maytag dishwasher won't drain

You might face this situation out of nowhere: the water on Maytag dishwasher won’t drain.

When that happens, your daily routine gets behind because you need to start washing things manually.

So let’s check how to fix the problem.

When the Maytag dishwasher doesn’t drain, it could mean that the filter or some tube is clogged with too much debris. Alternatively, the problem might indicate you need to change the drain impeller, air gap, or check valve.

The guide below contains insightful info that will help you get your Maytag dishwasher back into draining water in no time.

If cleaning is necessary, we will help you clean it with the best solutions.

Also, if repair or replacement is needed for some parts, we’ve got you covered!

Maytag Dishwasher Won’t Drain – Reasons

why my maytag dishwasher won't drain

When the water in your Maytag dishwasher won’t drain, a few things could be wrong. 

Before you can solve the problem, you need to know what caused it.

Here are some of the most common things that will make the Maytag dishwasher face draining problems:

Blocked Draining System

If you don’t clean your dishwasher for a long time, the components responsible for letting water out will get filthy.

Broken Drain Impeller

The drain impeller’s job is to send the water away, as the name suggests. When it’s broken, it’s not strong enough to perform its function.

Dirty Air Gap

The air gap is also responsible for allowing the water to leave the dishwasher. When it is filthy, that function gets compromised.

Malfunctioning Check Valve

This valve tells the water which way to go. Draining won’t happen if debris is in the way or the piece is defective.

Too Much Dirt in the Filter

Once the filter gets clogged with too much food residue, water will stop flowing the way it should.

How To Fix A Maytag Dishwasher Not Draining

how  fix maytag dishwasher won't drain

Why won’t my Maytag dishwasher drain? You are most likely looking into your dishwasher because the section above showed you what may be wrong with it.

Hoses, filters, pumps, and so on may all be inspected. 

But, before taking action, it is mandatory to get insight into the problem-solving strategies that will be most effective.

Method #1: Check The Air Gap

The air gap ensures dirty water won’t flow back into your home’s water supply.

So when the air gap gets dirty, like clogged with too much debris, it stops working properly. 

First, you must watch through the air gap’s top and check if there is debris.

Then, when you notice too much filth in it, here is what you must do:

  1. Scrub all the visible dirt with a toothbrush;
  2. Test how the gap behaves by pouring some water.

Running water through the gap will let you know whether there is more work to be done. 

Clean It Properly

Suppose the water can’t flow or barely flows, here is what you need to do next:

  1. Detach the air gap’s tubes
  2. Get a mix of water, vinegar, and bicarbonate;
  3. Clean the tubes with that mix;
  4. Scrub everything you can with a toothbrush;
  5. Connect the tubes again.
Tip: Sometimes warm water is a great ally to removing persistent debris. You can add vinegar and bicarbonate to deliver an extra punch.

Method #2: Check The Drain Impeller

check the propeller inside

The dishwasher drain impeller provides the required power to remove the water from the appliance.

A faulty one might cause the dishwasher to stop draining.

How To Check The Impeller

Before assuming that the drain impeller is the malfunctioning culprit, you must find it and see how it is doing.

Here is how:

  1. Place the machine on a flat surface;
  2. Locate the drain impeller at the base of the appliance (close to the motor);
  3. Remove the screw or clip keeping the component in place;
  4. Remove the drain impeller.

After you’ve removed the drain impeller, you must test it:

  1. Grab a multimeter
  2. Set to continuity;
  3. Test both terminals at the same time;
  4. The correct reading should be 200 ohms.

Once the multimeter shows you that the drain impeller is no longer good, you must replace it.

Replace The Drain Impeller

replace washer drain propeller

After determining that the original impeller is preventing the dishwasher from draining, you must purchase a replacement impeller.

Position the appliance to facilitate the installation of the new component, as in the preceding procedures.


  1. Insert the replacement part
  2. Be certain you secure the clip/nut around it;
  3. Place the dishwasher in its proper location;
  4. Verify that the dishwasher now works.
Tip: You can easily do all of the above at home. The risk of damaging any component is close to zero.

Method #3: Unclog The Filter

Filter cleaning is essential as long as it is the filter’s job to ensure that the water utilized is pure.

But, with time, it will get blocked with sediment from filtering too much water. 

Disassemble The Filter

disassemble its filter

So let’s get down to cleaning and unclogging it.

  1. Open the appliance’s door;
  2. Locate the filter (check the manual to see its proper location);
  3. Remove its cover;
  4. Hold and turn the filter to the left until it is loose;
  5. Take the filter out.

How To Clean The Filter

Here is a method you can apply any time you see the filter is dirty. That way, you will prevent it from blocking the water’s path. 

  1. Rinse the filter under tap water with soap;
  2. Scrub it with a brush if necessary;
  3. Use vinegar too;
  4. Let the filter dry up.

If the filter is horrendously dirty, you can mix water, vinegar, and bicarbonate in a bucket.

Then, let the filter in there for some minutes before rinsing and scrubbing it.

Method #4: Try An Unclogging Cycle

try unclogging cycle

Once you have unclogged the filter and ensured it is clean, you can also try an unclogging cycle in your dishwasher.

This method can be used in two situations: when the dishwasher gets clogged and as a daily/weekly practice to prevent the machine from malfunctioning.

This is the method so you can perform an unclogging cycle:

  1. Put some vinegar into the dishwasher’s dispenser;
  2. Start a washing cycle;
  3. Check that the water got drained this time.

If you think it will help, add bicarbonate to the dispenser. As you can see, this approach is meant to clean the dishwasher’s insides and the tubes that drain water.

Note: If it's been a while since you've done an unclogging cycle, you can perform it twice to ensure all debris will be gone.

Method #5: Assess The Check Valve

assess your check valve

If your dishwasher has a check valve, the odds are it is damaged or out of place.

In case you don’t know, the check valve ensures that water goes in the right direction. Its duty is similar to the air gap, but they are not the same part.

How To Clean The Valve

You don’t need to replace the check valve immediately. Rather, you can check its condition and clean it.

If you are unsure what the check valve is, look for it inside the upper sump assembly or close to the chopper blade.

  1. Identify the component;
  2. Take it out (use pliers);
  3. Check if it is dirty;
  4. Use a toothbrush and toothpick to clean it;
  5. Put it back in place once it is clean;
  6. Try the dishwasher again.

If the check valve is damaged, the dishwasher still won’t drain.

Installing A New The Check Valve

installing the check valve

The hardest part about installing a new check valve is simply finding the correct replacement.

You must have your check valve to look for an identical model online or at a local store.


  1. Put the new check valve in place;
  2. Ensure it is tight by using pliers;
  3. Reconnect any tubes that must be reconnected. 

Now your dishwasher should drain properly.

What We Learned

If you were wondering why the Maytag dishwasher won’t drain, now you have the answer and the solution.

Hopefully, the guide above has helped you get your dishwasher routine back on track.

If not, contact Maytag or a specialized technician to deal with more problematic issues.

Nicole B