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GE Dishwasher Door Won’t Open (Easy Fix)

The moment you realize you cannot open your dishwasher door it can immediately cause a sense of panic. But there is no need to panic. More often than not the remedy is a simple one.

It’s a part of life. The older we get, the more things stop working properly. This is the same unfortunate truth with our appliances, especially the ones that are used often, such as our dishwasher.

If your dishwasher door will not open, check the power source to the dishwasher. Make sure the child safety lock is disengaged or the control lock feature is turned off. Inspect the door handle, hinges, and latch for any signs of damage or obstruction.

White dishwasher in the kitchen with plates inside

This article will outline 7 reasons why your dishwasher door is not opening. You will also read some simple suggestions you can try yourself to fix the problem.

How To Fix GE Dishwasher Door Won’t Open

White dishwasher in the kitchen with plates inside

GE dishwashers are reliable dishwashers. If your GE dishwasher door is not acting reliably, here are two reasons why.

1. Safety Lock is On

All GE dishwashers have a safety lock on the control panel. When the lock is engaged, the command buttons on the control panel will not work but it also locks the door. The safety lock can be turned off by pressing and holding the control button with the lock symbol.

2. Incomplete Wash/Drain Cycle

Another safety feature of GE dishwashers is that the door will remain locked until all the water has drained out of the dishwasher. Once the water is removed and the cycle is complete, the door will unlock.

If you have noticed water in the bottom of our dishwasher, the dishwasher is not properly draining. This will cause the sensor inside the dishwasher to think the cycle is still running, which means the door will remain locked.


A GE dishwasher’s blinking light typically signals that the cycle has been interrupted, possibly because the door isn’t fully shut. To rectify this, make sure the door is completely closed and the latch engages. Press the start/reset button if the light persists in blinking. Should the dishwasher remain unresponsive, inspect the door latch for blockage or damage.

7 Reasons Why GE Dishwasher Door Won’t Open

White dishwasher in the kitchen with plates inside

Dishwashers are not complicated machines but it can be quite stressful when they stop working properly. One of the more stressful issues is when the door will not open. A dishwasher with a malfunctioning door is not useful at all.

In general, the dishwasher door will not open if the door strike is loose or bent. It is rare for the door strike to become defective but with repeated use, the strike can become bent or loose. A loose or misaligned door strike will prevent the dishwasher door latch from releasing.

When it comes to appliances, there is often a variety of reasons why it stops working properly.

The reasons can range from something as simple as a stuck command button or something more involved such as bad electrical wiring or a plumbing issue.

This article will list the 7 main reasons why your dishwasher door is not opening. Further below in the article are more model-specific instructions.

1. Interrupted Power Source

It may seem simple enough, but sometimes it is the simplest of things that can cause the most problems. As with the majority of appliances, dishwashers depend on a regular, steady supply of power in order to work correctly.

If your dishwasher was moved during the middle of a wash cycle, the power cord may have come loose from the electrical outlet. The interruption in power will cause the dishwasher to remain stuck in the last cycle, preventing the door from being opened.

A power outage or power surge will also affect the dishwasher. An abrupt outage of power or a tremendous surge of power can cause the dishwasher to become frozen, or stuck. Oftentimes the last cycle that was chosen will become stuck in the dishwasher’s memory.

2. Active Child Lock or Control Lock

Dishwashers keep us safe in more than one way. They clean and sanitize our dishes, keeping us safe from various illnesses. But they also keep our little ones safe.

When the child lock or control lock setting is engaged, the dishwasher control panel will become locked. The controls will not respond to any command buttons that may become pressed.

The advantage of using this feature is that our little ones will not be able to start or stop a cycle on the dishwasher. This not only is very energy efficient but it will also prevent our little ones from putting a toy in the dishwasher and then starting a cycle.

Running an empty dishwasher is a waste of energy and water but it can also be a dangerous fire hazard. Not all toys are designed to handle the high heat that dishwashers are capable of dispensing.

3. Misaligned Door

Our dishwashers take a lot of abuse over the years. We often shut the dishwasher door aggressively, and, if we’re completely honest, we don’t always use our hands to close the dishwasher. The continuous abuse of the dishwasher door can cause it to become misaligned.

Once the door is misaligned, the door hinges, latch, and microswitch will all become misaligned, causing the dishwasher door to become stuck. If you have had trouble in the past smoothly opening or closing the dishwasher door, it is a good idea to start your troubleshooting process with the dishwasher door itself.

If your dishwasher is new or was recently installed, it is possible that the dishwasher is not level. An unlevel floor will cause the dishwasher door to hang more to one side. This will cause the door to have an uneven amount of pressure on the door latch, preventing it from releasing and opening.

4. Broken Door Latch

The door latch is a crucial element of the dishwasher door. When the latch is engaged, an electrical signal is sent to activate the sensor responsible for telling your dishwasher it is safe to turn on.

If the dishwasher door is closed too harshly or the dishwasher becomes misaligned, the door will either be prevented from securely latching shut or it will not release from the latch, preventing you from opening the dishwasher door.

Depending on the model of dishwasher you have, the door latch can be accessed by removing the control panel. Once the control panel is removed, you can remove the screws and wires attached to the latch assembly switch.

Your model dishwasher may direct you to access the switch from a lower access panel or by removing the face of the dishwasher door. It’s important to always consult your User’s Manual before you start taking the dishwasher apart.

5. Faulty Door Striker

The striker is what the door latch attaches to. These two components cannot function independently of each other. If one is faulty, the other component will not work and the dishwasher door will not open.

It is very rare for the striker to become defective but, over time, the striker can become loose. Even the tiniest amount of movement can prevent the dishwasher door from releasing from the latch.

To access the striker while the door is closed, use a flathead screwdriver and slide it along the top of the dishwasher until you reach the striker. Gently rotate the screwdriver, applying pressure to the side of the striker.

Once the striker has moved over enough, you will be able to press the dishwasher door handle and release the door. If moving the striker to the side is not successful, try lifting the striker from the bottom.

6. Broken Door Handle

The dishwasher door handle is the most used component of the dishwasher. We open and close the dishwasher countless times a day. The repetitive use placed on the handle can cause the plastic inner components to break down.

The door latch is responsible for not only opening the dishwasher door but also for ensuring the door is securely shut and locked. Without a tight and secure seal, the dishwasher will not detect that the door has a water-tight seal and this will prevent the dishwasher from even starting

If you’re wondering whether the door latch is the problem, the easiest way to answer that question is to reflect back on how well the dishwasher door opened or closed previously. If you had trouble opening and closing the door previously, the door latch is most likely the problem.

Because the door latch communicates with the control panel, the latch is an electrical component. If you are not familiar with the component or are not comfortable taking the control panel apart, it is best to have a qualified technician service the latch.

7. Drain Hose Or Pump Issues

Dishwasher doors are designed to stay securely shut until all water has been drained out of the dishwasher basin. If any water is detected, the door will remain locked.

Running a ‘Rinse’ only cycle will remove any standing water from inside the dishwasher. However, if there is a clog in the drain hose or drain pump, the water will not be removed and the door will remain locked.

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