The dishwasher does not pump – Causes & Solutions

The water in your dishwasher no longer drains properly? Dishwater collects inside the machine and it starts to smell? The dishes do not get clean properly after washing? In most cases, this problem can be quickly solved by yourself without a service technician. How you can repair the pump-down problem and what other causes come into question, if it says “The dishwasher does not pump down.”, you will learn in this article.

When should the machine pump down?

When the rinse program has run through and the dishes have been cleaned, the rinse water is normally pumped out through the drain in the bottom of the machine and the drying process begins. The water may also be pumped out several times during the program.

What can be the consequences if the dishwasher does not pump out?

If you notice that the rinse water is standing in the bottom tub of your dishwasher, you should act. The longer the water stands, the more your appliance will “stink” from the stale and dirty rinse water. Also, silverware and dishes may not clean properly when you turn the machine back on.

If the dishwasher does not pump out, a good 10 – 15 liters of water can accumulate. If the bottom tray is not deep enough, the water may also leak out when you open the door and cause a small flood in the kitchen.

Also of interest: How should you put away a dishwasher?

Possible reasons why the dishwasher does not pump out water

Fortunately, in most cases, there is no major problem, so you can easily fix it yourself with some handyman skills. Many of today’s dishwashers under £500 also show an error code like “E24” or “E25” (e.g. at Siemens / Bosch) on the display in case of a pumping problem. Please refer to the operating instructions for the meaning of these codes. Now, here are some causes that you should check first one by one if your dishwasher is not pumping:

Possible cause #1: The drain strainer is clogged.

As mentioned earlier, a clogged drain is very common cause when the dishwasher fails to pump. So first, take a look at the bottom of the dishwasher by where the drain with the drain strainer is located. This is where coarse debris, such as food scraps and other foreign objects, are caught so that they can’t get into the hoses and drain pipes. Normally, you should check this sieve regularly for foreign bodies anyway and clean it especially because of grease deposits. In this way, you can usually prevent the drainage system for the dirty water and the dishwasher from becoming clogged in advance.

If the drain pump strainer is clogged with coarse particles or even glass fragments, this will prevent the water from draining.

Solution: Simply remove the strainer and clean it. This can usually be removed by a simple twisting motion, without the use of tools.

Now it’s time to clean the collection strainer. To do this, please proceed as follows:

  • After removing the sieve, hold it under lukewarm running water to remove coarse food residues.
  • Now clean it thoroughly in the sink with washing-up liquid and a sponge to remove grease and other dirt.
  • Finally, just shake it dry briefly and put it back in place.

The whole thing is done in a few minutes and should not be a problem for most consumers. After cleaning, restart the dishwasher to check if the water in the dishwasher is pumped out again. If the dishwasher strainer is damaged and therefore the dishwasher cannot pump out, you should replace it. You can find the right dishwasher spare part in specialized stores or on the Internet.

Tip: You should remove coarse food residues on plates before putting the dishes into the machine. You should also make sure that no napkins or drink stoppers etc. unintentionally get into the dishwasher with the dishes, which can then clog the drain.

Also of interest: Cleaning the dishwasher filter is why it’s so important

Possible cause #2: The pump sump is clogged.

If you’ve already removed the strainer, you should also check the now exposed pump sump for foreign objects right away. Here, even the smallest parts can interfere with the pump function. Some cannot be easily removed by hand.

Possible cause #3: The drain hose is clogged.

Now it gets a little more complicated, because if the strainer didn’t stop the debris (due to a defect, for example), it can get into the dishwasher’s drain hose and cause blockages there.

Solution: Now it is necessary to clean the drain hose with some manual skill.

To do this, proceed as follows:

  • Step 1: Place a bucket or other suitable container between the sink drain and the drain hose to catch any water that may leak out.
  • Step 2: Now disconnect the drain hose from the sink and let the water in it run into the bucket.
  • Step 3: Next, check the drain hose for clogs and unclog them by blowing into the hose or using a suction syringe.
  • Step 4: Finally, reconnect the drain hose and check to make sure no water is leaking out. Done!

If the hose is so dirty that it keeps restricting the flow, you will need to disconnect it and flush it with lukewarm water and detergent. A long bottle brush or piece of wire can also be very useful in this case.

On the other hand, if the drain hose is too dirty, you can of course simply replace it. To do this, disconnect the dishwasher from the mains and pull it forward so that it is easier to get to the connections in order to remove the hose. In the case of a built-in dishwasher, this can be a relatively large effort, since the kitchen must be partially dismantled.

Tip: If you are already dismantling the drain hose, you should take the opportunity to also check the siphon and the drain pipe – contamination can also occur here.

Also of interest: The dishwasher no longer cleans properly

Possible cause #4: The drain hose is kinked.

If you weren’t paying proper attention when installing the machine, the drain hose behind the unit may be kinked. As a result, the dishwasher under £400 can’t pump out and the wastewater stays in the machine. This problem doesn’t have to occur right after installation, either, because the drain hose is subject to constant movement due to the onset and release of water pressure inside. If the original starting position was not ideal, the hose may kink. Therefore, already during installation, make sure that the hoses are free of kinks.

Solution: This is usually not a big problem either. With the help of another person, you can pull the dishwasher forward to reach the kinked hose. Then check the entire run of the hose for kinks and remove them if necessary.

Possible cause #5: The drain pump is defective or clogged.

Despite the strainer, it is possible for larger foreign objects such as broken glass to get into the drain pump and prevent it from working. As a result, it happens that the dishwasher hums loudly. So also check the pump to see if larger debris is blocking the mechanism and clean it if necessary.

It may also be a defect of the pump, if the dishwasher does not pump. A replacement must be obtained for it. A replacement means extra costs by the purchase of a spare part (possibly additional costs for the technician) and a larger repair expenditure. If you lack the manual skills and / or time for a major dishwasher repair, you should hire a professional for this task.

Also of interest: Dishwasher leaks and runs out – what to do?

Possible cause #6: Interruption of the dishwasher program.

Another possible cause is a program interruption due to a malfunction. If the dishwasher program has not been completely finished, it may be that the pump-down process has not (yet) taken place and therefore the water is still in the dishwasher. Several circumstances are possible for such a malfunction:

  • Power failure – If the machine does not receive any more power during the program run, the rinsing process is stopped. This can occur, for example, due to a power outage in your household or when the outlet fuse blows. However, anyone should be able to solve the problem quickly by plugging the fuse back in.
  • Children or other people have accidentally stopped the program by pressing a button.
  • The dishwasher door was opened while the program was running – In this case, you just need to push the door firmly shut again and press the start button.

It is rather rare that one of these reasons occurs and if it does, the problem is actually obvious and can be easily fixed by restarting the machine. However, if there is a technical defect with your dishwasher, the repair can only be done by a professional company. In this case, you should make a cost-benefit calculation, because today’s devices are not so expensive, so repair may not be worth it.

Also of interest: Too much foam in the dishwasher: causes and remedy


If it ever happens that your dishwasher under £300 does not pump out, various causes can be considered. Usually, the pump-down problem can be fixed with little effort. Usually, the reason is that there is a blockage or coarse dirt in the drain area. Drain sieve, drain hose & Co are easy to clean. At least the drain strainer and pump sump should be inspected regularly for large foreign objects anyway. If the strainer or hose needs to be replaced, there is not too much cost involved and the replacement can usually be done yourself. The drain pump can also be replaced by yourself with a little skill, but it costs a little more. Only in the case of technical defects should you better call in a service technician.

David Shaw

David Shaw

Dishwashers expert with over 10 years of experience. He writes articles and shares his knowledge on many sites. Helps you choose the best (portable, countertop, built-in) dishwashers on this site.

Dishwashers Review in UK