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GE Dishwasher Light Blinking/Flashing

GE dishwashers have an array of functions that seem to cover everything you need in a dishwasher. However, when the lights start flashing and the dishwasher is not functioning properly, it is hard to know what went wrong. If you have found yourself in this situation, this article provides a number of causes for flashing lights that can help you diagnose the problem.

A GE dishwasher light blinking or flashing often indicates that the door was opened during a cycle, which paused the operation. To resolve this, simply close the door properly and press the start/reset button to resume the cycle. If the door is not latching correctly, ensure it’s closed tightly with no obstructions.

Dishwasher control lights on

The blinking lights can also be a signal of an error code indicating a specific issue. For instance, certain patterns of blinking lights correspond to issues like water heating failures or sensor malfunctions. Consult your dishwasher’s manual to interpret these codes and follow the troubleshooting steps provided for each specific problem indicated by the light sequence.

I will explain each of these flashing lights in more detail below. I have also included a list of error codes so you are able to diagnose what has gone wrong when all lights are flashing on your GE dishwasher.

GE Dishwasher Start Light Blinking

The blinking start light on a GE dishwasher is an indication that there may be a problem with the dishwasher’s control panel or electronic control board. It could also be a sign that the dishwasher is not receiving enough water or that the door is not properly closed. Here are some steps you can take to fix the issue:

  1. Check the door latch: Make sure the dishwasher door is properly closed and latched. If it’s not, the dishwasher won’t start.
  2. Check the water supply: Ensure that the dishwasher is receiving enough water by checking the water supply valve. Make sure it is turned on and the water pressure is adequate.
  3. Check the control panel: Inspect the control panel for any visible damage or loose connections. If you see any damage, you may need to replace the control panel.
  4. Reset the dishwasher: Try resetting the dishwasher by turning off the power supply for a few minutes and then turning it back on. This may help to reset the control board and clear any error codes.

If none of these steps work, you may need to contact a professional repair service to diagnose and fix the issue.

GE Dishwasher Light Blinking Won’t Start

Dishwasher door power control light on

A flashing ‘Start’ light is the most common issue among dishwasher users. If it is not the ‘Start’ light that is flashing, you can find other alternatives throughout this article. However, below are possible reasons why your ‘Start’ light could be flashing and your dishwasher is not turning on.

Faulty Door Latch

The GE dishwasher start light will blink when the door is opened, interrupting the dishwashing cycle. Once the door has been closed again, you should be able to press the start button to resume the cycle that was interrupted.

However, if the dishwasher will not start, there may be an issue with the door latch. A broken door latch assembly will make the dishwasher think that the door is still open, even if it has been closed. This means that you won’t be able to resume the cycle.

You might be able to test this by manually engaging the door latch with your finger while the door is open. If the latch works with your finger, but not on the door, it may be a broken mechanism. If it doesn’t work at all, there may be an issue with communication between the door latch and circuit board.

If you suspect that the door latch is broken, you will need to replace it as soon as possible to get your dishwasher running again. However, this may not be the only reason your dishwasher won’t start.

Dishwasher Resetting

If the dishwasher cycle has been cancelled by holding the start button for three seconds, or is resetting ready for a new cycle, it will drain all water from the wash tub. This process takes approximately 70-90 seconds. In this time, the start light will flash and you will not be able to start the dishwasher because it is not ready.

Control Panel is Locked

A locked control panel will not cause the start button to flash. However, if this light is flashing and the lock is engaged, you will not be able to start the dishwasher until you unlock the panel. I will explain this in more detail below, but you can usually unlock the control panel by holding down the ‘Steam’ button for three seconds.

You might also like our article GE Dishwasher Won’t Start.

GE Dishwasher Clean Light Blinking

Hand opening dishwasher door

On some dishwashers, the ‘Clean’ light will blink when it has detected an issue with the heating element. This element will normally heat up immediately prior to the cleaning cycle to heat the water up to between 120-160 degrees (F). If the water is not hot enough, the detergent may not dissolve and the dishes will not be cleaned and dried properly.

Therefore, check there is no damage to the heating element, located at the bottom of the dishwasher. If it appears to be fine, you can check its function using a multimeter.

Connect the multimeter to both ends of the element after you have turned off the power and removed it from the dishwasher. You should have between 0 and 50ohms of resistance when on the lowest setting. If there is no reading, you will need to replace the element.


A GE dishwasher that fills but does not wash may have a faulty wash pump motor, which is responsible for circulating water during the cycle. If the motor doesn’t run, the dishwasher won’t wash despite being full of water. Testing the motor with a multimeter and replacing it if it’s not functional should resolve the issue.

GE Dishwasher Lock Light Blinking

Hand moving dishes around inside dishwasher

The ‘Lock’ mechanism on a GE dishwasher is designed to disable all other buttons on the control panel so that someone, particularly children, cannot accidently start or stop the dishwasher. When the ‘Lock’ light is solid, this indicates that the lock is engaged and all other buttons will not work. When the ‘Lock’ light is off, the dishwasher should function normally.

This function is normally engaged and disengaged by pressing and holding the ‘Steam’ button on the dishwasher. On some models, it is the ‘Dry Boost’ button instead. Whatever model you have, the designated lock button will be labelled clearly under the button’s normal function.

If the lock light is blinking, this usually means that the lock has just been engaged. If it is stuck flashing, you may have an issue with the circuit board, which could require replacement. However, first try turning off the power to the dishwasher for 30 seconds to see whether this clears the errors on the circuit board.

GE Dishwasher WiFi Light Blinking

Dishwasher top rack with wine glasses

If the WiFi light is blinking on your dishwasher, there may be a connection error. If this is the case, try reconnecting your device to the dishwasher, following the steps below. You may need to start by forgetting the dishwasher on your device before reconnecting.

Step 1: Press and hold the ‘Wash Temp’ and ‘Power Dry’ buttons for three seconds. The display should then say ‘Ready to Connect’.

Step 2: Press the ‘Start’ button.

Step 3: Connect your device to the dishwasher using the network name and password displayed on the dishwasher.

GE Dishwasher Sanitize Light Blinking

Hand putting away wine glasses from dishwasher

The ‘Sanitize’ or ‘Sani’ light will blink if the dishwasher detects that the water is not hot enough to sanitize the dishes. The water needs to be at least 120 degrees (F) in order to clean the dishes properly.

This may be because the heating element is broken and not heating the water. However, it could also be a broken thermistor, which is indicating that the water is not hot enough when it actually is. If these components are broken, they will need to be replaced.

GE Dishwasher Not Starting Orange Light Blinking

Close up view of utensils inside dishwasher rack

The orange light on your GE dishwasher is the normal color for the start light. As mentioned above, the start light will flash if the door is open, the door latch is broken or the dishwasher is resetting. You can find more detail about this under ‘GE Dishwasher Light Blinking Won’t Start’.

Once the dishwasher begins, the orange light will become solid until the cycle is finished. When the cycle is complete, the orange light will become white.

GE Dishwasher Door Light Flashing

Clean dishes in dishwasher

The door light corresponds to the ‘Start’ light on GE dishwashers to indicate that the door needs to be closed before you can start the cycle. If this light is flashing, refer to the information at the beginning of this article.

GE Dishwasher All Lights Flashing

Gloved hands taking clean dishes out of dishwasher

When all lights are flashing on the GE dishwasher, this indicates that there has been an error. There should be an error code displayed on the screen to help diagnose the problem. A detailed list of GE error codes can be found here (link to website), however below is a brief summary.

Error Code


Number + H

Dishwasher is in ‘Delay Start’ mode.


Drainage is taking too long (2 minutes).


Pump out has been running too long (7 minutes).


Dishwasher won’t drain.


Too much water detected or float switch failed.


Pump out time was too short.


Water is too cold.


Temperature sensor has failed.


Detergent cup is blocked.

PF Code

Power failure.

Cup Open

Detergent cup is still open.

Leak Detected

Possible leak.


Possible leak (some models) or unit control failure.


Not enough water.


Pressure sensor has failed.

To fix these issues, you may need to contact GE to send a technician to repair the dishwasher. However, these errors may also occur during a power surge or power outage. In this case, you should try resetting the your GE dishwasher by switching off the power for 30 seconds and turning it back on.

For additional tips you can visit our dishwasher red lights blinking article.

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Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on July 10, 2021.

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