Troubleshooting Guide: Frigidaire Dishwasher Not Draining Properly

A dishwasher is a modern convenience that makes our lives easier by taking care of dirty dishes and cutlery. Frigidaire dishwashers, known for their reliability and efficiency, are popular appliances in many American households. However, like any mechanical device, they can sometimes encounter issues, and one common problem is a Frigidaire dishwasher not draining properly. In this comprehensive troubleshooting guide, we will explore the potential causes behind this issue and provide step-by-step solutions to help you resolve it.

Understanding the Importance of Proper Dishwasher Drainage

Before we dive into the troubleshooting process, let’s understand why proper dishwasher drainage is essential. When your Frigidaire dishwasher completes a cycle, it should efficiently drain the dirty water, leaving your dishes sparkling clean. If the dishwasher fails to drain adequately, you may face several issues, including:

  • Unclean dishes: Inadequate drainage can result in dirty water remaining in the dishwasher, leading to unclean dishes and cutlery after a cycle.
  • Foul odors: Stagnant water can create a breeding ground for bacteria and produce unpleasant odors, affecting the overall freshness of your kitchen.
  • Damage to the dishwasher: If left unresolved, the accumulation of water can cause damage to the dishwasher’s internal components, leading to costly repairs or even a complete breakdown.

Now that we understand the significance of proper drainage, let’s explore the potential causes behind a Frigidaire dishwasher not draining and how to troubleshoot them effectively.

Clogged Drain Basket and Filter

The first component to check when encountering drainage issues is the dishwasher’s drain basket and filter. Over time, food particles, debris, and other foreign objects can accumulate, obstructing the drainage process. Follow these steps to clean the drain basket and filter:

  • Turn off the dishwasher and disconnect it from the power supply.
  • Locate the drain basket at the bottom of the dishwasher and remove any visible debris or food particles.
  • Next, remove the filter cover and carefully clean the filter using warm soapy water. Ensure that there are no clogs or residue left behind.
  • Reinstall the filter and drain basket, making sure they are securely in place.

Blocked Drain Hose

If the dishwasher’s drain hose is blocked or kinked, it can prevent proper drainage. Follow these steps to check and clear any obstructions in the drain hose:

  • Locate the drain hose at the back of the dishwasher. It is usually connected to the sink’s plumbing or a garbage disposal unit.
  • Disconnect the drain hose from the plumbing and place a bucket or towel underneath to catch any water that may spill out.
  • Inspect the drain hose for any visible clogs or kinks. Use a long brush or a straightened wire coat hanger to gently remove any blockages.
  • Once cleared, reconnect the drain hose securely to the plumbing or garbage disposal unit.

Malfunctioning Drain Pump

If the dishwasher’s drain pump is faulty or not functioning correctly, it can lead to drainage issues. Follow these steps to troubleshoot the drain pump:

  • Consult the dishwasher’s user manual to locate the drain pump. It is usually situated at the bottom of the dishwasher, near the drain hose.
  • Check for any visible signs of damage or debris obstructing the drain pump. Clean the pump and remove any blockages if necessary.
  • Ensure that the drain pump’s impeller is spinning freely. If it’s not, it may be a sign of a malfunctioning pump that requires professional repair or replacement.

Insufficient Air Gap

An insufficient air gap can also contribute to a Frigidaire dishwasher not draining properly. The air gap is a small device located on the countertop or sink that prevents backflow of wastewater into the dishwasher. Follow these steps to address the air gap issue:

  • Locate the air gap device, usually installed next to the sink. It consists of a cylindrical or conical structure with an open top.
  • Remove the top cap of the air gap and check for any blockages. Clear away any debris or buildup that may be obstructing the flow of water.
  • Run water through the air gap to ensure proper drainage. If water is not flowing freely or backing up, you may need to clean or replace the air gap device.

Dishwasher Installation Issues

Improper installation of the dishwasher can also lead to drainage problems. If the dishwasher is not installed correctly, it may not be properly aligned with the plumbing system. Consider the following steps to address installation issues:

  • Check the dishwasher’s installation manual to ensure it is correctly positioned and aligned with the drain hose and plumbing.
  • Verify that the drain hose is elevated and securely connected to the plumbing or garbage disposal unit to prevent water backflow.
  • Ensure that the dishwasher’s leveling legs are adjusted correctly to maintain a slight tilt towards the back. This tilt allows for proper drainage and prevents water accumulation in the dishwasher.

Professional Assistance

If you have followed all the troubleshooting steps mentioned above and your Frigidaire dishwasher still isn’t draining properly, it may be time to seek professional assistance. Certified technicians are equipped with the knowledge and expertise to diagnose and resolve complex dishwasher issues. Contact Frigidaire’s customer service or schedule an appointment with a reliable appliance repair service to have your dishwasher thoroughly inspected and repaired if needed.


A Frigidaire dishwasher not draining properly can be a frustrating problem to encounter. However, by following the troubleshooting steps mentioned in this guide, you can identify and address the underlying causes effectively. Remember to clean the drain basket and filter, check for blocked drain hoses, inspect the drain pump, ensure sufficient air gap, and verify proper dishwasher installation. If all else fails, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance. With the right approach and maintenance, your Frigidaire dishwasher will be back to efficiently cleaning and draining your dishes, restoring convenience to your kitchen routine.

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