Frigidaire Dishwasher Not Draining Troubleshooting

Frigidaire Dishwasher Not Draining Troubleshooting

Latest posts by Rosie Greaves (see all)

As you probably already know, Frigidaire is one of the top dishwasher brands on the market. In fact, in 2020, they generated a whopping $57.1 million in global net sales, and experts predict this figure to rise over the next couple of years. Their machines aid families keep dishes squeaky clean all over the world. But, despite their quality and convenience, according to a few online reviews, it’s not uncommon for these machines to have draining problems. 

Issues with dishwasher drainage are annoying, to say the least. After all, no one wants to open the dishwasher to find a flooded mess. But, unfortunately, the simple truth is that any dishwasher can occasionally break down – no matter how reliable the brand. 

Luckily, if your Frigidaire dishwasher isn’t draining, it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the line for your much-needed household assistant. There are many causes of such an issue, most of which are easily fixed without professional assistance.

For instance, most drainage issues come about by debris clogging various parts of the draining mechanism, from the drain basket to the drain valve or drain hose. But there may also be technical or electrical faults with your machine requiring a replacement part.

That said, here in this article, we’ll cover some of the most common causes and remedies for Frigidaire dishwasher draining problems.

There’s lots to discuss. Let’s get stuck in!

Installation hoses for dishwasher machine connection plumbing pipes in kitchen

Check the Drain Hose

Your first port of call should be the drain hose. For the uninitiated, this is what connects your Frigidaire dishwasher to the garbage disposal and is usually located under your sink. 

Once you’ve located the drain hose, here are the red flags to look out for:

Kinks in the Drain Hose

Smart Choice 12' Dehumidifier Drain Hose

First things first, check that the drain hose doesn’t have any kinks in it. Kinks can cause water to back up and overflow to the front panel, leading to that awful flooding we want to avoid. Also, kinks can lead to punctures, which can again, can cause leaks. 

The good news is that kinks in your drain hose are obvious and just as quick to fix. If there’s a kink in your drain hose, we recommend replacing the hose. Unfortunately, the plastic might be too damaged to simply straighten.

Here’s an example drain hose worth considering: Smart Choice 12′ Dehumidifier Drain Hose. One of the perks of this hose is that it negates the need for emptying the dehumidifier bucket because it enables the direct drainage of condensation.

Twists and Turns in the Drain Hose

The drain hose also shouldn’t be twisted or turned. If this is the case, fortunately, the solution is very simple. Just manually straighten the drain hose and see if this fixes your draining woes.

The Drain Hose is Blocked

Alternatively, your drain hose may have gotten blocked with debris. For example, this can happen if a faulty chopper leads to too much food accumulating in your dishwasher. While this issue isn’t immediately obvious from the outside, it’s still relatively easy to check and fix.

Just remove the drain hose from the pump and clean it to temporarily fix your drainage issue. There are plenty of drain cleaners available online; just make sure you choose a cleaner that doesn’t damage the pipe itself. Ideally, you want a cleaner with lower pH levels that can be applied to all surfaces (see below for product recommendations).

Most importantly, however, you should be looking at repairing your food chopper if this problem persists. Otherwise, build-ups will occur regularly. It’s worth noting that different dishwasher models have different food choppers, so you’ll have to do some research to find the right part for your machine. 

Drain Valves

If the drain hose isn’t your issue – it’s time to turn our attention to the drain valves. These are located near your dishwasher’s motor and allow wastewater to flow out of your dishwasher. It also prevents backflow. The drain valve easily gets clogged with food debris, which restricts water from exiting your Frigidaire dishwasher. 

In light of that, we recommend removing the valve and giving it a good clean. In some cases, you might find the valve is faulty and needs replacing. But, unfortunately, you can’t repair a faulty valve. 

Here’s one such example: Frigidaire 154622001 Drain Valve Dishwasher

It’s vital to get this issue sorted as defective valves might allow dirty water to flow back into the dishwasher. So not only will you face flooding, but your dishes might also remain dirty – gross!

You can tell if a valve is defective by removing the drain hose and then filing water into your dishwasher and trying to drain it. You can then use a bucket to trap the drained water. By looking at where and how the water exits, you can tell if the valve is opening properly during the draining process and whether it closes properly after.

The Drain Pump and Motor

It’s uncommon for Frigidaire dishwashers to suffer a faulty pump, but as the issue can’t be completely excluded, here’s what to look out for. First, you need to know that the drain pump uses an impeller to drain water through the drain valve and out through the drain hose. 

There are several reasons why the pump might be defective:

The Pump is Clogged

Your pump might be clogged by debris, such as a piece of broken glass. You can tell if this is the case by the motor’s low humming sound when you start the cycle and can fix this problem by:

  1. Disconnecting the feeder hose and any other connection that might be damaged
  2. Unscrew the base plate of your dishwasher
  3. Disconnect the anti-flood switch
  4. The pump is usually held in place by a few screws. Unscrew them and twist the pump to pull it out. If you face unexpected resistance when pulling the pump, check if a connection or screw is still holding it in place.
  5. Check the impeller to see if debris has clogged it. You can easily scrape off the debris to clean it. Rotate the impeller to check if it’s free to rotate properly.

dishwashing machine

The Motor Isn’t Running Correctly

Another reason the pump might not be functioning correctly is a faulty motor. First, check if the motor is running in the right direction. If it’s not rotating, use a meter to check if its terminals are reached by the circuit. If there’s a current at the terminals, the issue might be the motor’s winding, or the motor might have seized. In this case, you’ll likely have to replace the motor.

Alternatively, suppose you can’t find a current at the terminals. In that case, there might be an electrical issue concerning the electric control, door switches, or timer. In that case, we recommend contacting an expert to fix these technical bits if you’re not well-versed in electric circuits yourself.

The Dishwasher Timer

You can find the dishwasher timer on the control panel of your dishwasher. However, you might be wondering how a timer could be responsible for your Frigidaire dishwasher not draining. 

Here’s why:

The timer indicates when the draining procedure should start, meaning it could be telling your dishwasher to drain too late, therefore leaving water in the front.

You can troubleshoot a faulty timer by checking the dishwasher’s wiring and schematics. Different dishwashers, even models belonging to the Frigidaire brand, have slightly different wiring plans. So, first, you need to locate the exact timer contacts responsible for the drainage system. Then, you can use a meter to check the continuity of the current.

Suppose a current reaches the timer, but no current is coming out. In that case, the timer is defective and isn’t effectively communicating to the dishwasher to begin the draining process. In this case, follow the current out along the wire until you find where the current breaks. You can then replace defective wires if you find a fault in them.

dishwasher timer

A Faulty Garbage Disposer

Your garbage disposer is another reason your Frigidaire dishwasher might not be draining residual water properly. During installation, there could have been an issue, or the disposer could be clogged. Either way, it’s worth checking the drain tube of the garbage disposer. This contains a solid plug that can restrict drainage, so try removing the plug and see if the drainage issue persists. 

You may also want to check the garbage disposer for clogs of excess debris. For this, remove the drain hose and clear it and the disposer’s joint. If larger debris is clogging the hose, check your food chopper to see if it’s failing to properly cut debris down into small enough pieces.

Check Ball

If you can see your dishwasher draining water just fine but still find water returning into the base of your dishwasher. In that case, it’s most likely a backflow issue, which can be caused when the check ball is stuck in the check valve. This is a small plastic ball that helps prevent the backflow of water. If that ball is stuck, it restricts drainage through the check valve. 

The solution to this issue is straightforward: use a screwdriver to free the ball and spray lubricant on it to avoid getting stuck again. Simple, right?

A Clogged Drainage Basket

A clogged drainage basket is one of the most common causes of drainage issues in dishwashers. A drainage basket in your dishwasher is similar to the one in your sink that stops debris from going down the plug. When clogged, such a basket keeps all the water in the sink, or in this case, your dishwasher.

To clean the drainage basket, manually drain all the residual water from the dishwasher to expose this filter. Then pick out the debris to clear it. The drainage basket is bolted with screws, so you’ll need to undo these to remove and clean the filter.

Be careful as you do this because, at times, the basket might be clogged with broken pieces of glass or crockery where things have broken in the washer. 

Clean the Air Gap

While not all Frigidaire dishwashers come with an air gap, those that do need cleaning every few months. Usually, air gaps are found near plug sockets or at points where water flows through pipes in and out of your appliance. These spaces relieve the pressure that can build up when hot water passes through pipes, lessening the risk of bursting.

Clean the areas around exterior connections where dirt might have accumulated. Then, unscrew the cap and apply a pipe cleaner to remove any dust and dirt from the area.

Avoid Liquid Detergents

Another reason your Frigidaire dishwasher isn’t draining could be because of the type of detergent you’re using. Avoid using liquid dish soap, which can cause suds to build up, making it harder for the dishwasher to drain.

The Best Drainage Clearers for Frigidaire Dishwashers

If you’re looking for effective drain cleaners to help unblock a clogged drain hose, here are a few recommendations.

Green Gobbler Liquid Clog Remover

Green Gobbler Dissolve Tub

Green Gobbler’s drainage cleaner is a great solution, suited for sinks, bathtubs, but most importantly, it works wonders on dishwasher drainage pipes. It’s applicable to all surfaces and boasts lower pH levels. The cleaner is also biodegradable and doesn’t produce any unpleasant smells. However, the only downside is that it needs some time to work properly.

Drano Max Gel Clog Remover


With a little patience, this clog remover works wonders. Although it’s slow-action, it’s thick and strong enough to penetrate standing water, and it’s safe on many materials. However, the product may take as much as five hours to work, but the wait is worth it because it can cure even severe clogs.

XIONLAB Safer Drain Opener

XIONLAB Safer Drain Opener

XIONLAB is quick and efficient. The product is non-chemical, non-toxic, non-flammable, and non-corrosive. It’s a dense, thick liquid cleaner that can be used on any type of pipe.

Wave Frigidaire Dishwasher Draining Issues Goodbye

We hope you found this troubleshooting guide helpful for fixing your Frigidaire dishwasher drainage issues. In most cases, repairs are easy to do yourself and just come down to debris getting stuck in the parts responsible for drainage.

Of course, it never hurts to regularly clean your drainage basket, valve, and drain hose and ensure your garbage disposer is clear of large debris. However, if it’s a more technical or electrical fault, we recommend calling in a pro! What was the issue with your Frigidaire Dishwasher? Let us know in the comments below!


Question: Where can I find replacement parts for Frigidaire dishwashers?

Answer: A few of the issues that can cause your Frigidaire dishwasher to not drain require replacement parts. For instance, you might have to purchase a new motor or drain hose, or in some cases, replace the check valve. Luckily, Frigidaire is a well-known brand, and replacement parts are readily available. You can browse Frigidaire dishwasher parts on eSpares, Amazon, or Frigidaire Parts.

Question: What should you do before repairing your Frigidaire dishwasher?

Answer: While some troubleshooting can be done without moving or disassembling any part of the dishwasher, most of the solutions mentioned above require you to take the dishwasher out of its current place. This may mean disconnecting hoses and cables.

So, before you start any repairs on your Frigidaire dishwasher, disconnect the power to the appliance. Then, locate the electrical panel in your home and turn off the appropriate breaker. You’ll also want to disconnect the inlet water supply and disconnect it from the inlet valve on the dishwasher.

There’s a good chance some water spillage will occur while you disconnect the machine and pull it out to access the drain hose and other parts. So, keep a bucket and rags ready to trap any water that drains out.

Question: Should you attempt to fix a Frigidaire dishwasher yourself?

Answer: A faulty dishwasher that doesn’t drain properly is a major annoyance. So, you’ll likely want it sorted as quickly as possible. However, in many cases, fixing a drainage issue yourself is relatively easy once you’ve identified the cause of the problem. 

Many drainage issues come down to nothing more than a clogged part in the system, and all you need to do is clear it out. However, suppose you’ll need to touch the electric circuits or alter the wiring. In that case, we recommend calling an expert to look at the appliance. Remember that handling repairs yourself may affect your warranty. So if you’re unsure of what you’re doing and fear breaking something, it’s often safer to ask for professional assistance.


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