Plumber Tips: Why Is Sink Water In My Dishwasher? | Irving, TX

Plumber Tips: Why Is Sink Water In My Dishwasher? | Irving, TX

Most of us don’t think about the plumbing in our homes in Irving, TX, very often, but we notice when something isn’t right. The cause of a problem isn’t always obvious. A licensed plumber can identify and fix a problem much faster and more efficiently than those of us without any training or experience. The kitchen sink and the dishwasher are used nearly every day, so it isn’t surprising that problems arise from time to time. A small problem can also turn into a larger issue if it isn’t dealt with in a timely manner. Catching problems early can prevent aggravation and property damage later.

Backups and Overflow

Water from the kitchen sink isn’t supposed to drain into the dishwasher, but this does happen occasionally. An overflowing dishwasher or water backing up in the sink can flood the kitchen, leaving you with a lot of clean-up to do. This isn’t just an inconvenient issue though. Water from the sink can be dirty and filled with old food scraps, bacteria, soap scum, and anything else that went down the drain. The dirty water has a terrible odor, especially if it sits in the dishwasher for any length of time. Bacteria in the water is also a potential health risk. This situation warrants a call to your plumber.

The sink and dishwasher share a water source. Any clogs, breaks, and other issues in the main line can cause a backup. Preventative maintenance from a licensed plumbing company and routine cleaning may lower the risk of a problem or catch it early enough to avoid back-ups and overflow. Clogs are the most common reason for sink water draining into a dishwasher. Fixtures that are prone to clogs include the dishwasher drain hose loop or air gap, the sink drain, the dishwasher line, and the garbage disposal.

Drain Hose Damage or Displacement

The drain hose usually originates at the bottom of your dishwasher then it loops to a higher point above the sink drain. A pump forces water out of the dishwasher and up through the drain hose loops. The other end of the hose connects to the sink drain or the garbage disposal. A drain hose is at risk if it wasn’t installed correctly or if the hose is pulled down too far. Contact your plumber to install new appliances to avoid installation errors.

Some drain hoses have an air gap to block dirty sink water so it can’t flow into the dishwasher. The hose needs to be replaced if the air gap is damaged. Your local plumber can identify and install a replacement hose. However, the problem isn’t always the air gap itself. A clog deeper in the line can create enough pressure to overwhelm the air gap. After the clog is removed, the hose should function normally again.

Clogged Sinks and Drains

Kitchen sinks are prone to clogging if a lot of food scraps, grease, and fiber go down the drain. A clogged line may increase water pressure and force water from the sink into the dishwasher drain line. You can try plunging the sink drain to break up clogs. Plungers work the same way whether they’re used with a toilet or a drain. However, plunging can increase pressure in the line and cause backflow into the dishwasher. Take precautions to avoid triggering the flood of dirty water that you wanted to fix in the first place. Clamp the dishwasher drain shut at the point where it meets drain pipes from the sink before plunging the drain.

Sometimes disconnecting the sink trap, or P trap, underneath the sink can let you access the clog. If the clog isn’t near the sink trap, it may be in the waste pipe. Running a snake into the waste pipe behind the sink may successfully clear the clog, but there’s a good chance that water and materials caught in the clog may pour out of the line. It’s best to call a plumber in Irving, TX, for this job.

Dishwasher Clogs

A clog can also form in the dishwasher drain line itself. Food scraps from dirty dishes may slip through the strainer on the bottom of the dishwasher. The wet food debris combined with soap can create sticky clumps that clog the drain line. Instead of draining into the main line, water from the dishwasher just hits the clog and flows right back up into the dishwasher.

Food debris and grease from dishes can pass through the strainer at the bottom of the dishwasher and form sticky clumps that jam the drain line. Waste water pumped out from the dishwasher hits the clog and then flows back into the dishwasher.

You may be able to fix this problem by loosening the drain hose clamps and removing the hose. This lets you run a strong stream of water through the drain line until the clog is gone. Contact your plumber if you’d rather have a professional handle dishwasher clogs. A plumber familiar with large appliances can do the job efficiently and in a timely manner. In order to prevent future clogs, always check the strainer and pick up any pieces of food that slipped through during a wash cycle.

The frequently debated question of whether or not to rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher may come up after a clog. Although rinsing the dishes first may keep food scraps out of the dishwasher, the same scraps are just going down the sink drain instead. There isn’t any reduction in debris, it’s just moving through a slightly different path. Arguments over rinsing or not rinsing are often light-hearted and don’t seem very important. The question may not be trivial in areas dealing with droughts and water shortages. Rinsing dishes then putting them into the dishwasher uses more water than just running the appliance.

Call the professional plumbers at Tioga Plumbing & Electric for help with your dishwasher, sink, drains, and any other pipes and fixtures in Irving, TX. The licensed plumbers at Tioga handle routine maintenance, repairs, and even emergency services for urgent situations.

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