Kenmore Dishwasher Not Draining

Misty Faucheux

Kenmore is a brand of home appliances sold by Sears, Roebuck and Co. The company sells both built-in and portable dishwashers. These dishwashers are made to last a long time, but you may have some problems with minor issues like the dishwasher not draining. Troubleshoot these problems, because you can often repair drainage issues yourself.

Normal Operation and Waste Disposer

Your Kenmore dishwasher normally has a small amount of water left in the tub after the cycle is done. If you see a lot of standing water, verify that the cycle is actually complete. If not, close the door of the tub and press the Start button. If your dishwasher still isn’t draining, check the food waste disposer. Run it if it has food in it. If you just installed the disposer, see if the knockout plug is removed.

Blocked Hose and Air Gap

A Kenmore dishwasher commonly doesn’t drain due to clogs in your drainage hose or air gap. The drainage hose is located on the rear of the machine. Stop the dishwasher and disconnect it from the power source. Unscrew the drainage hose and remove any debris in it with a plastic utensil. Straighten the hose if it's kinked. The air gap is located near the sink. Remove the cap and use a flashlight to look into it. Dig out clogs with a utensil.


If you have not used your dishwasher for a while, see if the motor is stuck. Disconnect the dishwasher from the power source and remove the main housing. Turn the motor until it freely turns. If the motor is making a humming sound, but it won’t turn, you need to replace it since it’s difficult to repair this part. Get a new motor if it’s producing an electrical burning smell.

Drain Valve and Pump

Some Kenmore model dishwashers have a drain valve. This valve is responsible for opening and closing to let water out of the tub. If the valve doesn’t open, see if anything is clogging or blocking the valve. Clean it out if it's dirty and remove any dishes or utensils keeping it from opening. Test the solenoid inside the valve for resistance. If it doesn’t have resistance, get a new valve since it’s difficult to replace.

The pump is responsible for removing water from the tub. It is located underneath the spray arm and lower rack. Examine the pump and see if any dirt is clogging the pump. If not, check it for broken components. You must replace the pump if it has broken components since it’s difficult to repair.