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

Posted On: March 01, 2016

Having a dishwasher is very convenient, as washing dishes by hand is never much fun. However, there are times when using a dishwasher can be a hassle too. Like when you come home to find your sink full of dirty water. This can be an inconvenience and quite frankly, gross.

The sink backing up when running a dishwasher is a very common problem that a lot of the time can be fixed with just a simple plumbing repair.

These are the most common reasons your sink is backing up into the dishwasher:

Jammed/Slow Garbage Disposal

Check to make sure your drain plug isn’t covering the garbage disposal. If the drain plug is covering the garbage disposal it can result in water not properly draining from your dishwasher or sink. This is a simple fix. Take the drain plug out and the problem should be solved.

Most likely, your fix isn’t going to be quite that simple. Let’s move on to the next culprit, a slow garbage disposal. An older way of connecting dishwasher drains was to use a small drain inlet on the side of a garbage disposal. This way works fine if there is no debris in the way so the water can drain quickly. However, in this case if the garbage disposal is clogged, even partially it can cause water to backup into the sink. The easiest fix in this case is to clean your garbage disposal.

Clogged Sink

If the garbage disposal isn’t to blame it could be that you have a clogged sink. Safe drain cleaners or a drain snake may help you clear the drain. The professional plumbers at Genz-Ryan are always here to help if you’re having trouble.

Blocked Kitchen Sink Air Gap

Some kitchen sinks have an air gap installed with them. If the air gap is clogged this will stop your dishwasher from draining properly giving you a sink full of water. Clean your air gap by removing the top cover and then unscrew the inner protective cap to see if debris is easily removable.

Dishwasher Obstruction

If you open the dishwasher and see standing water sitting at the bottom of it, you’ll know it’s not draining properly. Check to see if food or other debris is covering the drain in the back of your dishwasher. In addition, check the drain hose on the dishwasher to see if there is a kink.

If these solutions don’t work or you are not comfortable attempting them it’s a good idea to contact a professional plumber to diagnose the issue.

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