.
  • If the racks get too crowded with dishes, the wash action is reduced, which allows these particles and odors to build up. Clean them with hot water with a brush or sponge. Don’t use soap; it will leave a greasy coating on the plates.
  • Keep the door to the dishwasher closed as much as possible. This will reduce evaporation and keep your dishes cleaner.
  • Dispose of grease and oil-soaked rags in the trash. These substances can cause clogs.
  • Never use an aluminum pan to heat water for cleaning. The acids in the water may harm the pan. Use only ceramic or steel pans for this purpose.
  • Never use an empty plastic bottle to hold water when cleaning. Acids from the plastic might leach out and harm the surfaces you’re trying to clean. Use a glass or ceramic container instead.
  • Avoid using paper towels and cloth rags when cleaning. They can leave a sticky film that is difficult (if not impossible) to remove.

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I hope now you are able to troubleshoot the GE dishwasher not draining problem.

Absolutely take the time to check all these things that I have mentioned. If one of them is bad, your dishwasher will not drain properly.

However, by checking everything yourself, you may be able to find the problem and fix it yourself.

If not, contact a plumber who can diagnose and repair the problem properly. Don’t put off hiring a repairman because you’re worried about the cost.

Steven Settles Author

Steven Settles is an ISCET-certified master in appliance repair. He has aced the National Appliance Service Technician Certification Exam, showcasing his exceptional diagnostic and repair skills. With an in-depth understanding of the latest repair technologies and a keen eye on evolving industry standards, Steven is a go-to expert for any appliance issue.

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