Why Won't My Frigidaire Dishwasher Drain?

By Cory White
Why Won’t My Frigidaire Dishwasher Drain?

If you find water at the bottom of your Frigidaire dishwasher at the end of a drain cycle, chances are that your dishwasher is not draining. There are a few possible causes for your Frigidaire dishwasher not draining. Follow this troubleshooting to try and fix such an issue.

Reasons for not draining

Drain Hose Blockages 

One of the first things to check for when your dishwasher is not draining is in the drain hose.

This is the hose that links the garbage disposal to the dishwasher.

It helps in taking out the dirty water that has washed your dishes to the garbage disposal. 

If it has been clogged with food material or any foreign substance, the dishwasher won’t be able to drain well.

Unclamp the drain hose and inspect it for any blockages or visible damage. 

If the drain hose is clogged, unclog it using a long wire. Your dishwasher should now be able to drain after removing the clogged substances from the hose. 

Dishwasher filter needs cleaning

The filter helps the Frigidaire dishwasher to prevent food particles or anything from going into the drain. 

However, if you have been using your dishwasher frequently, grease or food particles may have accumulated on the filter.

If the water can’t go through the filter, that means it cannot end up in the drain hose. 

Locate the filter using your user manual. 

Take out the filter and scour it clean with a soft brush under running hot water.

Rinse it well and put it back in the dishwasher and the unit should be able to drain now.

Dishwasher drain pump

Your Frigidaire dishwasher uses a pump to force dirty water out of the unit when the washing is done. If the motor of the dishwasher is not functioning properly, the dishwasher won’t be able to drain.

Using your user manual, access the drain pump and inspect it for any foreign objects that might be blocking it.

Eliminate any object that is obstructing the drain pump.

If you are not seeing anything wrong with the drain pump, you have to check if it is functioning properly electronically. Do this by connecting the two probes of your multimeter to the motor and checking if there is continuity.

If there is, the motor is fine. If the reading is negative, you have to replace your drain pump with a new one. 

Air Gap and Garbage Disposal

If your Frigidaire dishwasher is not draining, your air gap and garbage disposal could be clogged.

You can use your user manual to locate the air gap. However, it is usually located near the sink right above the garbage disposal.

That air gap is meant to help prevent dirty water from flowing back into the machine after being drained out. Therefore, if it is blocked by foreign stuff, it won’t be able to do this job. This could make a dishwasher fail to drain. 

Remove the cap of the air gap and clean it very well.

Don’t forget to unclog your garbage disposal because this is where drained water from the dishwasher is supposed to flow into. 

If it is clogged, your dishwasher won’t be able to drain.

Check the timer

The timer on your Frigidaire dishwasher is very important. 

It controls the drain solenoid by making it open the drain valve when the unit is draining and closing it when draining is done. This prevents the unclean water from returning to the dishwasher.

However, if the timer is not working, it won’t be able to close the drain valve after draining and that dirty water will flow back into the dishwasher. This is why you find water stuck in the dishwasher after a drain cycle.

Please replace the timer with a new one from Frigidaire.

Using the Wrong Type of Detergent

Dishwashers were designed to use a specific kind of detergent. The chemicals in dishwasher detergent allow the dishes to be cleaned well without causing any suds. 

However, using the wrong type of detergent including dish soap will cause a lot of foam. This will result in flooding of suds from your dishwasher. 

The wrong kind of detergent will create suds that cannot be drained out of the dishwasher during a normal wash cycle. 

This kind of foam cannot drain out during the normal drain cycle because the hot water in the dishwasher increases foaming. 

Stuck Check Valve

The check valve is a dishwasher component that blocks drained water from returning to the dishwasher.

If your dishwasher signals that it is finished washing dishes and you find water stuck in your dishwasher, a damaged check valve could be the problem. 

This means that the dishwasher is draining but the water keeps on coming back into the unit.

This valve can occasionally get stuck. Try to release it if it’s stuck. Inspect the check valve and make sure that it is working. If the check valve is broken, you have to replace it with a new one.

Check ball

The check ball works hand-in-hand with the check valve. It’s a little ball that keeps dirty water from re-entering the dishwasher.

 If the check ball gets stuck your unit will not be draining. Remove the ball from where it is stuck. If this ball continues to get stuck, then it is damaged. You need to replace it with a new Frigidaire check ball. 

You cannot repair a defective check ball. 

Simply look up the model number of your Frigidaire dishwasher and purchase a new check ball of the same type. This is because a check ball from another model or brand may not work in your specific dishwasher.

Seeking professional help 

Fixing a dishwasher that is not draining is usually a very simple test.

However, if you have tried the above troubleshooting guide and your dishwasher is still not draining, something else could be wrong with the dishwasher. 

You should get assistance from an expert who can inspect your dishwasher and diagnose the problem.

If you have failed to locate any part using your user manual, you also need to seek help or a qualified technician.

If you’ve also failed to check if a specific part of the dishwasher is the cause of the draining problem, you need help from professionals.


If your Frigidaire dishwasher is not draining, fixing it is usually a simple matter. 

Most of the time, the issue is a clogged drain hose or filters.

Sometimes you might have to open up the dishwasher to check some parts like the check valve. 

To avoid problems like this one, it is advised that you clean your dishwasher regularly.

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