When people think about drain cleaning, minds often go to problems like sinks not draining properly and drain cleaning solution not getting the job done. Unfortunately, matters get more complicated when your dishwasher is involved, as you can't run drain cleaning solution through a dishwasher. However, assessing your dishwasher's behavior can provide you with an early clue that something's wrong with your plumbing. Here's three situations you should look out for.
Water Backing Up
Having something come up and out of your sink drain is a pretty rare occurrence, but you may find that it happens earlier or more often with a dishwasher. In fact, this problem can happen before you even know there's an issue with your plumbing.
This is because a dishwasher is attached to the plumbing that also runs your kitchen sink. So when something goes wrong with your kitchen's sink plumbing and water can't go where it's supposed to, it will often come back up through the dishwasher, rather than your sink drain. If you've opened up the dishwasher and noticed that there's standing water even though you drained it recently, this is likely due to a clog somewhere in the plumbing line that hasn't yet become a full clog but is preventing some fluids from draining properly out of your home and to the sewer system.
Another common problem with dishwashers is that they can smell bad. If you've already cleaned your dishwasher and emptied the waste trap only to continue having this problem, it's likely your pipes are to blame.
Dishwashers have larger drains than sinks, and they're usually closer to the ground than sinks, too. All this means is that when a bad smell or gases start being produced by something in your pipes, it often becomes apparent through the dishwasher before the sink. If you've cleaned the dishwasher and the bad smell persists, it's time to consult with a plumber.
Inability to Drain
If a problem with a partial clog isn't taken care of quickly, it can soon impact the functionality of your dishwasher. Dishwashers use a lot of pressure to push water out of the dishwasher and into plumbing, whereas a standard sink just lets gravity do the work. However, this means that a dishwasher is more likely to encounter a problem with partial clogs, as there's a higher quantity of fluid and waste trying to squeeze through all at once. As a result, this can lead to water being unable to drain and even overflowing.
This is a big problem because if dirty water rises high enough, it can contaminate your dishes and potentially lead to food poisoning. If there's standing water in your dishwasher or an overflow onto the floor, seek help from a plumber immediately.
Thankfully, all three of these problems can be tackled with a professional drain cleaning. Call a plumber to get help.