How to Replace Dishwasher Drain Hose

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The drain hose to your dishwasher is a sturdy plastic tube that allows the dirty water and food particles from your washed dishes to drain onto the kitchen drain under your sink. It is flexible and trails from the underneath of your dishwasher drain through the cabinetry and connects to a T-junction beneath your sink and/or garbage disposal.

When something goes wrong with your dishwasher drain hose, this can be a serious problem. You may be experiencing leaking or clogging in a way that is not easily fixed without fully replacing the drain hose. So today we’re here to help you replace the drain hose one step at a time. 

Safety First

The first step is one of safety. Make sure your dishwasher power is disconnected. If you cannot reach the plug, as is common, then flip off the breaker that powers your dishwasher. Be certain that the dishwasher does not have power before continuing. Then you will want to cut off the water, as you will be pulling the dishwasher out of its place to reach the drain hose connection underneath. Turning off the water is not always necessary, but it can prevent flooding in case something does not go according to plan. 

Disconnect from the Sink

Next, disconnect your dishwasher drain hose from the t-junction under the sink. You will likely need to remove the air trap which is a small intermediate part. Keep ahold of the air trap, as you’ll need it later. This junction is often connected with a worm clamp or spring clip. To remove, loosen the bolt that holds the clamp together rather than twisting the entire rig. Some dishwasher drain hoses are just propped into the drain underneath, a common DIY shortcut. If so, you will need a new worm clamp and air trap.

When you disconnect the drain hose, there may still be water inside. So place a bucket or deep baking dish beneath the drain array and let the water in the hose pour out as you disconnect it. Now is also a good time to rinse the air trap which can occasionally get clogged over time.  

Pull Out Your Dishwasher

The next step is to access the underside of your dishwasher to disconnect the hose. To do this, you will need to pull your dishwasher out of its place. Start by removing any screws around the top or sides of the dishwasher attaching it to the counter. Then remove the kickplate front panel and disconnect the remaining screws holding the dishwasher in place.

Lay a towel on the floor in front of the dishwasher to prevent scratching then very carefully lift and wiggle your dishwasher out of the counter slot. Set the dishwasher front on the towel to make this easier. Be careful pulling out your dishwasher, as the water lines and power plug may limit how far you can pull it out. Once your dishwasher is about a certain amount, you may be able to reach back or under the sink to disconnect these for additional slack. 

Disconnect the Drain Hose

When your dishwasher is out of its slot, pull the drain hose fully out of the hole in the cabinetry and trace it to where the hose connects to the pump underneath the dishwasher. Now that you have access to the dishwasher pump and the drain hose connection, you are ready to fully remove the original drain hose. This is also likely connected with a worm clamp which means that you loosen the bolt to release the clamp. It there is a spring clip, use pliers to release the wire spring. If there is an additional nut holding the hose in place, this will need to be removed as well. 

Connect and Thread New Drain Hose

Now it’s time to reverse the process as we install the new drain hose. Connect the new drain hose to the pump assembly with the worm clamp, just as the previous drain hose was connected. If there was an additional nut holding the hose in place, reconnect this as well. Then thread the drain hose through the cabinetry hole to where it can reach the drain assembly underneath your sink. 

Set Dishwasher Back Into Place

If you unplugged your dishwasher or the water connections, reconnect them as you carefully slide your dishwasher back into the slot in the cabinetry. Use the towel for sliding when possible and you may need to do a little lifting to settle the appliance back into place. Make sure the power cable and water connections are secure.

Then reconnect all the screws and brackets that hold your dishwasher attached to the cabinetry. Now your dishwasher is securely back in place so you can safely return the kickplate. 

Connect Hose Under the Sink

Back under the sink, you are now safe to reconnect the drain hose to the t-section beneath the sink drain and/or garbage disposal. Don’t forget to reattach the air trap and firmly tighten the bolt of the worm clamp to hold everything in place. This connection is important because it prevents the dishwasher drain hose from leaking and causing water damage under your sink. 

Bring Back the Power and Water

Now you are ready to undo your safety precautions and prepare to test your work. Start by turning the water back on either at the connections under the sink or your water main, whichever you switched off before this repair. Then flip the breaker that controls your dishwasher back on, restoring power. 

Test Your Work

Finally, it’s time to test the success of your repair.  Run your dishwasher on a short empty cycle and listen to the sounds of the cycle as it runs. Keep an eye on both the area under your dishwasher and under the sink for signs of leaking, just in case. When your dishwasher completes a wash cycle completely, open it and check the bottom. If there are no leaks under the unit or sink and the dishwasher floor is clear of water then your drain hose replacement was a success.

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