Are you frustrated because your GE dishwasher suddenly won’t start? Is the thought of doing all your dishes by hand looming? Don’t spend all that time just yet.
There are several reasons your machine could fail to function. And you can fix the majority of them without calling a technician and dishing out your cash.
Below are everyday problems with GE dishwashers that come up from time to time. Follow these directions to fix your machine and return to a life of spotless dishes.
- GE Dishwasher No Power and Won’t Start
- GE Dishwasher Power Checks
- How To Reset GE Dishwasher
- Check the Main Control Board LED Service Light
- New GE Dishwasher Not Turning On
- SOLVED: GE Dishwasher No Power, No Lights
GE Dishwasher No Power and Won’t Start
It’s challenging to know what to do next when your GE Dishwasher won’t start. If no lights on your machine are working or making any sound, follow these steps to get to the root of this problem.
GE Dishwasher Power Checks
First, make sure your dishwasher has an adequate power supply.
Check Dishwasher Voltage Input
If a wall switch controls your dishwasher, check if it’s turned on. Then see if the machine’s cable plugs into the wall. Your outlet might be at fault, so test that, too. Finally, plug another device into the outlet and see if it turns on.
If the dishwasher plugs into a GFI or GFCI outlet, make sure the outlet is working, albeit in a slightly different way. These outlets have two buttons: “Test” and “Reset.” Press the reset button and see whether your dishwasher comes to life.
GFI and GFCI outlets regulate the amount of power an appliance receives to save people from electrical shocks. When these outlets sense an interruption in power, they stop the current before it reaches you. For example, if your electrical system is experiencing an overload, your GFCI outlet may have stopped sending power to your dishwasher.
If you haven’t found the problem, open the circuit breaker in your house and check if the circuit is off. You usually want the circuit closed to transmit electricity throughout your home. But modern circuit breakers are designed to have a fail-safe if the electrical current is too strong. They open the current with an automatic switch.
Lucky for us, circuit breakers can open and close without sustaining any damage. So turning on the circuit again by flipping the switch will not cause any harm.
Do your best to avoid overloading circuits and outlets. It will have more consequences than simply disabling your dishwasher. The below lists warning signs of overloaded circuits:
- Dimmed or flickering lights
- Discolored walls near outlets
- Mild tingle or shock from electrical appliances
- Blown fuses
- Burnt smell
- Audible crackling and sizzling near outlets
Take steps to prevent dangerous overloads. For example, plug your dishwasher directly into the wall. Avoid using extension cords to power your appliances. It’s important to remember that the extension cord does not multiply the power coming from the outlet.
Instead, it divides this power among the outlets. Therefore, it is better to install more outlets if you need them.
Electrical Safety Foundation International recommends that you additionally inspect for damaged cords, including bare wires, loose connections, or cracked sockets.
Check if the Water Valve On
Your machine will not start if your water valve isn’t on. Each home is required to have a water valve installed at the time of its construction. Most homes have water valves under the kitchen sink, but they may also be near the water heater or in another location.
Look under the sink and check for good measure. The water valve is usually in the shape of a wheel or lever. To open the valve, slowly turn it counterclockwise. To close it, turn it clockwise. If you open the valve and see no water still, check if your appliances are turned on.
Check Door Switch Operation
The door switch might be the culprit. Enter the error code mode on your machine by pressing the “Cycle Select” and “Start” buttons simultaneously for five seconds. This code will prompt the machine to do a Door Start Check.
If the door is closed properly, the lights will turn on. Flashing lights mean you should shut the door again. Make sure to press “Start” afterward to bypass the safety feature.
If the flashing lights remain, you might need to repair the latch or see if your dishwasher’s electronic control board is damaged. A working electronic control board is imperative because it regulates washing, draining, and drying cycles. As you can imagine, your machine is pretty useless without it.
Dishwasher doors might not latch if dishes protrude and are not organized correctly inside. Another potential issue is the surrounding cabinets preventing the door from closing, typically resulting from poor installation or loose screws.
In other cases, the latch itself is the problem. Closing the dishwasher door haphazardly might push the latch out of its position. If the door does close, but the latch fails to activate the lights, your latch will need to be replaced due to a mechanical or electrical malfunction.
The issue may also rest with the strike plate, door hinges, door springs, or door gasket. When the dishwasher door closes, the latch should connect with the strike plate. But the strike plate may move or come loose, preventing the door from latching. Luckily, the strike plate is not easily damaged. To fix its position, unscrew it and affix it to its proper place.
In addition, door hinges may grow rusty or loose. If this is the problem, the door will move out of place when you push down upon it. The door may also look crooked and make a squeaking noise. Replace the hinges with new ones.
Door springs are equally essential to your machine’s door working properly. The springs are located by the hinges. Check if the spring has come loose or is damaged. They should have even coils and be rust-free. They should also be on either side of the door. Replace the springs if you encounter an issue with them.
Older dishwashers can run into problems with their door gaskets. A door gasket is a seal that runs inside the machine and works with the latch to seal in water properly. If the gasket wears away or comes loose entirely, replace it using this low cost gasket below.
Cancel Child Control Lock
Child locks prevent children from accidentally turning on the dishwasher. So if child locks are activated, this mechanism can prevent your dishwasher from starting.
Check your owner’s manual for instructions on how to disable child controls. If you do not have a copy, the GE website provides downloadable manuals specific to model numbers.
Usually, for the newer models, you lock and unlock child controls by pressing the “Dry Boost” pad at the same time as the “Steam-Sani,” “Pre-soak-Sani” or “Sanitize” pads for three seconds.
There are other methods for disabling child locks on newer models. Press and hold the Cycle pad for three seconds. Otherwise, press and hold the “Dry” or “Dry Boost” pad and the “Steam” pad simultaneously for three seconds.
If your model has a lock control light, it should turn off if the child lock is deactivated. The child lock is activated if the light is on.
Check if Dishwasher Is in Demo Mode
Ensure your machine isn’t in demo mode, which won’t let it turn on.
The best way to tell is to press the start button. If the button makes a triple beep or doesn’t respond, your unit is in demo mode.
To disable demo mode, press the “Start” and “Heated Dry” pads simultaneously for five seconds.
Check LCD Panel for Leak Detection
Some GE dishwashers have a leak detection or floor protection feature, which can keep the machine from turning on. If this feature activates, it likely means the pan in your dishwasher is leaking.
If this is the case, the LCD panel will display the alert “Leak Detected.” Fix the leak, and the machine will run again.
GE Dishwasher Won’t Switch On After Power Outage
It’s puzzling when a power outage ends, but your machine doesn’t switch on. In most cases, the issue is resolved after resetting the unit.
Try Resetting Your GE Dishwasher
Resetting your dishwasher is an easy solution to many instances in which your unit is unresponsive. For this reason, it should be one of the first steps in your plan of action after verifying your unit has power.
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How To Reset GE Dishwasher
Thankfully, resetting your machine is painless: all that’s involved is pressing the “Start/Reset” or “Start/Restart” button, depending on the specific model.
Close the door if you haven’t already to avoid a spill. During its reset, the machine will stop its cycle and drain water.
The “Start” button should blink at this time. After about two minutes, the light will stop blinking, indicating the reset worked.
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Check the Main Control Board LED Service Light
Most GE dishwashers have a green service light on their main control board that indicates whether the unit is receiving adequate voltage. So if you see the green light, you are good on that front.
If the light is off, the unit is probably not receiving any power. First, check the electrical breaker in your home and investigate whether the power supply has been interrupted. If not, check the control voltages.
If the machine is still not receiving any voltage, it’s time to replace the main control board. Before you buy one, check that the control board is the right fit for your model number.
Find your model number in one of three places, depending on the model. The first place to check is the left front side of your machine. The second place to check is the right front side of the machine. Lastly, you should check the right side edge of the door.
Replacing the Main Control Board
Once you have a new main control board, you can remove the old one and affix the new one to your machine.
First, turn the breaker for your machine off. Next, remove the bottom cover with a nut driver. Then remove the two screws holding the metal cover to the board. With the metal cover removed, you should see the control board.
Unplug the wires from the control board. Then replace the control board and restore the wiring. Next, press the “Start” button and see if the machine starts. Finally, reattach the metal cover with the necessary screws.
New GE Dishwasher Not Turning On
Few situations are as frustrating as a brand-new appliance not working. Therefore, it’s best to check first if the problem is the effect of an inadequate power supply, as detailed above.
If the power fails, call the installation company to assess the problem. Unfortunately, GE dishwasher warranties do not cover issues with installations.
According to GE, their warranties have specific stipulations. The following is relevant to the models PDW7300J, PDW7800J, PDWJ7880J, PDW8200J, PDW8280J, PDW8400J, PDW8700J, PDW8800J, PDW8880J, PDW9200J, PDW9280J, PDW9700J, PDW9800J, and PDW9880J.
Up to one year after the original purchase, GE will replace any defective part of these dishwasher models free of charge, covering service fees. Up to two years afterward, GE promises to replace defective parts but will not cover service fees.
From three to five years onward, GE will replace only racks or electronic control boards and will not cover service fees. Beyond that, GE agrees to replace only the tub or door liner free of charge, covering service fees.
On an important note, GE will only cover parts that fail due to problems with workmanship or materials.
SOLVED: GE Dishwasher No Power, No Lights
GE dishwashers are valuable kitchen appliances, but every kitchen appliance needs a check-up now and then. A silent and unresponsive dishwasher can feel like a hopeless situation. But there are several quick and easy fixes to the common problems encountered when using this machine.
Some of these solutions only require the click of a few buttons to work! Others may take more time and money to remedy, but they remain straightforward. In a couple of days at most, you will be back to admiring the shine of your dishes.
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.