Pipe Snake stuck in dishwasher drain

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by melba, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. melba

    melba New Member

    Our dishwasher was plugged (first time & experience dealing with this)

    We pulled off the basket to see if there was gunk and there was not.

    Then we pushed the snake in and it seemed to bend and the spring on the end seems to now be stuck. It has not gone in more than 5 inches. We have pulled and pulled and tried to push further but it won't move.

    I then pulled out the thing that turns and sprays water and it was then that I realized that we should have put the snake down THAT (we think).

    I can barely fit my hand in and I think I can feel the tip of the spring as the pipe from the basket seems to connect.

    I CANNOT GET IT OUT. It is not a hand crank. Just the snake and I fed it through (I have used it before for a different drainage system and was able to insert and remove it ). The diameter of the snake is very small.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  2. HomeRepairGuy

    HomeRepairGuy New Member

    If you can attach a variable speed hand drill to the free end of the snake, give a short burst in the counter clockwise direction. That might free the stuck end and allow you to pull the snake out. DON"T spin the drill a lot or bad things can happen if the stuck end cannot move.

  3. MichaelO

    MichaelO Engineer

    Sounds very frustrating. I like HRG's approach but, chucking up the snake in the drill may not pan out. If not...

    Brains hate pain. Try again with gloves, or wrapping the snake in a rag. You'll be able to grip and pull with much more strength as it won't hurt your hand as much. I think HRG and I have the same assumption, the coiled tip has hung up, and needs to be "unscrewed" from whatever it grabbed. You may be able to grip it near the base with pliers or vice grip to turn counter-clockwise while pulling. This may be a two-fool affair; one twists and the other pulls.

    Best of luck,
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona
    You may have it stuck in the pump, and if so, you may have to take it apart to avoid damaging the impeller. There is NO PLACE in the dishwasher that could possibly be cleared with a snake, so your "second think" is probably also in error.
  5. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    San Diego
    With all due respect, you need help! There is NO possibility that you can fix any problem at the dishwasher with a snake! If the fault of not draining IS in the dishwasher, it is probably a bad pump, drain solenoid, or a clog which will involve taking things apart, but NOT a snake.

    Most dishwasher drain problems are at the air gap, or the hose to the disposal.

    You could post a picture of what the situation is right now inside the dishwasher. I have concern that if the machine is not already damaged, you might break something trying to get the snake out. We would like to help with that...please post the pics
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    New England
    You'll probably have to pull the thing, remove the pump, then maybe get things out. This may entail replacing some seals. Maybe not something you want to tackle yourself.
  7. melba

    melba New Member

    Hi Everyone,

    Thank you for your responses and suggestions. Like I said, I have NEVER had this problem before and hence my not knowing that you can't fix a dishwasher with a pipe snake.

    I ended up calling my dad over and we had to disconnect the dishwasher and take everything apart. The snake got stuck in the propeller and it only went in one and a half inches.

    What was causing the clog was a lemon/orange seed that got stuck in a valve so there was a backflow of water trying to drain.

    We also found out that our dishwasher was installed in such a way that the electrical was run right through the floor and subfloor into the basement rather than being plugged into an outlet on the inside of the island. We just disconnected the electrical from the dishwasher and taped the wires against the inside of the island because we are getting hardwood done.

    Anyways, thanks again!!!
  8. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Yakima WA
    FWIW: This may seem like overkill, but even though we have an excellent dishwasher, we give a quick rinse to our dishes before putting them in the DW. We never have a clog, never even have to clean the screen or deal with odor. It takes very little time and effort to do this and it's easy to clean the scrapes from sink basket.
  9. melba

    melba New Member

    Ya that is what I usually do but I guess i missed something! =D
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