How to Unclog a Jenn-Air Dishwasher

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There are a few steps to follow to unclog your dishwasher.
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Jenn-Air dishwashers are high-end appliances that offer powerful cleaning with exceptionally quiet performance. Jenn-Air's TriFecta™ Wash System features alternating wash action with a three-stage filtration system for superior cleaning. But even high-end appliances are not immune from potential problems. If your Jenn-Air dishwasher isn't properly draining, check off a few troubleshooting steps to diagnose whether problem is because of a clog or something else.

Jenn-Air Dishwasher Standing Water

Water will not completely drain from a Jenn-Air dishwasher, which is perfectly normal. When you replace the filter, you may notice standing water in the filter area. However, this doesn't mean that there's a clog or other problem that's preventing the water from draining.

Standing water should remain in the dishwasher at a depth of about halfway to the top of the filter area. This keeps the seals moist so that they don't dry out. When you start the next dishwasher cycle, the detained water drains. It's then replaced with fresh, clean water so there will be no odor from dirty standing water.

Dishwasher and Garbage Disposal

These two discrete appliances may actually have a shared relationship. Dishwashers commonly are connected to a garbage disposal through a drain line. An important component of their link-up is called a knockout plug. This plug must be removed if the disposal is connected to the dishwasher; otherwise, water will back up into the dishwasher.

If the plug is still intact, your Jenn-Air dishwasher may be newly installed and not removing the plug was a simple oversight. But if the plug has been removed and the dishwasher isn't properly draining, there may be a clog in the garbage disposal. When clearing any obstruction in a garbage disposal, follow all steps and safety precautions noted in the user manual, including unplugging the disposal to prevent injury.

Jenn-Air Dishwasher Air Gap

An air gap enables a dishwasher to drain without creating a vacuum inside by allowing air inside the appliance. The air gap is not actually part of the dishwasher; it's a plumbing device that commonly fits on top of the sink, and not all Jenn-Air dishwashers have an air gap.

If your Jenn-Air model does have an air gap, Jenn-Air recommends checking it whenever your dishwasher isn't draining as it should. The air gap can become obstructed, preventing air from entering the dishwasher and causing water to back up into the appliance when a drain is clogged. Clean the air gap when the dishwasher is turned off by lifting its chrome cover and unscrewing the plastic cap. Clear any debris and replace the plastic cap and chrome cover.

Replacing Dishwasher Drain Pump

A malfunctioning drain pump cannot drive the impeller that forces water through the drain hose. And if this is the problem behind a clogged dishwasher, the pump will have to be replaced because it cannot be repaired. A qualified technician can swap out the drain pump for you because of the electrical skill involved. Be sure to use a Jenn-Air-approved technician so that you don't void the warranty by using an unapproved repair person.

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Victoria Lee Blackstone is a horticulturist and a professional writer who has authored research-based scientific/technical papers, horticultural articles, and magazine and newspaper columns. Her writing expertise covers diverse industries, including horticulture, home maintenance and DIY projects, banking, finance, law and tax. Blackstone has written more than 2,000 published works for newspapers, magazines, online publications and individual clients.

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