3 Tips To Prevent Your Dishwasher Backing Up

diswasher maintenanceHow will you discover you have a dishwasher backing up? Maybe you’ll open the dishwasher door and gallons of greasy, soapy water will slosh out across your clean kitchen floor. If you’re not around when the backup occurs, standing water may leak out the bottom of the dishwasher door gasket instead, spreading underneath the unit, saturating the subfloor and the wall behind. No matter how it happens, a dishwasher backing up is a source of kitchen water damage as well as longer-term effects like mold growth.

Tips to avoid water damage

Here are three tips to prevent the main causes of water damage:

  1. Keep the garbage disposal clear. Many dishwashers discharge drain water through the garbage disposal in the adjacent kitchen sink. If the disposal is clogged with food debris, dishwasher drain water may back up through the drain line. Fill the kitchen sink with very hot water, then remove the sink stopper and run the disposal to flush out debris. Pouring two cups of cracked ice plus a cup of salt down the disposal afterwards also helps clear clogs.
  2. Clean the drain basket. It’s the plastic mesh filter in the bottom of the dishwasher tub that strains out food debris that could clog the drain line. Most drain baskets can be taken out with a screwdriver and cleaned outside the unit. While it’s out, pour a cup of baking soda followed by a cup of vinegar down the drain opening. After 15 minutes, follow that with a pan or two of boiling hot water to flush the drain.
  3. Check the air gap. Dishwasher drain lines often incorporate an anti-siphon air gap—a cylindrical metal chamber mounted beside the kitchen sink. The air gap prevents waste water from the sink or disposal from siphoning backwards into the dishwasher. If the air gap becomes clogged with debris or soap residue, it may obstruct flow of dishwasher drain water. Most air gaps have screw-on caps that can be removed so the component can be cleaned out.

Ask the experts at Rytech, Inc. about more remedies for water damage from a dishwasher backing up.

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