Probably a really dumb question.

I handwash dishes and use my dishwasher as glorified storage, so I was thinking I could stick the hose coming out of my dehumidifier pump into the dishwasher and just leave the dishwasher door cracked to avoid pinching the tube.

I admittedly don't know how dishwashers work. Would the dishwasher drain the water coming in even though it's never powered on? Or can it only drain water as part of a cleaning cycle?

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. The dishwasher is designed to pump water uphill into the drain; that only happens during a cycle. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to participate here. Jul 29, 2019 at 5:55
  • 2
    voting to close because the question is about the functioning of an unspecified dishwasher .... it is not a question about home improvement
    – jsotola
    Jul 29, 2019 at 9:44
  • Daniel i would post that as an answer. Dishwasher and washing machines in residential use all pump so the dishwasher would fill up and over flow but it was a good idea.
    – Ed Beal
    Aug 20, 2019 at 14:16

2 Answers 2


Some dishwashers will pump water even when not in a cycle (just poured a litre or so into mine to rinse it and it pumped automatically - the door was open so not a cycle. But it needs to be connected to the electrical supply.

However, I would not suggest that you do this - sort a proper drain for your dehumidifier. As you may end up with a stagnant smell from not cycling the dishwasher, however, it will normally have a cleaning cycle.

  • I would have sworn that wouldn't work; thanks for being empirical. Jul 29, 2019 at 12:06
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    I'll do the same test you did and see what happens. Though I'll most likely follow your advice and drain it into the sink. Thanks!
    – fishstik
    Jul 29, 2019 at 13:53
  • I have never seen a dishwasher that drains automatically, because that could mean over using the pump and burning it out. The drain pump motors on dishwashers are "intermittent duty", meaning they are designed to run maybe twice every few hours at the most, which assumes they have those off-hours to cool down. Running them too often causes damage.
    – JRaef
    Jul 29, 2019 at 16:56
  • @J.Raefield I can’t be bothered to make a video... If I throw a litre of water into the dishwasher as I am loading it, it runs the pump to keep the waste water below a certain level - may be it is particular to the make I have, but as an engineer, I can see it would be a sensible option... Also, the dishwasher runs the pump at the start of each cycle so it makes sure it does not overfill itself. Why don’t you try yours and report back... Either it floods or it runs the pump. I know which result I expect.
    – Solar Mike
    Jul 29, 2019 at 17:05

Don't do it. It's a small job, even for a relatively inexperienced homeowner, to install an additional direct feed from your dehumidifier into the main drainpipe.

For that matter, if you never use the dishwasher, disconnect its inputs and outputs completely, and use the connection from its drainline (into the main drainpipe) for your dehumidifier.

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