How to Fix a GE Dishwasher That Won’t Start

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GE makes a great range of dishwashers, but that doesn’t mean they don’t break down from time to time. One of the most common problems people have with their GE dishwashers is when they won’t start.

If this is happening with your GE dishwasher, follow the steps in this guide to find the cause of the problem and fix it. Please note that you will need to have a multimeter to carry out the majority of these steps; if you don’t have one or don’t know how to use one, you’ll need to get a qualified technician to come and inspect your dishwasher.

This guide covers most GE dishwasher models, including:

DDW550B-45

DDW550B-48

DDW550B-55

DDW650B-45

DDW650B-48

GSD3100N00BB

GSD3100N00CC

GSD3100N00WW

GSD3115F00AA

GSD3160N00SS

GSD3260J00SS

GSD3410Z07AA

GSD3420Z07BB

GSD3430Z07WW

GSD3810Z07AA

GSD3820Z07BB

GSD3830Z07WW

HDA3400GB

HDA3400GC

HDA3400GW

SD4920X66BB

WD26X10016

Step 1 – Check the power supply

The most obvious place to start is to check the power supply. If your dishwasher isn’t getting power, it won’t be able to start.

To check if the power supply is working:

  1. Check that the circuit breaker is turned on. If not, turn it on and check if the dishwasher works.
  2. If the circuit breaker is on, try to plug your dishwasher into another power socket and see if it works. If it does, this means the original power socket is faulty and will need to be repaired. 
  3. If the dishwasher still doesn’t work in another power socket, it’s not the power socket that is causing your dishwasher to not start, so you can move on to step 2.

Step 2 – Make sure the door latch is working

The next step is to check the door latch. When you close your GE dishwasher door, the door latch clicks into place and ensures the door cannot open during a washing cycle. If the door latch becomes faulty, your dishwasher might not start, because the control panel doesn’t believe the door is shut properly.

The easiest way to check the door latch is to:

  1. Shut your dishwasher door.
  2. Make sure that the door latch connects properly with the dishwasher unit and that the door is firmly shut. If it doesn’t shut properly, the latch should be replaced. However, if the door latch is working, it’s fine, and you can move on to step 3.
  3. Once you replace the door latch, attempt to turn your dishwasher on. If it still doesn’t start, move on to step 3. 

Step 3 – Make sure the door switch is working

The second step is to make sure the door switch is working correctly. The purpose of the door switch is to prevent the door from opening during a wash cycle. Sometimes they can become faulty, and this causes the control panel to believe the door isn’t shut properly, which results in the control panel not letting the dishwasher start.

Checking the door switch requires testing it with a multimeter; to do that:

  1. Switch the power to the dishwasher off at the wall or circuit breaker.
  2. Locate the door switch (consult your manual if necessary).
  3. Depending on your specific make of GE dishwasher, you may need to remove the door switch fully or unplug it before testing it (check your manual).
  4. Use your multimeter to test the door switch for continuity.
  5. If the test shows continuity, move on to step 4, as it’s working correctly. If it doesn’t have continuity, it will need to be replaced with a new switch.
  6. Once the replacement has been carried out, turn the power back on, and attempt to start your dishwasher. If it still doesn’t start, move on to step 4.

Step 4 – Make sure the thermal fuse is working

If you’ve ruled out the door latch and door switch as the cause of your GE dishwasher not starting, the next step is to check the thermal fuse. The point of the thermal fuse is to shut your dishwasher off when it overheats. Sometimes the fuse blows, and this will stop your dishwasher from starting.

Checking the thermal fuse requires doing a multi-meter test; to do that:

  1. Ensure the power is turned off to your dishwasher.
  2. Locate the thermal fuse (consult your manual if necessary).
  3. Use your multimeter to test the thermal fuse for continuity.
  4. If the test shows continuity, move on to step 5, as it’s working correctly. If it doesn’t have continuity, it will need to be replaced with a new fuse.
  5. Once the replacement has been carried out, turn the power back on, and attempt to start your dishwasher. If it still doesn’t start, move on to step 5.

Step 5 – Replace the touchpad and control panel

If you still haven’t found the cause of the problem, the next step is to test and possibly replace the touchpad and control panel. To do that:

  1. Try to press various buttons on the touchpad to see if they respond.
  2. If some or all of the buttons don’t respond, this means it’s faulty and will need to be replaced. If the touchpad is working fine, move on to step 6.
  3. If you need to replace the touchpad, you might also have to replace the control panel at the same time, depending on your specific GE dishwasher model (check your manual to find out).
  4. Once replaced, check to see if the dishwasher now starts. If not, move on to step 6.

Step 6 – Replace the rimer

The next step is to replace the timer. The purpose of the timer is to ensure power is sent to the right components in the dishwasher at the right times. If it becomes defective, your dishwasher might not be able to start. Timers are difficult to test, so the best option is to just replace the timer with a new one and then see if that solves the problem.

Step 7 – Replace the main control board

If you’ve gone through all the other steps in this guide and still haven’t found the cause of your GE dishwasher not starting, your final option is to replace the main control board. The main control board is essentially the “brain” of the dishwasher, and if it becomes defective, your dishwasher won’t start. The board is hard to test, so your best option is to just replace it and see if that fixes the problem; however, you might decide it’s better to just buy a new dishwasher.

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