How to Fix a GE Dishwasher That Won't Spray

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General Electric dishwashers blast stains and food scraps off crockery using rotating spray arms and hot, soapy water. Dishes, cups and cutlery will come out dirty or stained if the spray arms are not able to function properly or do not spray water. General Electric suggests you follow its approved troubleshooting steps to repair the spray arms before you call the company for service. There are several steps you can take to restore your dishwasher to working order.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver (if necessary)
  • Toothpick (if necessary)
  • Change how and when you use the dishwasher. Make sure nothing inside the dishwasher is blocking the spray arms from turning. Large items like pots, pans and baking sheets can stop the spray arms rotating and washing the dishes. Make sure other hot water appliances like showers and washing machines are not in use when you run the dishwasher.

  • Ensure no cutlery or other small items have dropped into the bottom of the dishwasher. Some light items are easily blasted off the shelves into the water at the bottom of the dishwasher where they can restrict the spray arms. Remove any foreign objects and try your cycle again.

  • Check that the dishwasher is set to perform a cycle that involves spraying. Some older models of General Electric dishwasher have a dial that can be set to "Drying" mode without performing a wash cycle. Turn the dial, if fitted, to "Light Wash" or "Rinse Only," depending on your requirements.

  • Ensure the hot and cold water shut-off valves are open. Located where the pipes meet the wall, the shut-off valves look like large taps or levers in some homes. Make sure both are turned to the "Open" position so water can make its way into the dishwasher.

  • Remove any twists from the water pipes at the back of the dishwasher. Water may not be able to enter the dishwasher if the pipes are kinked or pinched. The pipes should ideally lie flat against the ground, curving gently where necessary to meet the shut-off valves.

  • Just before running the dishwasher, open the faucets in the sink nearest the dishwasher and allow the water to reach normal temperature. This process ensures the water entering the dishwasher is immediately at the right temperature. General Electric dishwashers may experience problems if the water entering the machine is too cold. Opening the taps will also clear any temporary water pressure issues.

  • Check the dishwasher's air gap for dirt, debris or blockages. The exact location of the air gap will vary depending on your home's plumbing. Most can be found at the nearest sink to the dishwasher. Prise off the chrome cover with a screwdriver and unscrew the plastic cap. Clean grit or other dirt out using a toothpick and replace the cap and cover.

  • Unlock the dishwasher's control panel by holding down the "Heated Dry" button for three seconds (on newer models). The small LED above the padlock icon will go out. General Electric dishwashers will not start if the control panel is locked. This feature prevents young children from accidentally starting the dishwasher.

  • Disconnect the dishwasher's power supply for around 30 seconds to reset the control panel. The dishwasher's spray arms may be malfunctioning due to a software problem. The power can usually be disconnected using the wall switch near the dishwasher or at the fuse or circuit breaker box. Contact an electrician if you are unsure about your fuse or circuit breaker box.

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