Fixing GE Dishwasher Not Starting [Problems Solved]

Just imagine how frustrating it must be when you are planning to use the dishwasher after a long day at work, but an inactive appliance greets you. 

It completely ruins your evening plans, doesn’t it?  And then, you remember that it’s far too expensive to call in professional help for this type of problem.

When your GE dishwasher not starting, inspect the power plug and check the drain line, cycle settings, door latch assembly, and door seal.

Now, let’s dive deeper to know how you can troubleshoot GE dishwasher issues without calling a technician.

GE Dishwasher Not Starting

GE Dishwasher Not Starting

Check out the following causes of GE dishwasher won’t start and how to fix them.

1. Check if the Dishwasher Is Getting Power:

First, make sure that the power cord that goes into the electrical outlet is not damaged or loose.

The power cable can become stretched over time, causing it to lose continuity, resulting in no power to the dishwasher.

If you use a surge protector, make sure that it is working properly. If it isn’t, then the dishwasher could get shorted out.

Also, check the electrical junction box for any broken or cracked wires. This could also be the reason why your GE dishwasher won’t start.

If all these things are okay, and the dishwasher is still not turning on, there could be a problem with the wiring harness connecting the control panel with the motor.

Check this wiring harness carefully and see if there is a damaged wire or a corroded terminal.

If you find a problem with the wiring harness, then you will have to replace it. Apart from not starting, another major problem is the GE dishwasher not drying dishes properly.

2. Check the Drain Line:

Is the drain line obstructed? If it is, it could be clogged with food particles or detergent residue.

This will prevent water from draining entirely out of the bottom of the dishwasher, resulting in too much water inside the unit, and ultimately, your dishwasher will stop working.

So, you need to clean out the drain line. For cleaning, you need to:

  • Remove the stopper from the drain pipe and use a brush to clear away all the food particles or detergent residue collected in the dishwasher’s bottom.
  • Clean the drain line with a strong vinegar and water solution.
  • Make sure that the water level in the bottom of the dishwasher is at least 1/2 full.

Here is our complete guide on how to fix a GE dishwasher not draining properly.

Fixing GE dishwasher not starting

3. Incorrect Dishwasher Cycle Settings:

If you set the wrong cycle, it could also result in your GE dishwasher not starting. So check the settings on your dishwasher and see if it is set for proper operation. To do this:

  • Unplug the dishwasher from the electrical outlet.
  • Turn the unit upside down and disconnect the wires that connect it to the control panel.
  • Remove the access panel that holds the plastic front bezel in place.
  • Look at the dials that control the various cycles.
  • Make sure that the cycle you are using is selected. If it isn’t, then select it and reset the cycle to the desired setting.
  • Reconnect the wires to the control panel and replace the access panel.
  • Turn the unit back over and plug it back into the electrical outlet.
  • Turn on the power switch and check if the unit is operating properly. If yes, great! You are done.

Still, the GE Dishwasher won’t start. Check out the next reason.

4. Check the Door Latch Assembly:

GE dishwasher won't start

Check this part for damage and make sure that it is not sticking or binding. This will prevent the door from being fully closed, preventing the correct operation of your dishwasher and ultimately causing it not to start.

If this is the case, you will have to remove the latch assembly to gain access to the door and do the necessary maintenance.

To disassemble the latch assembly:

  • Unplug the dishwasher.
  • Remove the 2 Phillips screws holding the unit’s top in place.
  • Then, remove the five screws holding the unit’s bottom in place.
  • Also, remove the plastic backing plate as well as the metal plate on top of it.
  • Pull the door’s latch assembly out. Make sure the two parts of the latch are separated from each other and put them aside.
  • Now pull the door away from the unit and remove the two retaining clips that hold the door in place.

You can also check to see if the door release button is stuck. You can do this by removing the three tiny head screws that hold the button in place.

Then, gently pull the button up and down to see if it will move freely. If it doesn’t, the retaining clips that hold the button in place are most likely the source of the problem.

5. Check the Door Seal:

This is an important part of the operation of your dishwasher. It keeps water and damp air out of the unit.

If it is damaged or not installed properly, this will allow water to get into the unit and eventually cause your dishwasher to quit working.

What To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Start But Has Power?

If your Dishwasher not starting but has power, try the below troubleshooting methods to fix it.

1. Check the Power Plug:

Make sure that the power plug that goes into the electrical outlet is firmly attached.

Also, ensure that it is fully inserted into the outlet. If it is not, then unplug it and give it a firm push into the outlet.

2. Inspect the Electrical Outlets:

Inspect that none of the outlets are damaged or broken in any manner. If this is the case, replace them.

3. Check Electrical Wires:

Check there are no kinks or loose cables and that they are securely connected to the control panel.

Also, make sure the dishwasher isn’t sitting on any boxes that might contain electrical components. This might cause the dishwasher to break down.

4. Unplug all Unused Electronics:

Disconnect any unused appliances such as TVs, computers, fax machines, etc.

That way, you won’t have an unexpected surge of power when you turn on your dishwasher, and this will prevent your dishwasher from starting.

5. Check the Door Latch Assembly:

As explained earlier, this is one of the most important parts of your dishwasher. If there is damage or not working properly, it can cause your GE dishwasher to work.

6. Check The Electric Timer Control: 

This component is critical, and you should check it on a regular basis to ensure correct operation and setup.

It controls the cycle time and also ensures that the door closes properly after each wash.

If these functions aren’t operating properly, your GE dishwasher won’t start.

7. Inspect The Electrical Conductor:

Ensure that the electrical conductor from the control panel to the dishwasher is connected and free of kinks or obstructions.

If this is not the case, then this will prevent your dishwasher from starting.

8. Test The Thermal Fuse:

This is another important safety device. If your dishwasher has one, test the “thermal fuse” to see if it is okay.

This is a small wire that melts when it gets too hot and prevents current from flowing to the heating element. If this is bad, it will prevent your dishwasher from starting.

9. Test The Drive Motor:

The drive motor is the part of the motor that turns the agitator’s arm.

Test the drive motor by turning it with your hand. Does it turn freely? If not, there could be a problem with the motor.

How Do You Reset a GE Dishwasher?

The instructions may vary depending on the model and age. Still, there is typically a keypad with 4-10 buttons that you need to press to reset the GE dishwasher.

Surprisingly, this is one of the most common GE dishwasher inquiries. All you need to do is:

  • Unplug the dishwasher.
  • Turn off the gas valve at the furnace or water heater.
  • Open the access panel on the bottom of the unit (usually there are 3 removable screws) and remove the 3 metal covers.
  • Press and hold the “RESET” button on the keypad for 10 seconds.
  • Release the button and remove all 3 screws.
  • Replace the cover and tighten it securely.
  • Turn on the gas valve at the furnace or water heater and plug the dishwasher back into the electrical outlet.
  • Wait for the dishwasher to complete the initial cycle, and then start using it as usual.

Check out the following similar troubleshooting blogs:


I hope this guide has helped you prevent some of the most frequent dishwashing problems.

Before you begin cleaning, ensure your dishwasher is in good working condition and ready to use.

That way, if there is a problem or your GE dishwasher not starting, you won’t have to spend a lot of time trying to troubleshoot the issue and call a repairman. 

Now you should have a good idea of the problem and how to check and maintain your dishwasher. Hopefully, this will solve your problem! If it doesn’t, then call GE Appliances Repair Service.

Steven Settles Author

Steven Settles is an ISCET-certified master in appliance repair. He has aced the National Appliance Service Technician Certification Exam, showcasing his exceptional diagnostic and repair skills. With an in-depth understanding of the latest repair technologies and a keen eye on evolving industry standards, Steven is a go-to expert for any appliance issue.

3 thoughts on “Fixing GE Dishwasher Not Starting [Problems Solved]”

  1. We called a GE repairman after my husband tried all the electrical and other common problems suggested to fix our five-year-old. dishwasher . He said fixing it probably wouldn’t help because GE had a problem with the control panels on its dishwashers, buying another one would be better. The warranty had just expired on our extended warranty we were encouraged to buy at purchase
    and are now reluctant to purchase another GE if this indeed a problem with your dishwashers.

  2. You know…..they say you can find answers to anything on Google. It’s true. But taking it further is don’t stop at the first answer. I spent 10 minutes through a “live chat” that said they can help, then answering all their product specs. questions then passed me on to a licensed professional for only $1.00, and cancel anytime pop up for my credit card. I exited right away. It’s not the one dollar, it’s the way that it was done, tricky…then came to this site. Read about most common issues with GE dishwasher and found out that it sounds like a power connection issue. Unplugged my dishwasher, waited 2 minutes, plugged back in, and now it’s working. Just wanted to say…..thank you. Didn’t even cost me a dime, and I feel good about myself that I actually handled it myself. Take care.


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