Can a dishwasher drain hose be extended‍? (AVOID Doing This!)

Keeping the inside of your dishwasher clean is crucial for it to stay in good working order. If your dishwasher doesn’t have a drain hose that is long enough, water can’t drain properly and excess water will end up spilling out from the bottom. 

In this article, you will learn how to extend the drain hose on your dishwasher. You will also understand why extending the hose can be necessary and what the potential risks are if you don’t take action to extend it yourself. Before continuing further, check your manual to see if there’s anything specific about extending the drain hose. If not, read on!

What is the dishwasher drain hose?

The dishwasher drain hose is the plastic pipe that connects the bottom of the dishwasher to the drain. It generally runs from the bottom of the dishwasher under your sink and allows the water that is left inside the dishwasher after the cycle is complete to drain out. You can give it a separate connection if there is no sink nearby but this involves more work.

 It’s actually a pretty important part of the dishwashing process. Since the water that is left in the dishwasher doesn’t smell very good, it needs to go somewhere.  The dishwasher drain hose is the part of the dishwasher that does this.

We have discussed how to install a dishwasher here.

Why is the dishwasher drain hose so short?

Most dishwashers come with a 6-foot 6-inch drain hose. This should be sufficient if your dishwasher is next to a sink. This might be too short if your dishwasher is farther away. Manufacturers try to save costs on this part as well.

The problem with short drain hoses is that they can be harder to install. These short hoses are also not very flexible and can be a little bit difficult to work with. 

Luckily you can often extend them according to the manual of the manufacturers. In most instances, it is also allowed by code (check this for your area though!). The maximum distance that you can extend this to is generally 12 feet. Most plumbers recommend that you stay under this distance to avoid problems though.

A longer drain increases the chance that there is a leak or that the pressure on the water is not high enough. 

How to extend the drain hose dishwasher?

Extending the dishwasher drain hose is pretty simple and can be done in a few simple steps. Before you begin extending the drain hose, however, you should check your manual to make sure that the instructions listed there are still applicable to your model and type of dishwasher. 

Turn off the dishwaswher and disconnect it from its electric socket. First, you should remove the existing dishwasher drain hose from the connection point under your sink. This will be easier if you have a helper. Have your helper hold the end of the hose that’s connected to the dishwasher while you try to unscrew the connection on the end that’s under the sink. If it doesn’t come off easily, you may need to use a plumber’s wrench to loosen the connection. 

Get a bucket nearby as the hose might contain some water.

After the hose is disconnected, you can use a tape measure to find out how long you need the new hose to be. You can then cut the new hose to the desired length and attach it to the connection under the sink with a special connector piece that can be found in most hardware stores. 

Once this is done, we can reattach the hose to the drain. Make sure to double-check this connection before you turn the washing machine back on.

What are the possible risks of extending your drain hose?

If you extend the dishwasher drain hose, there are a few risks. The first risk is water damage. When the water can’t drain properly, it can back up and cause a flood in your kitchen. It can also prevent your dishwasher from finishing its cycle and damaging the machine.

 The second risk is the smell. Since the water is not being drained properly and is sitting inside the dishwasher, it is going to start smelling. If it smells enough, it can be harmful to your health. If you don’t extend the dishwasher drain hose, you are more likely to experience one of these problems.

If there is no sink nearby, you will have to install a new PVC drain. We have outlined how you can glue PVC here. You will have to connect this drain to another drain in your house. Make sure that you use a drain that uses grey water as this is used for dishwashers (check your local code to confirm this!). It can be quite difficult to install this in a house if this drain is quite far away. You might have to consult with a plumber to find a solution. In some instances, you can connect the drain to the drain of the washing machine.

 Can you cut a dishwasher drain hose?

No, most manufacturers recommend that you don’t shorten the hose that comes with the dishwasher. The goal is to make sure that the drain has enough water pressure to flush the dirty water away. 

In most instances, you can bend the drain hose if it is too long. Check the manual for more specific instructions.

We also have to take the height of the drain into account when installing it.

In most cases, an air gap is needed if the drain is 18 inches away from the floor or less.  

This is a safety device that maintains the pressure required that prevents dirty water from being siphoned into the clean dishwasher. A gradual bend in the drain hose will ensure better drainage when you use your dishwasher. 

If the drain hole is higher, you can follow another method called the high loop. In this case, you bend the drain hose to be higher than the water level in your dishwasher, and this will prevent backflow. 


Extending the drain hose is necessary if the hose is too short. This is especially important with older dishwashers if you want to prevent the hose from clogging. If you notice that the water can’t drain from your dishwasher, make sure that the drain hose isn’t clogged and that you haven’t accidentally put it in the wrong place.

 If the hose is too short, it may be worth it to replace it with a longer one. You can find these in a variety of different places, including hardware stores and online.