How do I get a dead dishwasher to drain? Not currently on fire.
February 1, 2019 8:40 AM   Subscribe

My dishwasher just died dramatically and I had to cut off the power. I've always hated this dishwasher and am going to get a new one, but for now I've got a dead dishwasher with a few inches of gross water in the bottom. How do I get it to drain, if it isn't powered?

It's a KitchenAid, model KUDS30FXSS.
posted by The corpse in the library to Home & Garden (10 answers total)
Assuming its a built-in, there should be a drain hose from the dishwasher that's attached to the sink drain. If you are handy, remove the hose and let it drain down into a bucket or tray. or you could mop up the water inside the dishwasher with towels.
posted by pgoes at 8:48 AM on February 1, 2019

Response by poster: I know we can bail it, but maybe there's a less unpleasant way. (Edit: sorry, that's not a reaction to your comment.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:48 AM on February 1, 2019

I'd rent/borrow a shop-vac and do it manually. It will still leak whatever is in the hoses when it's removed, however.
posted by missmary6 at 8:50 AM on February 1, 2019 [4 favorites]

Do you have a siphon? If not, you can always go with a hose. The tricky part is getting the output lower than the input hose, and if you're doing the classic method of using your mouth to start the siphon process, well, there's potential for unpleasantness there.

Turkey baster would need a lot of repetitive motion but you wouldn't quite be touching the water as you pump it out.
posted by Sunburnt at 8:51 AM on February 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

I once did this with a turkey baster.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:02 AM on February 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

How dead is dead? On my piece-of-shit GE Monogram dishwasher, you could force the machine into a service & diagnostic mode and control each part of the system (circulation pump, drain pump, heater, fan) separately by pushing buttons in a certain way.

When mine died I was able to run just the drain pump and get a significant portion of the water out.

Looks like there's some kind of backdoor to your model but I haven't looked super hard. Also, there's usually a piece of paper tucked inside the unit with a wiring diagram and instructions on starting the service mode. Remove the kickplate and see if you can see anything in there.
posted by JoeZydeco at 9:08 AM on February 1, 2019 [2 favorites]

You don’t have to siphon with your mouth! Fill the tubing with water, and put thumbs over both ends. Still have to get your outlet below the water level, though, which isn’t likely to be easy.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 10:29 AM on February 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

If you have time, go buy a manual water transfer pump from Home Depot or the like. They're cheap, and can be surprisingly handy for a homeowner.

Pop a washing-machine drain line filter sock on the intake end, and pump away. It'll probably take a minute or less.
posted by aramaic at 1:19 PM on February 1, 2019

I’d probably disconnect it, drag it outside and turn it on its side.
posted by DrumsIntheDeep at 9:52 PM on February 1, 2019

Response by poster: I solved it by leaving town for a few days and making my kids deal with it.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:00 AM on February 4, 2019 [2 favorites]

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