Why is My GE Dishwasher Not Draining and How to Fix?

By SmartHomeBit Staff •  Updated: 12/05/22 •  15 min read

Are you having trouble with your GE dishwasher not draining properly? A dishwasher is a great appliance to have in any home and when it doesn’t work properly, it can cause quite a hassle. Fortunately, most issues with GE dishwashers not draining are common enough to diagnose and easily fix.

In this guide, we will discuss the most common causes of a GE Dishwasher not draining and how you can take the steps to fix them. First, we’ll cover the typical warning signs that your dishwasher is not draining correctly. Then, we will go through each of the possible causes for your issue and explain how to diagnose them. Finally, we will give you our best tips for getting your dishes cleanly dried in no time!

Causes of Dishwasher Not Draining

A dishwasher that isn’t draining properly can cause a lot of frustration and headache. Fortunately, there are typically only a few common causes that can be easily fixed. This article will go over some of the most common causes of dishwasher not draining, as well as how to troubleshoot and fix the problem. Read on to learn more and get your dishwasher draining again.

Blockage in the Drain Hose

One of the common causes of a GE dishwasher not draining is a blockage in the drain hose. The drain hose directs the dirty water and soap residue away from the dishwasher. If it is blocked, water may not be able to flow freely through it, resulting in an unpleasant smell or a persistent dampness in your kitchen.

To check if you have a blockage in the drain hose, first disconnect it from your sink’s garbage disposal by unscrewing its clamp and lifting it off. Then, look carefully at its interior for any build-up of food particles or clogged material that could be causing the issue. If there are any blockages present, try to dislodge them using a pair of needle-nose pliers or try running some hot water through the line to unclog it naturally.

If you still cannot find a blockage and need to access further down the line, use either an auger or a pressure washer if available. When done, make sure you reconnect the hose properly before restarting your GE dishwasher and running another cycle to check for any further issues.

Clogged Drain Pump Filter

The most common culprit behind a dishwasher not draining is a clogged drain pump filter. Located at the bottom of the dishwasher, the filter keeps large food particles from entering the pump. Over time, food scraps can accumulate and eventually prevent water from draining properly. If your dishwasher does not appear to be draining properly, you should check for signs of a clogged filter.

To access the drain pump filter, start by unplugging the power cord or disconnecting power at the circuit breaker box. Tip the dishwasher forward while supporting it with one hand to create an opening in front of the sump assembly. Locate and open up either side of the small round plastic cover that covers the filter area by inserting a flat blade screwdriver into either side of the cover and turning it counterclockwise until it pops off. You may need to remove some screws before you can access this area.

Remove any debris or buildup inside and around both gaskets located on top of sump assembly as well as on both sides of sump bottoms through which water drains out into your sink drain pipe beneath your sink basin or garbage disposal connection beneath your kitchen sink cabinet floor area. Use an old toothbrush to scrub this area clean if need be. Don’t forget to include wiping down all hoses with a rag while you are doing this work because hose clogs are also often connected with why your GE Dishwasher will not drain properly. If everything looks clean, reassemble everything back together in reverse order before retesting how well your GE Dishwasher is draining now after completing these tasks just performed manually by you on-hand in your own home kitchen now!

Malfunctioning Drain Pump

One of the more common causes for a GE dishwasher not draining is a malfunctioning drain pump. The drain pump pushes water through the hose and out of the appliance. If it is blocked or not working, it can cause water to build up in the bottom of the dishwasher tub or cause your appliance to fail to start. You may also notice loud grinding noises coming from the pump or a leak underneath your dishwasher.

To diagnose if this is indeed your problem, start by checking the filter screens inside your dishwasher for blockages. If they are clogged with food particles or other debris, then this could be causing blocked drainage as well as decreased washing performance. To clean these screens, remove them and use a soft brush to gently scrub away any buildup of dirt and grime before replacing them into their original position.

If you can’t find any blockages within the filters and you’re still experiencing drainage issues, it may be time to check on your drain pump itself by taking off its cover with a screwdriver. It’s possible that something has become lodged inside this component, such as an ice cube or utensil handle that’s blocking normal operation of your appliance’s drainage system. If you find something obstructing it, simply remove it and replace the cover securely before testing to make sure everything works properly again!

Malfunctioning Float Switch

One of the most common causes of a GE dishwasher not draining is a malfunctioning float switch. Located inside the front panel of most models, the float switch detects if water has accumulated during the wash cycle. When too much water accumulates, it will cause the switch to stay open and prevent drainage. To test if this is your problem, find and remove the float switch and inspect it for debris or other blockages. You may be able to clean out any obstruction and fix your dishwasher yourself. If this does not resolve the issue, you should replace it with a new part since it can wear out over time.

Malfunctioning Drain Valve

One of the most common problems that can cause a dishwasher not to drain properly is a malfunctioning drain valve. The drain valve is responsible for allowing water to be released from the dishwasher reservoir when it has finished its cycle.

When this valve malfunctions, the dishwasher will be unable to successfully complete the washing process and all of the water that should have been released will remain inside. This can lead to foul odors and may even cause damage to your dishes due to excessive amounts of suds or murky water.

In order for you to fix this issue, you will need to first access the dishwasher reservoir and locate the faulty valve. Often there is a small switch located on top that needs adjusting, but in some cases there may be a more complex internal mechanism that needs replacing or repaired by an experienced technician. After locating any possible faults, you will then need to carefully replace any broken parts or remove any blockages so that water is able to flow freely through the valve again.

How to Fix a Dishwasher Not Draining

If your GE dishwasher is not draining properly, there may be a few possible causes. It could be due to a clogged drain hose, blocked filter, or something more serious. Before spending money on a technician, let’s look at some ways you can troubleshoot and fix the problem yourself. Read on to learn more about the possible causes and solutions for a dishwasher not draining.

Unclog the Drain Hose

If the drain hose on your GE dishwasher becomes clogged, water may not be able to flow properly through the dishwasher. To unclog the drain hose, take a few steps to find and resolve any blockages.

First, check the inlet valve at the back of the dishwasher. There may be a clog in or near the valve that can be removed with a long-handled brush. If this doesn’t work, you can try unplugging and cleaning out the hose itself. Unplugging it will give you access to remove any clogs that are in your dishwasher’s drain hose or outlet tube.

To access both of these parts without removing too much of your dishwasher cabinet, find an access panel near where each component is located and slightly open it up. Make sure to also check for obstructions deeper inside of your drain hose itself – this could be caused by food particles caught between components in more difficult-to-access areas like behind dish racks and within motor areas.

If you’re still having an issue after cleaning out all components, try checking for possible kinks in the hose that could prevent water from flowing through properly as well as disconnecting one end from its connection and running water directly into it with a garden hose; if this successfully causes draining but only by bypassing your washer’s pump system then it’s likely there is something wrong with either its impeller or control board/timer (for electrical issues). Lastly, you may need professional help if none of these solutions solve your issues; take any necessary safety precautions when doing all maintenance items mentioned here — use gloves, wear protective eyeglasses and turn off power supply before doing anything else!

Clean the Drain Pump Filter

It’s always a good idea to start by cleaning the GE dishwasher’s drain pump filter. This should be done if you’re noticing that your dishwasher is not draining, or when slow draining is an issue. In order to do this, it is necessary to access the GE washer’s pump motor. The filter cleaning process requires either pliers or a screwdriver in order to access the components of the pump motor.

Using the screwdriver, carefully unscrew and remove the cabinet panels, then locate and remove the two clips which hold down the bottom cover panel. Once you have accessed the pump motor, locate and open up the drain pump filter cover using pliers or a screwdriver. Gently lift up on any visible debris inside to pull out any food particles or foreign objects that may be causing a clog. Reach into the trap area and thoroughly clean out any debris there too: tweezers or tongs help with this step if needed for tough debris removal.

Reattach all paneling back in place after cleaning out all debris from parts of your dishwasher system including from rims of hoses attached at their base with clamps; remove these clamps if necessary for thorough hose cleaning prior to reattaching them back into their place in your dishwasher system when finished with all steps of hose maintenance and repair etc.. Run a cycle afterward and examine if water is coming out properly from its drain of your dishwasher when cycle completes — should be no water left over inside at that point! If still problems remain despite those efforts trouble shoot any other underlying issues as outlined within user manual guide provided with purchase; such as checking inlet valve/water level pressure switch settings etc…

Replace the Drain Pump

If a drain pump is faulty or damaged, it must be replaced to fix the dishwasher. Replacement of a drain pump isn’t an easy DIY task, but it can be done by individuals who are comfortable working on appliances. Steps for replacing a drain pump include:

1. Unplug the dishwasher from the power supply and turn off the water supply valve.

2. Remove any removable parts, such as racks and wash arms located inside the dishwasher.

3. Disconnect any wires or hoses connected to the old pump and unscrew it from its mounting bracket inside the dishwasher tub. Some models will require lifting up on the tub to access these fasteners from underneath; other models may require removing the center post plate of pumps located in part or all of dishes at times before taking out dishes completely connected within bottom panel, while some may have difficulty trying access all screws above rinse motor area due easy accessibility behind machines, just try navigating around peripherals and hidden areas with caution upon disassembling anytime around any machine will risk extra damages without proper experience with replacing parts safely which resort turn back over professional work recommended more often today than ever before

4. Insert new drainage plug into place, replace screws/washers that come attached and re-attach wires/hoses if available might require slight reshaping depending your model (It’s always best practice to confirm wiring diagrams while consulting manufacture’s manual prior making sure each clamp fits snugly) If need be during process take extra precaution at tightening nut connections due possible leakage down below dish thank which will cause flooding disaster causing expensive repair bill budgeting out later labor duration thoughts if end up following services near future term beware site unseen symptom troubleshooting endeavors estimate accordingly whenever making decisions of how much time spent directly correlates final costs regardless payment method used either when settled final monies due upfront or choose traditional installments according model policy where applicable etc..

5. Replace other parts that were removed earlier in a reverse order then double check for loose hoses as well drain bike connection settings tubing along shaft arm forward alert system until lights dedicated purpose remain blinking off steady state shown lights telltale sign machine ready returning services once more use getting up running again after reassemble steps completed not missing anything look down below sink before calling job finish just case forgot something might overlooked earlier check course need do follow spec sheet instructions properly get full coverage warranty when available apply since can’t predict future sometimes call back customers find reasons why warranty didn’t qualify including investigation misdiagnosis inspection errors improper use more

Replace the Float Switch

In some cases of dishwasher not draining, the issue may lie with the float switch. The float switch is designed to shut off the flow of water when it rises above a set limit to prevent flooding. Over time, it can become clogged with debris from regular use that prevents it from working properly. Replacing the float switch is a relatively straightforward procedure that should take approximately 30 minutes depending on how much access you have to the back of your dishwasher. Here are some steps to help you get started:

1. Turn off power to the dishwasher by unplugging it or shutting off the breaker in your home’s breaker box. Make sure that all knobs are secured in the “off” position before continuing.

2. Locate the float switch inside your dishwasher and disconnect any wiring connected to it as well as any hoses or other components attached to it.

3. Prepare and install your new replacement float switch by connecting all necessary hoses and wiring before securing it tightly with nuts and bolts.

4. Reconnect all hoses and wiring you disconnected from the original float switch and make sure all fittings are tight before testing out your machine by running a cycle with hot water only so you can ensure everything is functioning correctly without any leftover debris from previous washes entering in again when you fill up again during regular washing cycles.

Replace the Drain Valve

If your GE dishwasher does not seem to be draining correctly, the issue might be due to a faulty or clogged drain valve. This is an important part of the dishwasher that is responsible for controlling the flow of water from the tub and out through the water drain hose. To replace the valve, you will need to disconnect power from your dishwasher and remove all hoses connected to it. You will then need to remove any screws or clips still holding the valve in place, being careful not to bend any of them during removal. Once this is done, you can install your new valve by reconnecting all hoses and securely fastening any screws or clips that were originally there. Be sure to use plumber’s tape around each connection point before tightening in order to ensure a tight seal and prevent potential leaks. After reinstalling the new drain valve and testing it, if it still isn’t draining correctly it may be time to call a qualified technician for further assistance on resolving your dishwasher woes!


We have discussed some of the common causes and steps to troubleshoot a GE dishwasher not draining properly. If your dishwasher still is not draining properly, you might need to seek aid from a professional in order to repair any more complex problems, as a certain degree of skill is required to work with and diagnose the electrical components in the appliance.

If all else fails, you can contact General Electric customer service directly through their website or by telephone. Their technical support staff is available seven days a week and can be very helpful in diagnosing problem units. Be sure to have your serial number handy when contacting GE customer service so they can put you in contact with the nearest authorized service technician for your model.

SmartHomeBit Staff