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Repair information for KitchenAid dishwashers.

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Dishwasher draining issues not adding up

Dishwasher stops draining at end of cycle. i press ‘cancel’ & it drains completely.

Other Issues: foul smell from disposal even immediately after cleaning. same sludgy pipe smell in dishwasher. I have:

1) Checked/cleared all hoses running from dishwasher, disposal & air gap.- 2) Checked/cleared filter, chopper assembly, drain hose/pump connection. 3)-Snaked pipe going out from wall.

Of Note: there is an Air Gap and High Loop on Drain Hose. And i’ve noticed that the rinse aid level has remained at full for several weeks when usually it consistently drops with each use.

My inkling is improper hose pathways, but they look ok to me - or weak drain pump. Any suggestions before i start replacing parts?

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Update (05/19/2021)

Jayeff,  thank you for looking at my post, and for the suggestion.

No,i have not tried eliminating the loop, but i will.  That’s how it was installed and has been working well for years.

I am attaching a photo with more detail, if you wouldn’t mind... let me know if it looks right.

Also of note:  there is always water in the drain hose all the way to the top of the air gap - even when there is no water in the tub.  What does this suggest?

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I am so baffled- i don’t know which is the more likely fix: replace control board or drain pump.  leaning toward new pump.

Update (06/15/2021)

Ok guys, there’s a new twist in my dishwasher drain drama - it has further confused me, but i’m hoping it will make sense to you tech experts.

Before removing the drain pump, as discussed previously in this thread, I ran it… and chose a different wash setting. Our panel always defaults to Normal Wash + Heated Dry. ..b/c that’s what we always use.

I ran it on Light/ China Clean Up - and no Heated Dry & guess what? It went full cycle, wash, rinse and drain.. to the end! No stopping and no water left in the tub.

Does this confirm your suspicions of the control board as culprit?

p.s., still full water in air gap line… separate issues?

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Hi @hilife

Standing water in the drain pipe between the air gap and I presume the bottom of the loop at the back of the machine is not good. Maybe a little but not all the way to the top of the pipe.

There will be no draining back of the water into the machine as there is a check valve that diverts the dirty wash water to the drain pump but prevents it coming back into the machine itself

You said that you checked the drain hose for clogs etc but maybe you need to check the drain pump itself (as best you can) to see if the pump is OK and not clogged (maybe where the smell is coming from?) or perhaps the impeller blades may be broken or slipping reducing the pressure of the flow through the pump.

Here's a link showing the location of the pump. It also has a video on replacing the pump as well which may help.

Here’s the tech sheet for the dishwasher which may also help. On the lower half of p.1 on the left side, it describes how to get into the diagnostic mode so that all the functions of the dishwasher can be tested. (Sometimes the tech sheet can be found behind the kick plate (toe plate?) in a plastic sleeve as well)

If it is determined that the pump is the problem there are other suppliers online that may suit you better. just search for KUDS02FRSS4 parts to get results.

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Aloha Jayeff,

Thank you so much for this detailed response!

I have checked the drain pipe, yes - took it off and cleaned it fully. I

also rinsed the pump connection and stuck my finger through the valve...

but I haven't pulled the drain pump off and checked it yet - guess i'm doing that tomorrow!

I only recently noticed the standing water in the hose (up to the gap).

Each time I drained the hose there was a good couple of inches in the tub

so it wasn't out of place. But right now, my dishwasher is empty and dry,

but there is still water all the way up to the countertop.

I have also run the diagnostic - a few times. I don't have a word display - so i guess i look for flashing blue light sequence, and there isn't one.

will post my progress.. or lack of it.



Is it a plumbing code requirement where you are that an air gap needs to be installed?

I'm wondering if the reason for the standing water in the drain hose is because you effectively have 2 high loops. One behind the dishwasher and one up to the air gap. Maybe the pump is not on long enough (or strong enough) to completely drain all the water from the drain hose over two loops.

The air gap is the better option as it will definitely prevent siphoning back into the dishwasher caused by a possibly clogged disposal unit or blocked standpipe.

I can't find a definitive answer as to whether having both is a problem. There is only mention of why a high loop is required and why an air gap maybe is required (legal) or desired over a high loop. Perhaps others may know.

As to your other problem it's seeming more and more like the control board.


Thanks @Jayeff,

Yes, air gap is legal requirement here . I wondered about having loop plus air gap too… but it has operated fine this way for years.

I switched out the air gap recently b/c the plastic on the counter spout was chipped & cracked.

i keep wondering if I might have erred in the re-installation - but there’s only one way those fit; big hose, little hose.

i already ordered a new drain pump of course - it’s arriving today - and i’m gonna go ahead and switch it out, as it was very inexpensive through Amazon. So

i’ll either eliminate one possibility or it’ll be fixed.


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If pressing cycle makes the unit fully drain, and it doesn't seem to struggle doing it, I'm thinking its more of controller issue. You didn't post brand or model so can't confirm, but does the controller also tell when to add the rinse aid? Because you mentioned that stopped dispensing as well. The hoses look correct.

As for the smell, try running an.empty cycle on the dishwasher with a little bleach, and drain it immediately after. Then fill with clean water and drain again. As for the smell in the disposal, what worked for me when I had that issue was filling the sink with hot soapy water, pulling the drain, and letting the sink empty completely while running the disposal the whole time.

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Brandon, thank you for responding! Kitchenaid model: KUDS02FRSS4

Controller.... this is part of the display board assembly? or a motor function?

Wrt the smell.. cleaning isn’t the fix - have flushed & cleaned to squeeky every hose, drain pipe, and the inside of the disposal... i have also snaked the drain pipe going out from the wall... to 25’ - brushed it as far as I could reach then poured boiling hot water. There is an underlying cause ...but heck if i can figure it out!

The smell returns within hours.




I might be seeing it wrong but I always thought that the dishwasher drain hose has to be looped above where it connects to the garbage disposal unit.

To me in the image it looks like it drops down and then loops back up to the disposal or is that just where it goes back up to the air gap?

Have you tried running it directly to the air gap rather than looping back down and then up again. The air gap would then be the high point of the drain hose and no possible pooling of any water could occur in the loop to the air gap as maybe is happening now, i.e. dishwasher drain hose to go direct up to air gap i.e. no loop down as now, then from air gap down to disposal unit

I assuming that the hose connection from the air gap at the disposal unit is higher than the disposal's outlet to the main drain?


Jayeff, thank you for looking at my post, and for the suggestion.

No,i have not tried eliminating the loop, but i will. That’s how it was installed and has been working well for years.

I am attaching a photo with more detail, if you wouldn’t mind... let me know if it looks right.

Also of note: there is always water in the drain hose all the way to the top of the air gap - even when there is no water in the tub. What does this suggest?[image|2421698]

I am so baffled- i don’t know which is the more likely fix: replace control board or drain pump. leaning toward new pump.

just now by Stephanie Boland


If the drain pump will drain it when you manually call it, and it sounds normal, don't replace the drain pump. The fact that it will drain when you tell it to tells me it is not the problem, but the control board is. It isn't telling it to drain automatically like it should.


I know this is a late response, but this may help other people with the same problem. I have a KitchenAid dishwasher with the exact same problem, not draining at the end of cycle. But if I push the cancel button, it drains perfectly without any problems whatsoever. I recently had the main board changed out and it has the same exact problem again no difference so I don’t believe it’s the board. I think it’s something to do with this, kind of dishwasher.


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Agree, if it drains easily on CANCEL then the pump is working.

If the loops have been there for years, leave them.

It more sounds like a control issue. Are you sure it is at the final drain cycle when it stops. It may be at the drain cycle prior to the rinse if it is not taking any rinse aid.

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Stephanie Boland wird auf ewig dankbar sein.

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