Novice DIYer need help troubleshooting GE dishwasher that won't start

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Old 09-11-19, 05:28 PM
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Question Novice DIYer need help troubleshooting GE dishwasher that won't start

Hi all,

Note that I have no prior experience troubleshooting electric appliances. So looking forward to learn.

I have a GE dishwasher (model GDF510PSD0SS) which won't start. It worked well yesterday but today there are no lights on the control panel and none of the controls seem to respond.

I've already checked a few things:
  • The fuse box looks OK and the dishwasher's breaker did not trip.
  • The door is properly closed all the way into the door latch.
I'm equipped with a multi-meter but would need help knowing:
  • Which parts to test
  • How to test them
I'm attaching a picture of the unit for info.

Any help is welcome!
 
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Old 09-12-19, 03:35 AM
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Before you start anything with electronic items it is always best to shut breaker off or unplug first. Leave breaker or item unplugged about 30 seconds and turn back on. This will reset electronics. Try DW and see if it turns on now.
If DW does not work turn breaker off and Remove kick plate. You will see a place where electrical wires go in a small box. Takeoff cover and remove wire nut from black wire. Make sure wire is not touching anything, Leave wires connected, turn breaker back on. Set your meter to A/C volts, touch black wire with probe and other probe to bare wire. You should get a reading of 120 volts. If you do the DW people will be in later to help further.Shut breaker off tll they come in.
 
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Old 09-12-19, 04:07 PM
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Hi pugsl - Thanks for responding, I just tried to follow these steps and I got a reading of 60.8. Since it's not 120 I want to make sure I did the steps right.

After doing the prep steps (turning the breakers off, removing the metal box and the wire nut from the black cable), I set my multi-meter to A/C volts and made contact with the probes: one probe on the exposed wire part of the black cable, and the other on the black insulation part of the same cable. Is this what you meant?

I'm attaching two pictures for clarity: one of my multi-meter setup, and the other of how I made contact with the wires. Disregard the reading on the meter, as I wasn't making contact with anything as I was photographing it.
 
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Last edited by efileno; 09-12-19 at 04:09 PM. Reason: Adding clarification around the multi-meter photo
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Old 09-12-19, 05:18 PM
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1/2 right Probe one wire end and other probe to either the medal box or in box there should be a bare copper wire connected to box that is where the other probe should go.
 
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Old 09-13-19, 09:19 AM
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Got it, so I tried it both ways and here are my readings:
  • When in contact with the bare wire and the metal box: ~0011.0
  • When in contact with the bare wire and the copper wire: ~0015.0 to 0070.0 (it oscillates non stop).
So it doesn't seem like I'm getting 120 volts.

Again, I'm attaching two pictures of how I make contact just to be sure.
 
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Old 09-13-19, 11:54 AM
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From black to ground and from black to white you should be measuring the same thing.
That should be near 120vAC.

If you aren't measuring that.... the problem is before that point.
 
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Old 09-13-19, 12:45 PM
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Hi PJmax,

Thanks for chiming in. Something I mentioned in my first post is that this is the first time I'm trying to troubleshoot and electric appliance.

As a result, I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "black to ground and black to white"? How do I measure this exactly? (I've posted photos of my setup.)

best
 
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Old 09-13-19, 12:57 PM
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In your picture... it looks like you are on black and ground. Try the same thing from black to white.

If you don't get 120v...... you need to investigate where that line comes from.
Is there anything else on the same circuit ?
 
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Old 09-13-19, 05:37 PM
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I've measured the AC voltage between black and white, as well as black and copper. I'm both casesnit oscillates a lot but always stays between 0000,0 and 0070,0. In both cases, note that the digital screen shows "mV" at the bottom right (though the dial is on V, not mV).

I don't know what other appliances are on the circuit and I wouldn't know how to figure that out.

Any thoughts?
 
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Old 09-13-19, 06:26 PM
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Do you know which circuit breaker controls the dishwasher ?
If yes..... turn it off. See if anything else doesn't work. Typically the disposer is tied in to this circuit.
Check all the receptacles in the kitchen.... especially the nearby countertop ones.

If you're comfortable opening the panel..... check from that breaker to ground for 120v.
 
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Old 09-14-19, 07:45 AM
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Mine failed suddenly and in the altogether a couple of years ago and in my case the problem was a failed thermal fuse (which was housed in the door). The other candidate (meaning it was a simple failure that was within my meager means to both diagnose and repair, and after confirming the DW was properly powered) was the limit switch that prevents you starting the washer when the door isn't shut. In my case both were testable by bypassing the device with a jumper.
 
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Old 09-14-19, 10:22 AM
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In this case..... there is no incoming 120v to the junction box.
 
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Old 09-15-19, 08:46 AM
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Hi OK so I was able to do two things:
  • I checked every electrical receptacles in and around the kitchen, and I get 120 AC volts.
  • I opened the breakers box and I always get 120 AC volts also.
I checked the wires again in the box, and for black/white and black/ground I get a low voltage that keeps changing.

What would you do next?
 
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Old 09-15-19, 02:15 PM
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So you are saying that you turned the breaker off for the dishwasher and nothing else was off...... is that correct ? Not even the disposer was affected ?

Since you have varying voltages from black to white and black to ground..... you are losing the hot wire.
Is your panel in the basement ?
Can you follow that cable to the dishwasher area ?
You may have to pull out the dishwasher to see if anything is broken in the wire behind it. Possibly it was short and extra cable was spliced on behind the unit.
 
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Old 09-15-19, 02:37 PM
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Correct, with the DW's breaker off I get 120 volts in all receptacles, and the various appliances work fine (microwave, disposer, fridge, etc.)

What do you mean by "you're losing the hot wire"?

As for the cable, I'm attaching a picture of the back of the unit. As you can see, it goes into the wall and then I don't know how to follow it. If I go to the basement I can see many cables arriving just above the breaker box, but just above is insulation and I can't see anything. Plus the cables there don't look the same as the one at the back of the unit.
 
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Old 09-15-19, 03:56 PM
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Losing the hot wire means no voltage there.. No pictures of back of DW yet. Step back a little and show where wire goes into wall.
 
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Old 09-16-19, 05:26 AM
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The initial attachment didn't work. Here's the picture I took of the cable going into the wall. Let me know if you have any thoughts.
 
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Old 09-16-19, 04:23 PM
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Looks like a wire going into a hole in wall. Not up to any code but what is right under it in basement. If you can find that wire follow it.
 
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Old 09-18-19, 04:09 AM
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Last time I looked I couldn't... But I'll take another look and update this thread.

Is there something else I could check in or around the unit itself?
 
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Old 09-18-19, 07:12 AM
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I checked the wires again in the box, and for black/white and black/ground I get a low voltage that keeps changing.

If I understand this you are measuring at the output side of the dishwasher breaker.
If this is correct then your breaker is not resetting.
 
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Old 09-18-19, 08:08 AM
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Hi manden,

I'm not sure what you mean by the "output side". What I meant was that I checked the voltage of the wires inside the junction box behind the kick plate. Does that align with what you initially understood?

If so, meaning if the issue is that the breaker is not resetting, then what do you think I could do to either fix or troubleshoot further?

Thanks all for continuing to help
 
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Old 09-18-19, 08:57 AM
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You have to check for voltage coming out of the breaker for the dishwasher in the house's fuse/breaker box.
Unless you have some electrical experience this is best left to an electrician.

Before doing that shut the breaker off/on slowly.
Sometimes you can loose power without the breaker actually tripping.
 
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Old 09-18-19, 02:52 PM
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I checked all the breakers in the breaker box already and I got 120 volts (including the DW one)
 
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Old 09-18-19, 04:04 PM
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If you are getting 120 volts at breakers and not at DW than you have a bad wire.. Usual place is a electrical box where wires are spliced. You should have a box with cover where hole in wall is.
 
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Old 09-20-19, 08:44 AM
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Problem solved.

There is a switch to turn the DW on or off when someone is working on it. It's in the cabinet below the sink, against the wall.

I didn't know about this switch and it must have gotten flipped off by accident.

Now that it's on, the DW works perfectly.

This thread can be closed but it thought I'd share this update for posterity.
 
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