Dishwasher Drain Hose Clogged? 6 Easy Fixes

A dishwasher is an integral appliance in most households, but a clogged dishwasher drain hose can cause big problems. If the hose is clogged, dirty dishwasher water fills the sink and won’t drain. This makes it impossible to clean your dishes and disrupts your daily routine. In addition, a clog can cause the hose to leak if it becomes too full. This could cause water damage to your cabinets or flooring. Finally, a clog can emit an unpleasant smell. Is your dishwasher drain hose clogged? Here are six easy ways to clear a clog as well as information about when to call a plumber.

Common Symptoms of a Clogged Dishwasher

Here are some ways you can tell that your dishwasher is clogged:

– Bubbles in soap dispenser: The dishwasher is not correctly rinsing the soapy water from dishes. Something is blocking the holes on the sprayer arm, preventing it from spraying.

– Film on glasses: The dishwasher is leaving a film of dish soap residue on glasses. Dirty filters or faulty sprayer arms could cause this.

-Slow to rinse: Dirty filters may need to be replaced or cleaned out. Or, too much detergent is being used. You might also need to adjust your water temperature.

– Leaks: If you have a dishwasher with an active leak, it will be leaking from the bottom of the machine where the water supply line attaches to the dishwasher. You may also notice that water is pooling around the base of your dishwasher.

How to Prevent Your Dishwasher from Clogging 

One of the most common causes of a clogged dishwasher is the accumulation of food particles. Food particles can get onto your dishes and into your dishwasher, eventually causing it to become clogged. To help prevent this from happening, rinse off any food particles on plates before placing them in your dishwasher. Additionally, run your garbage disposal if you have one before starting a load in your dishwasher. This will prevent food particles from backing up into your dishwasher when you run a cycle. It will also help get your dishes cleaner.

One of the most critical maintenance tasks is to make sure your dishwasher is cleaned out after every use. Check if any areas may have clogged up or are not draining well. If so, you can take a baking soda and vinegar mixture and pour it down the drain. Run water through the drain to ensure it’s fully clean before adding a rinse aid to prevent clogs from occurring.

If your dishwasher is not producing completely clean dishes, the residue will start to build up on the machine’s surface. This buildup can reduce the performance of your dishwasher and cause it to break down faster. Whenever you have a significant amount of time between loads, running a cycle with nothing but water is best. This will help keep any residue from building up.

Some other things you should check for are hard-to-clean grime around the door seal, mineral deposits under the rubber gasket on top of the door, and rust or sediment at the bottom of your dishwasher drum. All these things can build up over time and ruin your machine’s performance, so periodically checking for these items is key to maintaining your dishwasher for long-lasting use!

Dishwasher Drain Hose Clogged? 6 Easy Fixes

Here are six at-home remedies to unclogging your dishwasher and get it running again:

  1.     Check the dishwasher’s filter. If it is clogged, you can use a small cup or pot to scoop out the items. 
  1.     You can use a pipe cleaner or compressed air to clear out any clogs that may have formed inside the dishwasher. 
  1.     Look for any loose parts on the bottom. This might include screws, bolts or brackets that attach various components. The water supply line may even be disconnected or broken. If any of these are happening, call your local repairman or technician and get them to come by as soon as possible!
  1.     Using a plunger, plunge the clogged end of the hose until the clog releases 
  1.     Point a hair-dryer at the clogged end of the hose until you hear it suck water and then try plunging again 
  1.     Pour baking soda down the drain line followed by vinegar, which will start to bubble. Let it sit for five minutes before you try to clean again. 

If these home remedies do not do the trick, you might need to call in a professional to help you. Below are some situations in which a professional plumber might be needed.

When Should I Call a Plumber?

If your dishwasher is severely clogged or overflowing

A clogged or overflowing dishwasher can cause extensive water damage to your home if left untreated. If you have a dishwasher that isn’t draining, the first step is to check for an obstruction in the drain hose. If this is clear and there is still no drainage, it may be time to call a plumber.

There are strange odors coming from the dishwasher that you can’t get rid of

You should also call a plumber if you notice strange odors coming from your dishwasher. This could indicate bacteria growth due to standing water in the machine.

Your dishes aren’t getting clean or the wash cycles are of 

Lastly, if your dishes are not getting clean or the wash cycle is too long to complete, you may want to consider a professional’s assistance with your dishwasher. A clogged dishwasher can cause these problems because it cannot drain properly and water doesn’t flow through as well as it should.

Need Help? Palo Alto Plumbing is Here

We hope this blog post helped you better understand maintaining your dishwasher. 

Is your dishwasher drain hose clogged? Call Palo Alto Plumbing at (650) 374-0868 for a free service estimate. Our friendly staff is here to help answer any additional questions you might have.



The Top 7 Advantages to HEPA Filters

Are you suffering from allergies? Do you have concerns about your indoor air quality? Maybe you’ve been planning to invest in air cleaning devices. Whatever it is, you’ve come to the right place. At Palo Alto Plumbing, we offer reliable plumbing services, as well as installing HEPA filter systems to improve the health of your home.

After installing these air filters, you will notice a great difference in your home’s air quality. This is just one of the perks of HEPA filters, so read on to learn more.

What is a HEPA Filter?

For the basics, the acronym “HEPA” stands for “High-Efficiency Particulate Air,” which indicates a certain mechanical filter type. This type of filter was invented in the 1940s to help contain the spread of airborne radioactive contaminants. A filter is considered HEPA if it meets these standards.

  • According to U.S. Military Standard 282, HEPA filters should be tested, certified, and labeled.
  • HEPA filters should be able to trap minuscule particles as small as 0.3 micron particles.
  • They should have a minimum efficiency of 99.97% in the United States.

How Does HEPA Filter Work?

HEPA filters aren’t like the other air filters on the market. What separates them from the other models is the filter media. They’re made of thin glass fibers with activated carbon. These components keep the fibers thick, paper-like, and pleated. Now, there are a few ways that HEPA filters absorb unhealthy contaminants.

  • Contaminants come into contact with the filter material and get trapped.
  • Once the contaminants come within 1 diameter of the fibers, they’re drawn through and contained.
  • It forces air through a fine mesh that catches things like pet dander, pollen, and dust mites.
  • There’s not much chance that particles can pass through this filter type. In every 10,000 particles, there are only 3 particles that are unfiltered. This is because they’re too small and slip by.

Benefits of Installing HEPA Filter Systems


Naturally Treats Allergies

Allergies can cause health risks as well as discomfort for you and your family. If you’re prone to allergies, you’re more likely to experience respiratory complications due to poor indoor air quality. This can also include a stuffy or runny nose. What’s worse is that if you have a condition like asthma, dirt, dust, pollens, dander, and other small particles can aggravate your existing symptoms. You can use HEPA systems to trap allergens, ease your symptoms, and, hopefully, improve the health of everyone in your household.

Related Content: Tips for Improving & Maintaining Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

No Byproducts

Some businesses promote their air filters as some of the best picks on the market, but the reality is that they emit hidden harmful byproducts into your indoor air. This is what HEPA filters don’t have. These filter systems are designed to work efficiently without generating byproducts. It’s environmentally-friendly, and you can guarantee that they’re safe to use.

Easy Accessibility

HEPA filter systems are easily accessible to the public. You can find HEPA systems in various home appliances, such as air purifiers, humidifiers, vacuum cleaners, plumbing vents, and more. But make sure that you’re shopping with a reliable store.

Related Content: Home Appliance Updates That Are Worth the Investment

Best for Newborns

Do you have a baby at home? Parents may want to consider buying a HEPA filter system to protect their infants from allergies. These filters will purify the air and help prevent respiratory infections. Allergies can be prevalent among newborns. Their lungs are more vulnerable. This will also keep them safe from other respiratory issues as they grow.

Minimizes the Impact of Smoking

If someone in your family smokes, you should install an air filter. A HEPA system can remove smoke particles and contaminants from the air. Without an air purifier, rooms will be polluted with dirty air, leaving your family members at higher risk. The smoke can further affect babies and elderly people. This is one of the most common forms of secondhand smoke, which can sometimes be more deadly than firsthand exposure.

Neutralizes Bad Odors

Chemicals like gas and formaldehyde can spread across an enclosed space and cause a foul odor. These chemicals are typically classified as VOCs (volatile organic compounds) which you can find in air fresheners, aerosol sprays and even paint. VOCs can also cause headaches, nausea, and even breathing difficulties.

Now, HEPA filters don’t simply mask unpleasant odors. They get rid of them by trapping bad air pollutants.

Protection From Pet Allergies

If you have furry four-legged friends at home, it’s best to invest in HEPA filters. Pet allergens and pet hair linger on your furniture and other places, like carpet. This pollutes your indoor air quality and can cause allergies. If you’re already allergic, it can even worsen your symptoms.

Protection From Asthma

Poor air quality can worsen asthma. Even if you suffer from this respiratory condition, you can install a HEPA system to help ease your symptoms. Clean and purified air can also help boost uninterrupted sleep.

Plumbing and HVAC

Although HEPA isn’t a common term associated with plumbing and HVAC services, it’s a great tool to improve your living space. Instead of dust and other allergens, these filters trap bacteria and pathogens that thrive and breed in your plumbing systems.

Implementing this filtration system is not easy to do on your own, though. It’s best to hire the right plumbing company to get it up and running smoothly.

HEPA Filter Systems

Air cleaning devices can improve your overall indoor air quality. You can begin improving your living space with a HEPA filter system to maximize the benefits. These systems will not only clean your indoor air, but also work to keep your home a safe and sanitized place for your family. In the long run, you may also see a drop in your energy consumption.

If you’re planning to use HEPA filters, it’s important to choose a reliable specialist. At Palo Alto Plumbing, our seasoned professionals have the experience you need to ensure a flawless installation, better efficiency, and lasting results. Call us at 650-856-3400 for more information.

Home Upgrades You Can Do in Just a Day

Many homeowners would like to improve their homes in one way or another, but oftentimes, the idea of making these improvements can seem daunting due to the time commitment involved. Lucky for you, we’ve gathered up several excellent home improvement projects that don’t take very long to complete.

Quick and Affordable Home Upgrades

Take a look at these easy home upgrades that you can do in only one day. With just a little planning and a free afternoon, you can make some small improvements to your home that will have a pretty big impact.

Easy One Day Home Upgrades

One Last Project: Annual Maintenance

This one is extra simple because you don’t have to do it yourself, let us take care of it for you! We believe that regular HVAC maintenance is the key to your indoor comfort and energy savings. Our technicians do a multi-point inspection, helping prevent unnecessary wear and tear on your system. Call us today to schedule your maintenance check: 650-856-3400.

Home Improvement: When Do You Need to Hire a Pro?

Are you the type of person who loves to take on home improvement projects? The internet has changed the way that homeowners think about repairs and maintenance. Between YouTube, Pinterest, and home improvement blogs, homeowners now have a wealth of resources to help them take on DIY projects simply and affordably.

However, some projects require the knowledge, skillset, and toolbox of a seasoned pro. The trouble is that it can be difficult to determine which home improvement projects you can take on yourself and which you should hire a pro for. If you attempt to do something that is beyond your skill level, you could end up causing more damage, or even worse, getting hurt! That’s why we have put together a list of questions you should ask yourself before your next home improvement project to help you figure out if you can DIY or if you should call in the experts.

DIY Home Improvement or Call in a Pro?

Having a hard time deciding whether or not you should tackle your next home improvement project on your own? Ask yourself the following questions to ensure that you’re making the right decision:

Is the project small enough to learn quickly?

Though a little research can certainly help you understand and complete minor home maintenance and repairs, research only goes so far. At a certain point, you will need the expertise and experience of a seasoned professional. For instance, you may be able to learn how to replace your thermostat on your own, but if something goes wrong with the electrical components of your air conditioner, you will need to call a certified professional to get the system back up and running.

Could a mistake have serious consequences?

If making an error during your home improvement project could potentially make your home unsafe, then this is a project that is best left to a professional contractor. For instance, faulty electrical wiring could cause a fire. Not to mention, projects that are not done correctly can also be costly to fix. A reputable contractor will provide a warranty for their work and carry insurance should something go wrong.

Are you planning on selling your home?

If you are planning on selling your home in the future, then you may want to leave heavy home improvement projects to the professionals. If your bathroom remodel looks like an amateur did it, then the money you have invested into the new bathroom may not be recouped when you decide to sell your home.

If you’ve got an HVAC or plumbing issue and you need to call in the pros, don’t hesitate to contact the team at Palo Alto Plumbing, Heating, and Air. Our certified and trained technicians have experience working on these complex home systems and can help you get back up and running in no time. Call now to schedule a service visit: (650) 856-3400.


From Around the Web: X Excellent Infographics About Home Improvement

For many individuals, a home is one of the biggest investments they will make in their lifetime. That’s why it is so important for homeowners to understand their home improvement needs, including yearly maintenance and repair concerns.

We at Palo Alto Plumbing, Heating, and Air know how important it is for you to get the information you need to protect your home and keep it running smoothly and efficiently throughout the year. That’s why we’ve put together a list of informative infographics that help you better understand your home improvement needs.

Top Home Improvement Infographics

Whether you are a brand new homeowner or you’ve lived in your house for decades, it’s important to understand your home improvement needs. Use the infographics below to educate yourself on basic home improvement:

United States Census Bureau – Home Improvements

The U.S. Census Bureau gathers important data about the improvements that U.S. homeowners make to their homes. This infographic gives you more information about the top improvements that U.S. homeowners are making and how much they spend each year on home improvement. If you are planning your home improvement budget for the year, this infographic will give you a better idea of what most homeowners choose to focus on and how much you can expect to spend.

United States Census Bureau – Home Improvements

Home Improvements That Pay You Pack

Before investing in home improvement projects, it’s important that you consider your return on investment. Though any home improvement project may make your home a more comfortable environment, some projects are more worth your while because they tend to provide a higher resale value when you are ready to sell your home. This infographic gives a nice breakdown of the projects that will end up paying you back in the end.

Home Improvements That Pay You Pack


Drab to Fab: Home Improvements for Less than $1,000

Want to make some improvements to your home without breaking the bank? This infographic offers some awesome tips for affordable home improvement. It gives a simple breakdown of the costs for different improvements you can make in the kitchen, living room, bathroom, and bedroom. It also provides some general tips for saving more money on your home improvement projects. This is a great infographic for the budget-conscious homeowner.

Home Improvements for Less than $1,000


Want to find more great, informative content on home improvement topics? Each month, we update our blog with interesting posts on home improvement, HVAC, and energy efficiency topics.


4 Best DIY Accounts to Follow on Twitter

The DIY community is all about sharing their tips and tricks for tackling any project big or small. From how-to blogs to inspiring imagery, there is no short of great DIY content on the web. One of the best places to find informative and inspiring content on the latest DIY trends and fun projects is on Twitter. Though there are many DIY-focused Twitter accounts, there are a few that we follow regularly for new ideas, helpful information, and fun inspiration.

Best DIY Twitter Accounts

Whether you’re looking for a how-to video for crafting, a blog post with home improvement tips, or just home design inspiration, you can find it all on Twitter. Here are just a few of our favorite DIY Twitter accounts:

DIY Inspired


This Twitter account is brought to you by DIY and craft blogger, Dinah, from On this Twitter account, she shares links to her blog content which offers tips, tricks, and advice on DIY craft projects. She also shares links to inspiring Pinterest boards as well as helpful DIY craft how-to videos. If you love to get crafty and you are always looking for new ways to improve your home décor, this is a great Twitter account to follow.

DIY Network


The DIY Network is known as the home improvement how-to network, and that’s exactly what it provides – information on how to do just about anything around your home. Their Twitter account offers updates and behind the scenes looks at all your favorite DIY Network programming like Tiny House, Big Living and Building Off the Grid. The social media account also offers links to informative content about how to tackle DIY projects around your home.



Lifehacker is a different type of DIY resource than the rest. This Twitter account shares fun and informative articles on all the best tips, hacks, and how-to’s for your home and general daily living. This site covers everything from simple tricks that make using a digital scale easier to answers to life’s biggest questions, like, should I exercise on an empty stomach? This diverse resource is great for those who like learning neat little tips and tricks for making life easier. Just beware of any HVAC hacks!

This Old House


This Old House provides a wealth of informative content on home improvement, home repair, renovations, and other DIY projects. The Twitter feed is full of great content on everything from how to grow your own garden to affordable upgrades for your home. This is a must-follow account for anyone who is a fan of This Old House programming, or any homeowner who likes to learn more about how they can make affordable and lasting improvements to their own homes.

If you use social media to keep up with the latest in home improvement, be sure to follow us on Facebook. We post regular content on home improvement and HVAC topics, as well as company updates and recent promotions to help you save on all of your Palo Alto heating and air conditioning needs.

What the Best Home Improvement Pros Do (And You Should Too)

What the Best Home Improvement Pros Do (And You Should Too)

Whether you just bought your first home or you’ve been enjoying your home for many years, one thing that never changes is that fact that you need to work to maintain your home. While some Palo Alto homeowners may hire experts to take on home improvement projects, others take these projects on by themselves to save a little money and make their home their own. Below, we offer some tips from the home improvement experts that can help you make your next home improvement project a success.

Pro Home Improvement Tips

If you’re ready to kick your home improvement projects up a notch, use this list of pro home improvement tips before you start your next project:

  1. Choose the improvements that add the most value to your home.

There’s a good chance that there are a variety of projects that you could take on around your house to improve the look and feel of your home environment. However, most of us just don’t have the time or resources to invest into every home improvement project that we’d like to take on. If you ask a pro, they’ll tell you that the projects worth taking on are those that will add the most value to your home. For example, adding a wood deck provides a higher return on investment than other remodels or additions, so this is a good project to prioritize.

  1. Get the right tools.

Once you’ve decided to take on any home improvement project big or small, it’s vital that you have the right tools on hand to complete the job successfully. Make sure that your home toolbox has the essential repair tools to take on any simple project. Universal toolboxes include basic tools like a screwdriver set, pliers, an adjustable wrench, claw hammer, and tape measure. For more information, check out this article from Lifehacker, which gives you the low down on how to properly stock your toolkit.

  1. If you can’t handle the project yourself, find a good contractor.

It’s important to recognize whether or not you have the knowledge and skillset to take on certain home improvement projects. Not only can working on a project that’s out of your league be dangerous, but it can also end up costing you even more in the long run as a professional will have to come in and fix the mess anyway. For any projects that you have decided you are not able to do-it-yourself, be sure to find a qualified, experienced, and licensed contractor to complete the job. Again, it may require a significant investment to hire a seasoned pro, but if you settle for a bargain contractor, you may end up having to pay even more down the line to correct the mistakes.

Do you like learning about home improvement? Check back on our blog each month for new content on HVAC, home maintenance, energy efficiency, and other helpful topics for Palo Alto homeowners. Be sure to follow us on Facebook so that you never miss an update from Palo Alto Plumbing Heating & Air.