I have a ~ 10 y.o. Kenmore dishwasher (will get the model when it's done running).

After running a full cycle, with heated dry, there is about 1.5 inches of water left in the drain cup (my terminology) - the basin where the filter is housed.

We just had the pump replaced as there was previously close to 3 inches of water remaining after a full cycle, and things were smelling rather fishy (literally).

So things are better, but it still seems like more than should be expected. I don't expect it to be bone dry, but more than say 1cm seems like a lot to me.

We have a home warranty and I wanted to get some more information before calling them back.

Photo link below.

Water remaining in dishwasher basin

  • 1
    Sounds like you might want to install /replace a check valve right after the pump.
    – virtualxtc
    Jun 9, 2018 at 3:03
  • @virtualxtc I can't say 100% for sure, but my general understanding is that the air gap/high hose requirement avoids the need for a check valve because water would only flow back into the dishwasher if it went to the level of the top of the sink (slightly higher for traditional air gap, slightly lower for a properly installed high hose loop). Jun 10, 2018 at 4:59
  • @manassehkatz what I'm thinking is that he has a long run to his high point (slow slope) that gives more water than usual the force it needs to get back into the dishwasher. A check valve would stop this without having to figure out whether the slope problem is solvable (perhaps it's just the way he has the hose snaked, and thus a longer hose may not help)
    – virtualxtc
    Jun 12, 2018 at 5:44
  • 1
    @virtualxtc While in principle you are correct, dishwashers are designed to handle a high hose loop or air gap - both involving pushing the water a couple of feet over and ~ 30 inches up. So if the pump can't handle that then there is something wrong. Jun 12, 2018 at 13:43

1 Answer 1


Because this is an old installation, I suspect a problem inside the dishwasher. However, it is possible that it is related to the drain. At first I thought this was a lot of water - 1.5" of water on the bottom of the tub. But the "cup" isn't that big so (a) it might actually be normal (where 3" was not) and (b) that could easily be from the water in the drain hose coming back into the dishwasher, as described below with a drain hose installed incorrectly.

Your dishwasher drain should be connected to either a traditional air gap or to a high hose loop.

A traditional air gap is a metal/plastic gadget, usually installed on the corner of a sink. The dishwasher drain goes up the air gap and the water has to literally go through a gap to go back down into another drain hose that goes down to the disposal or sink drain. I don't see how this could be broken and cause standing water in the dishwasher. Normally if this is broken, you have water all over the counter whenever the dishwasher is run and if it is clogged then you would have no water drain out at all.

However, if you have a high hose loop and it has fallen down, which can happen if it is not held up securely, particularly if any other work has been done under the sink, or if the dishwasher is pulled out for service, then you could have a problem of this sort. The high hose loop prevents sewage from backing up into the dishwasher by making an effectively impossible "hill" for the water to have to climb back up to get back into the dishwasher. If the drain hose does not go up above the bottom of the sink then water could easily drain back into the dishwasher at the end of the cycle and, if you have a clog (even a partial clog) in the main sink drain pipe or disposal then you could have some water from the sink come down into the dishwasher. See my answer at Draining problems in dishwasher. Is this drain setup ok? for a picture.

  • thanks - I do have a high hose loop, no air gap. After the 'high' there is a low point and then it climbs back to the garbage disposal. After looking at some images of high loops, that seems like it may be a factor, will see if i can rejigger it / shorten it, so its a cleaner installation
    – gorav
    Jun 12, 2018 at 22:18
  • 1
    @gorav You want it to be basically an upside down V - up from dishwasher to as-high-as-it-can-go-under-counter then down to disposal. If it has a sag on the second part below the disposal input then water will likely collect in that section. Jun 12, 2018 at 22:21

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