If you didn't know it, your dishwasher and your kitchen sink share a pipe to get rid of their wastewater and send it out to the sewer line. So when something goes wrong with one, it often gets echoed in the other. Whether you realize it or not, if you're having water backing up or pooling in your dishwasher after using it, you likely have a drain problem. Here's what you should know.
One of the most common problems with sink drains and dishwasher drains alike is that you end up with a lot of food residue stuck to the inside of the pipe. At first, this won't cause any issues, but since oil and water don't mix, the food oils often stay stuck to the sides of the pipe and gradually accumulate more and more bits of food and other debris. As this happens, it can lead to the space that water is able to drain through becoming smaller and can make it harder for a high-pressure stream of water to get through, like when your dishwasher rapidly drains. For this reason, not all of the water may be able to get out of the dishwasher when you drain it.
Another potential problem is that clogs can easily develop in pipes. When you have a partial clog, you won't notice much of an issue while using the sink. Water will be able to slowly but steadily drain past the clog. However, when you put more pressure behind a larger amount of water, like when your dishwasher drains, it may not be able to get past the clog fast enough. When this happens, any water that couldn't get through will just sit in the bottom of the dishwasher instead. To make matters worse, water that entered the pipe but wasn't able to get through can actually back up into the dishwasher, bringing filth with it.
What to Do
Since you're already having water back up into your dishwasher, now is not a safe time to use a liquid drain cleaner that you can buy at the store. It could damage your dishwasher if it comes up in it. Instead, call a plumber who will quickly find the location of the clog or build-up and will destroy it. They'll ensure that your dishwasher functions properly after they've finished, too, so you shouldn't have any problems left even if the issue wasn't your drains.
For more information about drain cleaning, contact a professional near you.