Maybe you’ve had this happen before. You’re washing up after dinner and suddenly notice the lights flashing on your Frigidaire dishwasher. Your heart races, thinking there might be something wrong with your appliance.
Flashing lights on your Frigidaire dishwasher are not just a worrisome annoyance. They’re also an indicator that something might be wrong with your appliance. The good news is that most of the issues related to flashing lights can be easily addressed without resorting to an expensive repair person.
5 Reasons Why Frigidaire Dishwasher Lights Flash
The main reason for flashing lights on your Frigidaire dishwasher is to let you know something is wrong. So, the first step towards stopping those flashing lights is to identify the underlying problem with your appliance.
1. Door Open Or Faulty Latch
A door being left open during a cycle is one of the most common and easily fixable causes of flashing lights on your Frigidaire unit. This can happen if you’ve ever had to rush through an after-meal cleaning ritual and have forgotten to double-check the door.
It’s also possible that your machine might have a malfunctioning door latch. Sometimes, a sudden jolt to your dishwasher can knock your door latch out of alignment. Also, general wear and tear can cause your door’s seal to deteriorate, preventing the door from closing completely. If this is the case, leaks might occur, causing water damage and electrical problems.
But this is one of the great safety features of the Frigidaire dishwasher. Not only will a faulty latch or a door left ajar prevent the dishwasher from starting its cycle, but flashing lights will also be set off to warn you of an issue.
2. Faulty Heating Element
Whether washing or drying, the heating element is an important feature in all phases of a dishwasher’s cycle. Like with dishwasher doors, the flashing lights on your Frigidaire unit are triggered whenever heating elements malfunction.
Over time, repeated dishwasher usage can lead to a damaged heating element. This damage can also result from unexpected electrical issues like a sudden power surge. If left unchecked, a damaged heating element will not be able to provide the hot water needed to dissolve detergents and effectively clean your dishes.
Aside from unclean dishes, there are other negative effects of having a faulty heating element in your dishwasher.
- Bad hygiene. Properly heated water in your dishwasher is also important for sanitizing your dishes. A broken heating element could allow for unhealthy bacteria to thrive.
- Energy wastage. A broken heating element might cause your dishwasher to run longer cycles to reach the desired water temperature. Longer dishwasher cycles mean more energy consumption.
- Worst of all, an overheating element can become a dangerous fire hazard if ignored.
If you think a faulty heating element is the reason for your dishwasher’s flashing lights, it’s important to deal with this as soon as possible.
3. Control Panel Stuck
The control panel oversees all the main functions of your Frigidaire dishwasher. So, if those flashing lights indicate something wrong with your control panel, it’s important to deal with it immediately. Some of the common causes of control panel malfunction include the following:
- Electrical Issues: Power outages or electrical surges can disrupt and often damage the smooth operation of your dishwasher’s control panel.
- Water Damage: Sometimes, water spillage or the presence of too much steam can lead to a short-circuited control panel.
- Wear and Tear: Like with most kitchen appliances, continuous usage over time can lead to worn-out components and a malfunctioning control panel on your Frigidaire dishwasher.
A malfunctioning control panel could cause your machine to run incorrect cycles, wasting water and energy. It might even lead to the complete shutdown of your dishwasher and a possible electric hazard. Any issues with your control panel should be dealt with swiftly because a delay could result in damage to your dishwasher and a danger to household safety.
4. Water Supply Issues
Your Frigidaire dishwasher requires a continuous supply of water to operate effectively. Sometimes, those flashing lights on your appliance could indicate an interruption in your water flow.
If your water supply is noticeably intermittent or slow, it might be due to a blockage in your inlet valve. Whenever any debris gets into this valve, it can restrict the necessary flow of water. Also, a kink in the hose could be the reason for water not circulating in your dishwasher.
Another cause of water supply disruption in your dishwasher may be a faulty float switch. The float switch monitors water levels, so any malfunction could also lead to water supply issues.
It’s essential to address these flow issues not just because poor water supply could result in unclean dishes but also because these issues could cause dangerous leaks and unnecessary wear and tear on the dishwasher’s motor.
5. Drainage Problems
A final reason for those flashing warning lights could be a dishwasher drainage issue. A well-functioning drainage system is essential to removing unwanted water following your dishwasher’s cycle, so if anything goes wrong with this, your Frigidaire unit will send you a warning in the form of flashing lights.
Drainage problems are generally caused by blockages of grease or food debris in the hoses and filters of your dishwasher.
In extreme cases, a faulty drainage system can prevent water from being pushed to the bottom of the appliance. This undrained water can lead to some negative outcomes. If left to stagnate, the water can become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria, which means not just unclean dishes and foul odors but also health and hygiene concerns. Additionally, excess water could also overflow and cause extreme water damage.
By now, you can see that ignoring the flashing lights on your Frigidaire dishwasher can damage your appliance, cause expensive repairs, and even cause health and safety issues. However, promptly addressing the causes of these warning lights can help you avoid such undesirable outcomes.
Troubleshooting A Frigidaire Dishwasher With Flashing Lights
Here’s a handy troubleshooting guide to help you identify and correct a Frigidaire dishwasher lights flashing issue.
- Reset your Frigidaire Dishwasher. Unplug your dishwasher and leave it unplugged for around 15 minutes before reconnecting. Doing this lets you reset your control panel and hopefully resolve minor electrical malfunctions.
- Inspect your dishwasher’s door latch. Make sure your dishwasher’s door latch isn’t loose or damaged. If you notice any signs of wear and tear, it’s probably time to replace your latch.
- Check to see if your heating element has a fault. After disconnecting your Frigidaire dishwasher from the power sources, use a multimeter to test your heating element for continuity. If there is no continuity, purchasing a new heating element is time. If you need a visual guide, here’s a brief video on how to test your heating element:
- Clean the buttons on your control panel. Using a soft cloth dampened with a mild cleaner, gently clean around the control panel buttons. Make sure no lingering residue is causing any of the buttons to stick.
- Check the flow of your drain pump and filters. Make sure to fully remove any obstructive clogs from your drainage system and thoroughly clean all your filters.
- Inspect your dishwasher’s water inlet valve. Like with your heating element, you may need to use a multimeter to check the continuity of your water inlet valve. If there are any continuity issues, it’s probably time to replace them.
- Inspect your dishwasher’s inlet hose filter. Examine the filter inside the inlet hose. If it’s clogged, thoroughly clean it to ensure a smooth and uninterrupted water flow.
This checklist could prove vital to the life of your Frigidaire dishwasher. However, if none of these solutions resolves your issues and stops your machine’s lights from flashing, it may be time to call a professional repair person.
- Repair Clinic – How to fix a dishwasher/Frigidaire dishwasher lights flashing or blinking
- Machine Lounge – Frigidaire dishwasher not starting lights blinking
- Hunker – Frigidaire dishwasher error flashing
For more articles about dishwasher repairs, here’s a link to GE Dishwasher No Power, No Lights, Won’t Start
Andy has over 8 years of experience working on residential household appliances, performing diagnostics, and repairs across most major brands. He graduated from the Denver Institute of Technology, is NASTeC certified, and has worked for Mr. Appliance. Andy has contributed to features on major publications including Better Home & Gardens, Family Handyman, and Yahoo.com.