How To Reset A GE Dishwasher | Step-By-Step Guide

We’ve all had problems with our kitchen appliances. Even the most well-known and trusted brands, like the GE dishwasher, can experience problems from time to time. Luckily, however, many of these problems can be remedied with a simple reset.

Below, you’ll find some handy tips explaining how to reset your GE dishwasher and get your machine up and running again.

6 Quick Techniques To Reset A GE Dishwasher

Being able to reset your GE dishwasher is an easy and effective way to correct annoying problems, such as unresponsive control panels or erratic cycle settings. Check out the following list for some quick-fix tips to help you reset your appliance.

1. Unplugging The Dishwasher

Like most modern kitchen appliances, your GE dishwasher runs on a computerized system. Think of a reset as a “reboot”, just like you might do with your smartphone or laptop. Rebooting is exactly what you do with your dishwasher when you unplug it and plug it back in again.

When your GE dishwasher has an unresponsive control panel, starts to flash warning lights, or even suffers a power outage, disconnecting and then reconnecting it to the electrical source may be just the thing to get it back on track.

The great thing about this type of reset, of course, is how simple it is. There are no elaborate menu instructions or diagnostic tests involved. And the best part is you won’t have to spend any money consulting a professional technician.

How To Reset A GE Dishwasher Using The Unplugging Method

  • Open your GE Dishwasher door.
  • Carefully unplug the dishwasher from its power source.
  • Wait for up to 1 minute.
  • After 1 minute, carefully reconnect your GE Dishwasher to its power source.

2. Checking Control Lock On/Off

One of the unique features of your GE dishwasher is its control lock, also known as the “button lock” or “child lock”. This feature prevents you from unintentionally starting your dishwasher or making accidental changes to your wash cycle while the dishwasher is still running.

Although the control lock is a very handy safety feature to have, it can also be easy to set off accidentally, especially if you’ve got curious children around the house!

Checking to see if your control lock is on or off can help you avoid resetting your machine when you don’t have to. If you notice that your control lock is on, you can be sure there isn’t anything wrong with your GE dishwasher.

Again, the only drawback to the control lock is how easily it can be accidentally switched on. Not just a curious child, but even an absent-minded dishwasher cleaner could set off this feature, so be sure to pay attention when you clean around your control panel.

Checking if Control Lock On/Off is Activated

  • Find the “Control Lock” button on your GE Dishwasher’s control panel.
  • Firmly press and hold the “Control Lock” button for 3 seconds.

3. Running A Drain Cycle

The drain cycle in your GE Dishwasher is a feature that removes excess liquid at the end of a wash so that your dishes aren’t left dirty and foul-smelling from stagnant water. But when resetting your appliance, the drain cycle is also important.

Sometimes, a dishwashing cycle may get interrupted by a sudden power surge or a dishwasher door being opened unexpectedly.

When this happens, you may find that your dishwasher isn’t running properly after restarting. This is because surplus water at the base of your appliance still needs to be drained.

If you look inside your dishwasher after a cycle and notice water stagnating near the bottom, you have a drainage issue. But don’t worry! Running a quick drain cycle removes this unwanted water and any other blockages, allowing you to restart your machine so that it runs smoothly.

It’s important to remember, however, that running a drain cycle won’t be able to fix every problem. Your dishwasher might have some deeper mechanical issues that require the services of a knowledgeable repair person.

Also, using your drain cycle option too frequently could lead to serious water wastage.

How to Set A Drain Cycle on A GE Dishwasher

  • Make sure your GE Dishwasher door is firmly closed.
  • Press the “Start/Reset” button to begin the drain cycle.

4. Turning Off Power At Breaker

Now and then, your GE Dishwasher may require a “hard reset” to correct any electrical problems or restore the machine to its original default settings. This reset is done by turning off the power supply to the dishwasher at the breaker.

Shutting off the power at the breaker is a useful method of resetting when you have an unresponsive control panel or receive a persistent error message from your dishwasher. It’s also especially handy when you need to shut down the machine for extended periods of time for more extensive repairs.

This may not be the most convenient way to reset your dishwasher if your breaker box is in a remote part of your house. However, turning off the power at the breaker is certainly the safest means of ensuring your appliance is without power while performing basic repairs.

How To Turn Off Power At Breaker

  • Find your home’s circuit breaker box.
  • Locate the circuit breaker that delivers power to your dishwasher and switch it off.
  • Wait for 1 minute, then carefully switch the circuit breaker back on.

5. Turning to Service Mode

Also referred to as “diagnostic mode”, service mode is a special setting on many modern kitchen appliances such as GE dishwashers.

The service mode option gives you a more in-depth diagnosis of any problems your dishwasher may have. It can also offer troubleshooting hints on how to get your appliance running normally again.

If your GE Dishwasher begins flashing an error message you cannot understand, you can use the service mode option to help you accurately diagnose any specific problems. For example, if you couldn’t easily see why your dishwasher stopped suddenly in mid-cycle, you could use the service mode to trace the problem to a damaged water inlet valve.

The service mode option is generally favored by repair technicians because it allows them test individual components of an appliance and correct any errors without running an entire wash cycle. In fact, the only potential drawback to using service mode is that users who are less technically-savvy may find it more difficult to navigate than other forms of resetting.

If you’d like to know more about the GE Dishwasher service mode, here’s a helpful video to walk you through some of its features:

GE GDT655SSJ2SS Dishwasher - Overview and Diagnostic Mode

How to Turn A GE Dishwasher to Service Mode

  • Locate and press the “Heat/Dry” button on your GE Dishwasher.
  • Quickly press the button labelled “Normal”.
  • Repeat the above sequence until you see all the control panel lights illuminated.

6. Using Control Panel Reset

Modern kitchen appliances like your GE Dishwasher are highly sophisticated pieces of technology. Like a smartphone or a laptop, the control panel on your dishwasher uses computer software to perform its functions, acting as a kind of brain for the appliance.

And just like a tablet or any other smart device, your dishwasher can fall prey to various glitches or viruses. But there’s no need to worry.

Resetting your dishwasher control panel can often provide the same benefit as rebooting your laptop. So, if your GE dishwasher is unresponsive or begins to act strangely, you may need to reset your control panel to get your appliance running smoothly once more.

Although professional technicians often make use of the control panel reset to re-calibrate a recently repaired dishwasher, it can also be a quick-fix tool for ordinary household users as well.

However, if your GE dishwasher has any deeper hardware or software issues, the control panel reset will only be a temporary solution. If this is the case, or your GE dishwasher has no power or lights, it may be necessary to call in the services of an experienced professional.

How to Use Control Panel Reset to Reset Your GE Dishwasher

  • Firmly press and hold down the “Start/Reset” button for 3 seconds.

Understanding Why GE Dishwashers Need Resetting

Below are some common reasons why your GE Dishwasher may need a reset.

  • Loss of Power. Sometimes, an unexpected power outage can disrupt your dishwasher’s original
  • settings. A quick reset can often put them back to normal again.
  • Failure to Start. An unresponsive machine may simply need a reset to get it running.
  • Stuck on a Cycle. If your appliance’s wash cycle is on a continuous loop, it might be time for a reset.
  • Blinking Lights on your Control Panel. When warning lights flash on your GE dishwasher, this could signal that it’s time to reset.
  • The “Start/Reset” Button Has Been Pressed Twice. If you’ve accidentally pressed the “Start/Reset” button more than once, your dishwasher cycle will be interrupted. Don’t worry! A simple reset will get it started again.

Resetting GE Dishwasher FAQs

How do I master reset my dishwasher?

Simply locate your household’s circuit breaker box, turn off the breaker that supplies power to the dishwasher, and then wait one complete minute before turning it back on. This is what’s known as the Master Reset.

Why isn’t my GE dishwasher starting?

Some of the reasons for an unresponsive dishwasher could be pressing the “Start/Reset” button too quickly or a tripped circuit breaker. It’s also possible your dishwasher isn’t starting because the door to your appliance may be ajar.

Why does my dishwasher start button blink?

When the start button on your GE Dishwasher begins to blink, it usually means a cycle has been paused by pressing the “Start/Reset” button twice or by opening the dishwasher door midway through its cycle. If this happens, you can wait for the button to stop blinking or reset your dishwasher.


For more information about home appliance repairs, here’s a link to How to Reset a Bosch Dishwasher.

Appliance Service Technician | Website | + posts

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