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GE Dishwasher Various Locking Problems

General Electric’s dishwashers are one of the most popular and widely used around the world. They are a very reputed company thanks to the quality of their product and after-sales service. Due to its complicated mechanism, new users often face some problems which actually have some easy workarounds. Among those, several locking problems are the most common ones.

A GE dishwasher door lock may not work if the door latch assembly is malfunctioning. The latch ensures the door is closed properly before the cycle starts. If it’s broken or misaligned, the dishwasher won’t lock or start. Realign or replace the latch assembly to fix the door lock issue.

Hand opening white dishwasher

Additionally, the problem could stem from a damaged seal. Over time, the door seal can wear out or become deformed, preventing the door from shutting tightly. A loose seal can stop the door latch from engaging properly. Inspect the seal and replace it if it’s damaged to ensure the dishwasher door locks and seals correctly.

In this article, I will address several lock problems of GE dishwashers. I will also explain the possible reasons behind them and discuss the solutions in detail. These problems aren’t anything critical so I believe that this write-up of mine will be able to solve most of the locking problems you might have encountered.

GE Dishwasher Lock Problems

Another reason the door lock might not work is due to a faulty door switch. This switch is part of the latch assembly and signals the dishwasher control panel when the door is closed. If the switch fails, the dishwasher won’t recognize that the door is shut and won’t start. Replace the door switch to resolve this problem.

GE Dishwasher Won’t Unlock

Bottom dishwasher rack

If the dishwasher door isn’t unlocked, do not try to force open it. There can be various issues such as faulty hinges, latch, or locks. Or the problem can be the racks or misplaced dishes. Whatever the reason is, there is no way to tell without opening it.

If you try to open it forcefully, there is a high probability that you will extensively damage the lock or break the hinges. In case of such physical damage, the warranty of the product will be voided. Not only that, this type of physical damage most of the time results in costly repairs.

So, consult an expert technician in such cases. If you are still within the warranty period, call the manufacturers to send a serviceman to your location.

But if you really want to go hands on to solve this problem here’s what you can do:

Step 1: Place an Allen wrench between a vice grip

Take a long and thin Allen wrench and clamp it between a vice grip. The handle of the wrench head should be away from you.

Step 2: Locate the latch

Jam the wrench head into the space where the door opens and slide it towards the middle until you’re stopped by the latch.

Step 3: Pull up the latch

Finally place the wrench head under the latch and pull up. This will unlock the door.

Step 4: Pull on the door

Hold the wrench in place then pull on the door. And your dishwasher should be open.


If your GE dishwasher door won’t close, it may be due to a misaligned or faulty door latch. The latch ensures the door is securely closed before a cycle can start. If it’s not catching properly, realign the door latch or replace it if it’s broken to ensure the door closes and latches correctly.

GE Dishwasher Door Not Locking

Dishwasher door open

Here are some things that you can try if your GE dishwasher is not locking:

Check The Latch

The latch of the door could be broken or something could be lodged in. So, check the latch for any sort of irregularities. Most of the time this is the reason why dishwasher doors don’t lock.

Check The Hinges

If the hinges are bent then the door won’t close properly. This will prevent the locking mechanism from properly closing the door. So, check the hinges as well.

Level The Machine

The dishwasher door is pretty heavy. So, an unleveled machine can cause the door to lean sideways. Preventing the door to close properly. In this case, you can try using a bubble leveler to see if your machine is leveled.

In case of an unlevel dishwasher, try adjusting the legs of the machine by turning them clockwise to raise and anti-clockwise to lower the dishwasher.

Turn Your Dishwasher On and Off

If your dishwasher model has an electric mechanism to lock the door then there just could be some power issues. Turn the dishwasher on and off. That should take care of the issue.

GE Dishwasher Soap Dispenser Not Locking

Dishwasher soap compartment

GE dishwashers use three types of soap dispensers depending on the model. They are round detergent cups, square flip-up detergent cups, and sliding detergent cups.

The round detergent cup has a handle and you have to close it by rotating it clockwise till you hear a click sound.

The square flip-up cover operates vertically. You have to flip it up to open and flip down to close. The sliding cup is pretty self-explanatory. It slides to its position to open and close.

If you did everything right and the soap dispenser is still not locking, here are a few things that you can do:

Turn Off the Dishwasher

If you are facing any trouble locking the soap dispenser, the first thing you have to check is if the dishwasher is turned off. If the machine stays on during the procedure, the soap covers will not lock in their position.

There are different methods for turning off electrical dishwashers and mechanical dishwashers. I will discuss both of them below:

Electrical Dishwasher

For electrical GE dishwashers press the start or the reset button twice. This should reset your GE dishwasher after pumping out all the remaining soaps. Once done, try closing the soap dispenser. This should work.

Mechanical Dishwasher

For a mechanical dishwasher, you will have to use the timer knob. Put the timer knob to ‘off’ position. This will turn off the dishwasher and the soap dispenser will now lock. Also, if you are using a tablet of soap instead of liquid, make sure that the tablet isn’t interfering with the locking mechanism.

Remove Hardened Detergent

If you forgot to remove any leftover detergent in the cup after your last time using the dishwasher, it has hardened. This can prevent the cup from locking. Just remove the hardened detergent and you’ll be good to go.

Also, make sure to not use already hardened detergent. That can cause issue with the cup closing as well.

Make Sure the Lip Is Properly Close

Some people make the mistake of placing oversized washer tablets inside the soap dispenser. This can prevent the lid from properly closing and locking. You can try breaking the tablets into smaller pieces in this case.

Placing tablets improperly or overfilling the dispenser can also cause similar issues. So, make sure the lid is able to properly close.

GE Dishwasher Controls Locked

A load of clean dishes in dishwasher

The control lock is a feature that many models of GE dishwashers have. In fact, this is a very common feature that many dishwashers of different brands and models have.

This feature is important because it prevents the user from accidentally starting a wash cycle or ending an ongoing cycle.

When the control lock is engaged, the machine does not take any input from key presses. It will not start; it will not stop and no button will function. So, that is most probably why your dishwasher controls are locked.

Some models of GE dishwashers use the ‘heated dry’ key as the lock control key. There will be a lock symbol next to the heated dry key to indicate its functionality as the lock key. If the lock control is on, the light on the lock symbol will be on.

To turn off the control lock, press and hold the ‘heated dry’ key for three seconds. You will hear a beep and the light on the lock icon shall turn off. Now the control lock is disengaged and all buttons and pads will function properly.

Some dishwasher models have a dedicated lock key for the control lock function. There will be a light on the lock key. If the light is on, the control lock is on. If you press any button on the dishwasher, the light on the lock key shall flash indicating that the control lock is on.

Press the lock button twice in quick succession. The light will turn off so will the control lock. All the buttons should work normally.

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Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on July 9, 2021.

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