Solved: GE Dishwasher Lights Flashing and Will Not Start

By Cory White
Solved: GE Dishwasher Lights Flashing and Will Not Start

When running into errors with your GE dishwasher, you might be facing a situation where the lights are flashing, and it will not start. Don't worry because, in this guide, we will show you how to diagnose these errors and get your GE dishwasher back into working order.

Start Light Flashing vs Other Lights Flashing

There are several situations where the lights will be flashing/blinking in the GE dishwasher. Most of the time, all the lights in the dishwasher controls will start blinking when there’s an error.

There is also another situation where the start light will be the only one blinking. When this happens, it indicates two issues: the door is not closed correctly, or the GE dishwasher is performing a reset.

Another situation is when any one of the other lights is blinking. When this happens, it’s because of an error in that particular command/feature.

Reasons your GE Dishwasher Start Light is Blinking and Won’t Start

1. Broken Door Latch

As we mentioned previously, one of the primary reasons for the start light blinking on its own is because it detects that whenever the door gets opened.

However, if you’ve closed the door correctly and even after that the start light keeps blinking, then you’ve got an issue with the door latch. 

Maybe the latch on the door is broken, and that the door won’t get latched on. There could also be an issue with the sensor itself. 

Whatever the case may be, it’s a broken door latch, and you will have to replace it, either by yourself or with the help of a professional.

2. Door is not properly closed open

Most often, the start light will be blinking on its own when the door is opened halfway through. So make sure to close it and close it right. 

When you close the door of the dishwasher — depending on the model — you can hear the latch mechanism. 

So if you hear a snapping sound whenever you open and close the dishwasher, that’s the latch mechanism engaging/disengaging the door. 

Depending on the model, you might be able to figure out if you closed the door properly by listening to this snapping sound. However, even after listening to the snapping noise, if the start light won’t stop blinking, then you’ve probably got a defective door latch.

3. Dishwasher is Resetting

Besides indicating an open door, the other situation where the start light of the GE dishwasher is blinking on and off is when the dishwasher is running a quick reset. 

When you’ve pressed the “Start/Reset” button – after the dishwasher has already started a cycle – you will see the start light blinking. This indicates that the GE dishwasher is draining the water and reverting to its “standby” status. 

When this reset process is going on: do not press any buttons, open the door or disconnect power to the dishwasher. This blinking will clear out in 2 minutes, and then your GE dishwasher will be fully reset.


Other Lights Flashing

1. GE Dishwasher’s “Sanitize” Light Blinking

We mentioned before that individual lights assigned to their respective commands/features blink when they’ve got specific errors.

One of these specific errors is when the light assigned to the “Sanitize” command will be blinking. 

The “sanitize” light will start to blink when the dishwasher senses that the temperature inside the dishwasher is not hot enough for sanitizing. (the temperature should be 120 degrees Fahrenheit)

Most of the time, this is due to a broken heating coil. However, there can also be an issue with the temperature sensor, i.e., the thermistor. 

After a thorough diagnosis, these components will need replacing.

2. Dishwasher’s Controls are Locked

One situation where the controls become unresponsive is when the child lock is engaged. With this mode enabled, any button you press will not respond.

Depending on the model, you may have a dedicated button for the lock, or it might share the “Heated Dry” button. 

To unlock the GE dishwasher, double-tap the “Lock” button, then the light above it will go off. In other models, press and keep holding the “Heated Dry” button for 3 seconds until you hear a beep, followed by the light going off. 

If you are sure that the controls have frozen due to an error, then you will have to perform a quick reset. 

3. GE Dishwasher’s “Clean” Light is Blinking

Another situation where the heating element might be defective is when you get the blinking light on the “Clean” button. 

Before the “Clean” cycle can begin, the dishwasher heats the water. The reason for this is to ensure that the water will be able to clean off the detergent and get the dishes ready for the drying cycle. 

So if the water temperature cannot reach the range of 120-160 degrees Fahrenheit before starting the “clean” cycle, there is an issue with the heating coil. 

This heater will need replacing. But, before you do so, it’s best to diagnose the coil and check the resistance, provided that you are skilled in this type of activity.

4. GE Dishwasher’s “Lock” Light is Blinking

Depending on the model, some controls start blinking their “Lock” light when the child lock is enabled. When this happens, the controls on the dishwasher are unresponsive, and several buttons will also start blinking when you press on them.

So before you start to panic and do a hard reboot. We suggest that you check if the “child” lock is enabled. 

In some models, the light above the “Lock” button will be blinking or just switched on. If there is no “Lock” button on your control panel, then look for the “Heated Dry” button, which also shares the “Lock” function. 

You can disengage the lock by pressing the “Lock” button twice or holding the “Heated Dry” button for 3 seconds. 

5. GE Dishwasher’s “WiFi” Light is Blinking

Most modern GE dishwashers utilize Wi-Fi to interface with your smartphone or upgrade its software. Sometimes, the Wi-Fi light in the panel will start to blink when it’s having connectivity problems. 

To resolve this, you can try reconnecting the dishwasher to the Wi-Fi network using the following steps, but make sure to “forget” the “dishwasher” device on your smartphone :

  1. Press and hold the “Power Dry” and “Wash Temp” buttons until the display reads “ready to connect.” 
  2. After that, press the “Start” button. 
  3. Connect to the dishwasher by using the settings details shown in the dishwasher display. 

6. GE Dishwasher Not Starting Orange Light Blinking

If you see an orange or amber-colored light in your GE dishwasher, then most of the time, it’s because of opening the door during a cycle. 

So try closing the door properly and make sure that you hear the latch engaging itself. If not, the latch might be broken. 

Sometimes, the door latch might be working fine, and instead, it could be an error in the sensor. Also, check if the dishwasher is fixed too tightly against the countertop, this can deform the latch. 

If this all seems complicated, it’s always best to call a professional.

7. GE Dishwasher Door Light Flashing

The “door light” of the dishwasher is also the same one assigned to the “Start” button. So whenever you see this “door” light flashing, most often, it’s used to indicate that the door is not fully closed.

Try closing the door all the way in, and if the blinking doesn’t go away, then you have an issue with the door’s latch, whether it’s a broken latch or the sensor is not working correctly.

Another situation where this light would be blinking is during a quick reset. After you press the “Start/Reset” button, this light will be flashing for a couple of minutes until the dishwasher completes the reset process.

8. GE Dishwasher All Lights Flashing

When all the lights are flashing in the dishwasher, it’s most likely a hardware-related error. These errors will not go away on their own until you resolve the issue. 

In some models with a display, you can diagnose the error by looking up the error code on the manual or the GE website. 

Some common error codes are:

  • C3: Dishwasher won’t drain
  • C6: Water temperature too low
  • C7: Thermistor is not working
  • C8: Detergent dispenser is blocked
  • C1: Taking too long to drain the water (possible blockage)

Some errors can go away after resetting the dishwasher and draining the water. If not, it is a hardware issue that needs immediate attention.

Beeping noise with flashing lights

Beeping sound every 30 seconds to a minute

Whenever there’s a beeping sound every 30 seconds to a minute, it’s most often the dishwasher door not getting latched correctly, especially during a cycle. 

So whenever you are starting a cycle, or opening the dishwasher halfway through a cycle – to add another dish – the dishwasher will give out this beeping noise to remind you to close the door properly. 

Other beeping sounds

Another situation where the dishwasher will start beeping (along with blinking lights) is when there’s a power surge or an electrical fault in the system.

You can remedy this with a quick reset with the help of the “Start/Reset” command. Let it sit for a couple of minutes until the light on the start button stops blinking, and you’re all good to go.

Unfortunately, if that doesn’t solve the issue, your only option is to go for a hard reset/reboot. 

Relevant error codes

Here are some of the most common error codes to help you diagnose a GE dishwasher.

C1: The dishwasher is taking more than 2 minutes to drain.

C2: The “Pump out” cycle is taking too long, around 7 minutes

C3: The dishwasher will not drain.

C4: Float switch (water level indicator) has stuck or failed

C5: The “Pump out” cycle time is too fast

C6: The water temperature is too low

C7: The temperature sensor (thermistor) is not responding

C8: The soap dispenser door is blocked and cannot open

PF: Indicates a power failure. Running a cycle will clear this error.

999: A leak is detected, or the system requires a reset. 

H2O: Indicates low water from the inlet. 

PrS: The pressure sensor is not responding

Maintenance and professional help

Sometimes you may face an issue that will not go away with a simple reset or a hard reboot. This includes most hardware-related issues, and some are very difficult to rectify without the proper tools and know-how. 

So whenever you are not feeling confident in your DIY skills, it’s always best to call on a professional. They will be able to figure out what exactly is wrong with the dishwasher and provide you with instructions on how to repair it. 

On top of that, they will also be able to acquire the necessary spare parts and conduct the repair by themselves, saving you time and effort that could be spent elsewhere. 


Whenever there’s an alarm going off in your GE dishwasher with lights flashing and not starting up, it’s most probably because of the door not being closed all the way through. However, this could also be because of errors that can be resolved with a quick reset. If they don’t clear out after resetting, you will have to call on a professional or whip out your toolbox.


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