5 Reasons Why Kenmore Dishwasher Not Draining [Solved]

It is common to have a draining issue in the dishwasher. A dishwasher is a device that pumps out water to the various component of the dishwasher.

However, the most common problem with Kenmore dishwasher not draining is old food remains.

It is recommended to clean your dishwasher once or twice a week to prevent issues like draining and other various issues. 

Besides this, there are various reasons that could stop the dishwasher from draining.

If your Kenmore dishwasher is not draining, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we will make a detailed discussion on why your Kenmore dishwasher is not draining, along with effective solutions.

Therefore, I recommend you to read the full article; this will give you more insight into the problem and the solution to fix it. 

What causes the draining issue in the Kenmore dishwasher?

5 Reasons Why Kenmore Dishwasher Not Draining [Solved]

If your dishwasher is not draining or there is standing water in the dishwasher.

Dishwasher drain issues are mainly associated with the dishwasher drain valve, hose, and drain motor.

Here is the list of issues that are more likely to cause drain issues in your dishwasher. 

Faulty drain pump

The dishwasher is equipped with a drain pump to pump out water from the dishwasher.

In addition, this same pump also pumps out water to the various component of your dishwasher. The problem arises when the pump stops working.

Unlike other components, dishwasher drain pumps are repairable if you have the proper tools. 


If you are confused about whether the dishwasher drain pump is working, don’t worry.

Using a multimeter, you can easily determine the defective drain pump by doing a continuity test.

You should replace your drain pump if the motor does not have continuity but receives power.

Follow the below instructions to test the continuity in your dishwasher. 

  1. Before starting, make sure you have disconnected the power source from the dishwasher. You can either turn off the switch or remove the plug from the power source. 
  2. If you have put your dishwasher inside the kitchen cabinet, remove it. You may need to unthread the screw dishwasher onto the kitchen cabinet. Once all the screws are removed, pull the dishwasher from the cabinet.
  3. Lay the dishwasher on the floor and make sure to put some soft clothes just beneath the dishwasher.
  4. Now remove the lower access panel of your dishwasher. 
  5. After removing the lower access panel locates the dishwasher motor. Once you locate the motor, remove the two-wire lead from the wiring harness. 
  6. Turn on the multimeter and set it to Rx1 settings. Now touch each of the meter’s probes to one terminal. While doing this, your motor should show a reading between 1 to 0. If not, you should replace your dishwasher motor. 

This is how you can do a continuity test in your dishwasher. I hope the steps have worked well with your dishwasher.

If you have any problems while following the above steps drop your problem in the comment. 

Faulty drain solenoid

Sometimes the faulty drain solenoid can also cause a draining issue in the dishwasher.

If you don’t know what drain solenoid does in the dishwasher? Let me tell you that the drain solenoid opens the drain valve in the dishwasher,

which allows water to exit from the dishwasher. If the drain solenoid is not opening the valve, you will encounter with drain issue in your dishwasher. 


If your drain solenoid is faulty or not working effectively, you should replace your solenoid. The process of replacing the solenoid is easy.

All you need is a screwdriver and a new drain solenoid. If you have these tools follow the below instruction:

  1. Make sure you have turned off the dishwasher power supply. 
  2. Now locate the lower access panel on your dishwasher. After you locate the lower access panel, unthread the screw securing the lower access panel. 
  3. Remove the lower access panel, and there you will see a drain solenoid connected to the wiring harness. 
  4. Remove the wire harness from the dishwasher. 
  5. Using pliers remove the spring from the mounting bracket. 
  6. Now using flat head screwdrivers, remove the drain arms retaining clip. After this, lift the drain arm and the clip. 
  7. Unthread the screw securing the solenoid mounting bracket and remove the solenoid from the dishwasher. 
  8. Follow the same process and install the new drain solenoid in your dishwasher. 

This is the step-wise instruction to replace the faulty drain solenoid in the Kenmore dishwasher. I hope that the step-wise process has aligned with your model of dishwasher. 

Clogged drain filter

If your dishwasher drain filter is clogged, chances are high that you will encounter a drain issue in your dishwasher.

When the water cannot pass from the filter and leads water to stand at the bottom or slowly drains.

In this situation, cleaning the food remains that are clogged inside the drain valve is recommended.


To prevent the drain issue, it is recommended to clean the dishwasher from time to time. When you don’t clean the dishwasher drain valve, food clogged will build over time which can cause drain issues in the dishwasher. Here is the step-wise instruction to clean the dishwasher drain valve.

  1. First of all, Turn off the power supply of your dishwasher and also turn off the water supply. 
  2. Open the dishwasher door and remove the drain compartment of your dishwasher. In some models, you may require to remove the screw to access the compartment. 
  3. Once you access the drain compartment, remove the mesh filter from your dishwasher. 
  4. Inside the mesh filter, you will see all the food clogs and remains. 
  5. Put the filter under the running water, and by using a soft brush, thoroughly clean the filter. Make sure that there is no remaining food particle around. 
  6. Once you are done cleaning the mesh filter. Install the filter and secure it with the drain compartment. 

After cleaning the dishwasher drain filter, I recommend you run a normal cycle and see if the dishwasher is draining properly or not.

Broken drain impeller

The drain impeller plays an important role in draining water from the dishwasher. If your dishwasher is not draining, your drain impeller must be broken.

The drain impeller is connected to the dishwasher motor and spins during the drain cycle.

If the motor is producing strange noise during the drain cycle dishwasher drain impeller must be broken. 


The impeller cannot be repaired once it is broken, and you will need to replace the impeller.

You can buy impeller from any hardware store or online as well.

However, if you don’t know how to replace the broken drain impeller, follow the below step-wise instruction. 

  1. Turn off the dishwasher power supply. 
  2. Open the dishwasher door and remove the lower dish rack.
  3. Depending upon the model, you may need to unread the screw to remove the spray arms from your dishwasher. Remove the bottom spray arms and keep them aside.
  4. Now remove the spray arms bushing and keep it aside. After this, unthread the screw securing the pump outlet cover. 
  5. After you unthread all the screws from the outlet cover, pull the outlet cover from your dishwasher. Inside the outlet cover, you will see a drain impeller.
  6. Inspect the impeller to see if it is rotating properly or not. Make sure that it is not broken and working fine. If it is broken, remove the screw from the impeller and pull it out. 
  7. Now install a new impeller and tightly secure it with a screw. After installing the new impeller, install all the components you have removed during the process. 

After installing the new impeller I recommend you start a normal cycle and see if the dishwasher is draining or not.

Clogged garbage disposal

If you have not cleaned your garbage disposal for a while, it could be the reason behind the draining issue on your dishwasher.

Dirt and food particles can be collected over time which could stop the dishwasher from draining water. 

You can easily access it by removing the drain hose from the garbage disposal.

If no food remains around the garbage disposal, I recommend you check the dishwasher drain hose.

Ensure the drain hose is not kinked and no such food particles are being collected inside. 

To clean the drain hose, you will need to access the drain pump of your dishwasher. Another end of the dishwasher drain hose is connected to the drain pump.

Remove the drain hose from the dishwasher and using a brush and vinegar water solution clean all the food stains from the drain hose.

Once it is cleaned reinstall it on the dishwasher and by starting a normal cycle see if the drain issue persists or not.

How to prevent draining issues in the future?

Drain issues are recurring if you don’t regularly clean your dishwasher. The most effective way to prevent drain issues in your dishwasher is to clean your dishwasher once or twice a week.

Besides this, here are some things that you should keep in mind to prevent all the drain-related issues in your Kenmore dishwasher:

  1. Use the detergent recommended by your manufacturer. Ordinary detergent produces more suds which can further escalate drain issues in your dishwasher.
  2. While cleaning the dishwasher, make sure to clean the dishwasher drain hose and garbage disposal. 
  3. Always use the dishwasher in the recommended settings.
  4. Use vinegar water solution when the dishwasher is not draining. 
  5. Check for error codes before fixing any kind of issue in your dishwasher. 

May Required in Future:-


This article discusses several reasons that encounter draining issues along with their solution. I hope that you have successfully fixed the draining issue on your dishwasher.

If the draining issues persist after trying all the solutions, the dishwasher must have some technical issues.

I recommend you contact dishwasher technicians to fix the issue in your dishwasher.

Apart from this, if you have any problem related to your dishwasher, make sure to leave your problem down below in the comment.

We will reach out to your problem and help you with your queries. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Kenmore dishwasher showing an error code?

The dishwasher throws an error code when there is some problem or issue in the dishwasher. Modern dishwashers are equipped with an advanced error detection system that helps us identify the problem or issues inside the dishwasher using error codes. If you don’t have technical knowledge, you will find it difficult to identify and fix the issue in the dishwasher. However, with the Kenmore dishwasher, you can easily identify issues and problems with the help of an error code.

Why is the Kenmore dishwasher not cleaning?

Dishwashers are designed to clean dishes without any user intervention. If your dishwasher is not cleaning dishes effectively, you must have placed your dishes in the wrong way. The dishwasher has multiple dish racks that are designed for various dishes. You can see the owner manual for more information about the use of a dish rack in your dishwasher. 

Why is the Kenmore dishwasher leaking from the bottom?

Dishwasher leaks from the bottom when there is draining, motor, and broken drain hose issues. If your dishwasher has any of these issues, your dishwasher will certainly leak from the bottom. One of the most common reasons behind leakage in the dishwasher is a loosely connected drain hose. When the drain hose is loosely connected to the drain pump, water will make its way to the bottom rather than garbage disposal. 

How to deactivate child lock mode in the Kenmore dishwasher?

Child lock mode in the dishwasher helps prevent your child from playing with the dishwasher settings and control panel. When you activate this mode, you cannot activate your dishwasher’s cycle and other various features. Press the heated dry/air dry button from the control panel for four seconds and release the button when the light goes off from the control panel. 

I am Kevin Technician and this website is created with the purpose to help common people to find proper information about Dishwasher. Feel free to comment or email your queries.