Why Does My Sink Back Up Whenever I Run The Dishwasher?

clogged drain

Very few people who have a dishwasher can imagine their home without one. Dishwashers simply make household chores that much easier. These appliances are well-built, but they, too, can show some issues that could cause some significant inconvenience. One of the most common problems with dishwashers is when the sink backs up when the dishwasher runs. Consequently, this causes the sink to flood. How does this happen, and why?

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Reasons Your Sink Backs Up When The Dishwasher Runs

In this article, we discuss the factors that contribute to this issue.

Dishwasher Is Obstructed

If too much water pools under your dishwasher, there may be an obstruction in the appliance itself. This is the likely cause for standing water under the unit and for water backing up into your sink.

What To Do: Check the unit for trapped particles and remove these. Generally, the problem is due to a filled drain basket. This is a mesh filter found at the bottom of your dishwasher tub. Check if it can be removed, then clean it by removing any food debris. Use baking soda and vinegar to remove a blockage in the drain. You can also flush any leftover debris by pouring boiling water into it. Inspect the drain hose for obstruction due to food particles and detergent buildup. Pouring vinegar down the hose will usually help clear it. If all else fails, call Robinson Plumbing.

Clogged Kitchen Sink

image of a dishwasher repairClogged sinks are fairly common and generally easy to fix. If your sink does not drain water well, there may be debris blocking the passageway. If your dishwasher backs up, check to see if your sink is clogged.

What To Do: Clean the sink by physically removing whatever is causing the clog. Use a drain snake or run the garbage disposal. If these methods do not work, call a plumber to inspect your drain.

Blocked Drain Plug

The drain plug in the dishwasher covers the opening where the unit connects to the garbage disposal. If it is left on, it will prevent the proper flow of water.

What To Do: If the drain plug is indeed left on, simply remove it and observe if the unit drains properly.

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Clogged Garbage Disposal

Many dishwashers are designed to drain into the same drain adapter for the garbage disposal. Water that is drained from the dishwasher, along with any waste, can cause a blockage in the garbage disposal.

What To Do: Always make sure that the garbage disposal is clear. If the clog is due to trapped food debris, you can prevent water from backing up by clearing this blockage. Put the stopper into the drain hole of the sink, then pour very hot (not boiling) water into it. Remove the stopper and allow the water to drain by running the garbage disposal. Hot water is usually an easy fix for mild to moderate blockage because it will help soften greasy debris and make it easier to drain. You can also pour cracked ice and some salt into the disposal while running it. This will help clear the clog. If this doesn’t work, call a professional plumber.

image of a woman using a dishwasher

Blockage In The Air Gap

The air gap is a cylindrical chamber that is installed next to the kitchen sink. It helps prevent wastewater coming from the sink or the garbage disposal from backing up into the dishwasher. Over time, the air gap may become clogged, causing the water to back up.

What To Do: Most air gaps are easy to remove. Simply clean the clogged air gap to allow the smooth flow of water. Remove the cover of the air gap and the protective cap. Clean as much of the gunk as possible. If the debris is more difficult to remove, consider using a tool such as a bottle brush to reach into the tight space. Usually, this task is best left for the professionals. Call a licensed plumber.

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When To Call A Professional Plumber

Simple preventive measures can avoid many problems with the dishwasher. To keep your appliances working well, inspect and clean them regularly. However, if the problem persists after simple fixes, call a plumber immediately. The issue may be more serious, and a plumber should check it right away to prevent further damage.


Call Robinson Plumbing For All Of Your Plumbing Needs

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For reliable plumbing services, contact Robinson Plumbing, one of the Lehigh Valley’s most trusted plumbing companies.

Our plumbing services range from garbage disposal repair, water leak detection and repairs, clogged drains, to the installation of water-efficient plumbing fixtures. For any plumbing repairs, we always offer a wide range of solutions whenever possible. This way, you can choose the option that works best for your budget and family.

We are proud to offer the best and most affordable plumbing services in the area. All of our plumbers have the proper licenses and experience to ensure your satisfaction. All of our work is guaranteed. Contact Robinson Plumbing today to schedule a free estimate.

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