GE Dishwasher Diagnostic mode (4 easy steps to start)

By: Talen Quire

The GE dishwasher Diagnostic mode is an excellent feature for testing the functionalities of the appliance.

If you are in doubt about an issue with your dishwasher, the Diagnostic mode will help you find the exact root of the problem in your dishwasher.

It will perform various types of tests on the dishwasher and will show you an error code. That is why it is also called Service mode or Test mode.

In this article, I will share the steps required to start the Diagnostic mode on GE dishwashers. I will also provide you with information regarding identifying and troubleshooting the error codes on your GE dishwasher.

So, let’s get started.

A lady trying to activate diagnostic mode on GE dishwasher.

How do I enter Diagnostic mode on the GE dishwasher?

Before starting the Diagnostic mode, make sure that your dishwasher is in Stand-by mode, which means your dishwasher should not be in a running stage.

Now, when your dishwasher is in Stand-by mode, follow the below-given steps:

Start and Cycle select button of a dishwasher
  • The First step is to press the ‘Start’ and ‘Cycle select buttons’ together for five seconds. The LED on the display will light up after a chime sound.
  • Now, your dishwasher is in Error code display mode. Note: If the LED starts flashing, the dishwasher detects an open door.
  • After that, all the LEDs will turn to normal. Next, you will have to hold only the ‘Cycle select button’ for another 5 seconds until the LED starts flashing.
  • The flashing LED is an indication that your dishwasher is now ready to test its different parts. You can press the ‘Start’ button to begin the testing. Press the ‘Start’ button again to pause the testing.
  • Your dishwasher will test each of its parts one by one. After running one test, you will have to press the ‘Cycle select button’ to move on to other testing. 
  • After pressing the cycle select button, you will have to press the ‘Start’ button to begin the next testing.
  • The dishwasher communicates to you by flashing lights. It flashes its normal light a unique number of times to tell you which part of it is being diagnosed.
  • Here is a table that will help you identify which part is under testing.
No. of times the light flashes.The component to be tested.Process
1Drain PumpThe dishwasher will start draining the water for 75 seconds.
2Water Valve The dishwasher will fill the tub for about 60 seconds.
3Circulation PumpThe dishwasher will spray through the different spray arms in an interval of 30 seconds. This process will last for 120 seconds.
4HeaterThe Dishwasher will turn on the heater for about 120 seconds.
5Detergent DispenserThe Drain solenoid will be activated for 15 seconds.

After completion of the test on all of the parts, the dishwasher will display an error code on its control panel (Only if it found any issues).

A dishwasher displaying error code message

To fix and clean the error code from your GE dishwasher, you will have to perform a manual repair by yourself or by a technician.

When you manually fix the issue, just reset your dishwasher, and the error/fault code will be cleaned.

How to Exit from the Diagnostic Mode(Service mode)?

Exiting from the Diagnostic mode on your GE dishwasher is simple. You will just have to Reset your dishwasher once to Exit the Service mode.

If you’re still confused, here’s a video on how to enter diagnostic test mode:

There may be a case that your GE dishwasher model has some other way to operate this mode, but don’t worry. We have shared below the steps required to enter Diagnostic mode(Test mode) on every GE dishwasher model.

Look below for the steps needed to operate Test mode on your GE dishwasher model.

GE dishwasher model GDF510PGD, GDF520PGD, GDF530PGD, GDF540PGD, GDF550PGD. How do you enter Diagnostic mode?

If you have model numbers GDF510PGD, GDF520PGD, GDF530PGD, GDF540PGD, and GDF550PGD dishwasher, follow the below-given instructions to start its Diagnostic mode.

  • You can only enter the diagnostics cycle when your dishwasher is in standby mode and not running. 
  • After that, you will have to enter the error mode. To do so, press the start button and cycle select button simultaneously for 5 seconds.
  • After pressing the button, you will hear a chime sound, and all the lights will illuminate.
  • Once those lights are off, press the “cycle select” button again for 5 seconds. After that, a normal LED will flash, which means your dishwasher is ready for testing.
  • Now, press the Start button to begin testing. 
  • Once one test is done, press the Cycle select to go to the next test. The LED will now flash twice to indicate that the dishwasher is ready for second testing. Press Start to begin the second test.

You must do the five tests, so continue testing until the fifth test is completed. After that, If your dishwasher displays a code error, it means it detected an issue, or else your dishwasher is safe.

I have listed the meaning of each error/fault code below so you can check it from there.

Ensure not to leave these dishwasher models in this mode for a long time, as they can go to Error mode in very little time.

To Exit the Diagnostic mode, you can press and hold the Start button and Cycle select button simultaneously for 2-3 seconds.

Entering Factory service mode (Diagnostic mode) on GE dishwasher model GE GLDT690T

The service mode in these dishwasher models needs some extra procedures. Well, you don’t have to worry about that, as I have mentioned below the exact steps you will need to enter Diagnostic mode (service mode) in your GE GLDT690T model.

  • First, turn off your appliance.
  • Then, remove your dishwasher’s plug from the electrical board.
  • Now, open the dishwasher’s door and plug your dishwasher back into the electric board.
  • Leave the door open and turn on your dishwasher.
  • Now, press the Delay and On/Off buttons together within 1 to 3 minutes of restoring the dishwasher’s power.
  • After that, all the LEDs and SDD (7-segment display) will start flashing. It is an indication that you have entered Diagnostic mode.
  • Now, press the Select function on the screen and choose the part you want to test.
  • In these dishwasher models, you will have to select a Step, and the dishwasher will diagnose a respective component according to the step you’ve chosen.
  • To get an idea of the Steps and their respective components, I am sharing a table with you.
Step NumberPart of Dishwasher DiagnosedSDD Code
1Water Inlet Valve09
2Wash Pump08
3Detergent Dispenser07
4Wash Pump and Heater06
5Drain Pump05
6Load Off04
7Fill Valve03
8Wash Pump02
9Drain Pump01
10All Tests completedF0
  • The machine will automatically begin testing when the dishwasher door is closed.

Now, to exit this mode, you can press the On and Off button or unplug your dishwasher for a few minutes.

How to enter Test mode on a Ge Triton or PWD8900 Series dishwasher?

Entering the Diagnostic mode (Test mode) on these dishwashers is even simpler than the previous models. Here is a series of steps you will have to perform to enter Test mode.

  • First, make sure your dishwasher is not running a cycle.
  • Now, press and hold the ‘Cookware’ and ‘Heated Dry’ functions together for approximately 3 seconds.
Heated Dry button of dishwasher
  • Your dishwasher will make a Chime sound as it enters the Test cycle mode.
  • Now, you can test different components of your dishwasher.

If you wish to Exit the Service mode, press the Start or Reset buttons to leave.

How to enter Service mode on GE profile PWD9700 and PWD9900 Series?

To enter Service mode on these dishwasher models, you can follow the below-mentioned steps.

  • Press and hold the Down Arrow and Heated Dry buttons at the same time for about 3 seconds.
  • Your dishwasher will make a chime sound to notify you that it has entered the Service/Diagnostic mode.
  • After this, you can do the required tests on your dishwasher.

The procedure to Exit Diagnostic mode is the same as the other models. Press the Reset/Start button to cancel the Service mode on your dishwasher.

Note:- Don’t leave these dishwashers in Diagnostic mode for too long. It can bounce back to normal mode after an inactivity of 5 minutes.

Entering Diagnostic mode on GE Cafe dishwashers.

GE cafe dishwasher

If you wish to start Diagnostic tests on your GE Cafe dishwasher, it’s a little bit tricky work. Even the GE officials don’t provide the exact necessary steps to enter. 

We all know that entering this mode requires pressing specific button combinations. Here are steps to start Diagnostics on your GE cafe dishwashers.

  • Put your dishwasher in a Stand-by mode.
  • After that, press and hold the ‘Start’ button.
  • While holding the Start button, press and hold the ‘Heated Dry’ button for 3 to 5 seconds to begin the Diagnostics.
  • If this process works, you will hear a beep, and the LEDs will start flashing.
  • After that, you can test your cafe dishwasher’s components.

 Just Reset your cafe dishwasher to leave the diagnostics test cycles.

Identifying and resolving Error codes on GE dishwashers.

Error codes are the unique codes that describe specific issues on a dishwasher. If your Ge dishwasher detects any problem during the testing, it will display a fault code on the screen. 

As I previously said, you have to identify the GE dishwasher error codes to know the issue it is describing.

Most GE dishwasher models show their fault code by flashing LEDs. Pay attention to the blinking lights as it will help you decode the error.

Now, you must think, how can I identify and fix those errors? You don’t need to go anywhere to identify and solve those errors, as I am sharing here a list of error codes with their solutions.

LED LabelError typeMeaningBest Solution
Start lightCommunication faultThe user interface cannot communicate with the appliance control board.Reset the dishwasher and restart the diagnostic mode.
Heated DryTemperature errorYour dishwasher is not reaching the minimum wash temperature of 120℉ (49℃) from the previous 3-5 cycles.Run the faucet and wait for the water to get warmer before starting the dishwasher.
Wash BoostAn issue with the thermistorThe appliance has found a short/open circuit in the thermistor. Turn off the dishwasher’s power from the circuit breaker and reconnect power after 30 seconds.
BoostFaulty turbidity sensorThere is a short/open circuit in the turbidity sensor.Disconnect the power from the dishwasher’s circuit breaker and restore it after 30 seconds.

However, there are furthermore codes that can appear on the control panel. Here is another list of it.

Dishwasher showing error code on the control panel.
H20Low water in the Dishwasher.Unblock the Inlet valve.
C1The dishwasher is taking too long to drain.Clean the Air gap and check the drain hose
C2The draining cycle is taking more than usual time.Perform a quick reset to stop its beeping.
C3The dishwasher is not draining.Try resetting the dishwasher. If it doesn’t work, you’ll need to learn how to drain the GE dishwasher.
You can also call a professional for help.
C4Too much water in the dishwasher.Fix the float switch or unclog the drain.
C5The dishwasher’s pump-out time is too short.Unstick the float after ensuring the water supply.
C6The water temperature is too low.Adjust the heater and increase its temperature.
C7The water temperature sensor circuit is damaged.Try resetting the dishwasher and call a professional if the issue persists.
C8The detergent cup is blocked.Remove the dishware that is blocking the cup.
PFPower failureSelect the desired cycle and press the Start button.
H+Delay start mode is active.It’s not an issue. Just turn off this mode, and your dishwasher will start functioning again.

What mistakes should I avoid when using diagnostic mode on my GE dishwasher?

Here are some common mistakes that you should avoid when using the diagnostic feature:

  • Entering diagnostic mode incorrectly: Each GE dishwasher model has a specific procedure to enter diagnostic mode. If you have some uncommon model of dishwasher, refer to the user manual for exact instructions.
  • Not allowing enough time between steps: After entering diagnostic mode, wait for all the lights to illuminate fully before moving on to the next step. Rushing can result in improper diagnostics.
  • Misinterpreting error codes: Familiarize yourself with the error codes specific to your GE dishwasher model. Misreading these codes can lead to unnecessary repairs or missing the actual problem. 
  • Forgetting to exit diagnostic mode: After completing diagnostics, make sure to exit properly by pressing the Start button or unplugging the dishwasher.
  • Running tests with water in the tub: Some diagnostic tests require an empty and dry tub. Performing these tests with water present can cause incorrect results.
  • Ignoring safety precautions: Always disconnect power before accessing any internal components. Safety should be your top priority when troubleshooting any electrical appliance.
  • Not documenting results: Keep a detailed record of any error codes or test outcomes. This information can be invaluable if you need to consult a technician later.
  • Attempting repairs beyond your skill level: Diagnostic mode can help identify issues, but it’s essential to know your limits. Some repairs are best left to qualified technicians to avoid causing further damage.

How often should I run a diagnostic test on my GE dishwasher?

There is no specific recommendation for how often to run diagnostic tests on a GE dishwasher. You can use diagnostic mode as much as you need. However, here are some cases when you should run the tests:

  • When you notice performance issues: If your dishwasher isn’t cleaning dishes properly, making unusual noises, or displaying error codes, it’s a good time to run a diagnostic test.
  • After maintenance or repairs: Running a diagnostic test after performing maintenance or repairs can ensure everything is functioning correctly.
  • Periodic checks: While not strictly necessary, running a diagnostic test every six months can be a good practice. This can help catch potential issues early before they become major problems.
  • Before the warranty expires: If your dishwasher is nearing the end of its warranty period, consider running a diagnostic test. This can help identify any issues that might be covered under warranty.

What should I do if the Diagnostic mode is not working on my dishwasher?

If the Diagnostic mode on your GE dishwasher is not working, you must check on these points.

Recheck the button sequence: Make sure you have pressed the right button combination. If you don’t remember the series, try again by pressing the same combination of buttons in the same sequence.

Reset your dishwasher: A quick reset is enough to fix any software glitches. Unplug your dishwasher and reconnect it after a few minutes.

Contact GE customer support: You can get their number from GE’s website. They are equipped with the correct information for every dishwasher model. They will surely help you.

customer support

Infographic: How to start diagnostic mode on GE dishwasher?

Infographic of starting diagnostic mode on GE dishwasher 1


How do I run a diagnostic test on my GE dishwasher?

Press and hold the Start and Cycle select buttons together for 5 seconds. After that, wait for the lights to go off, then press the cycle select button again for 5 seconds to start the Diagnostic mode. Now, press the Start button to begin the test.

When to use GE dishwasher diagnostic mode?

Whenever you are in doubt about malfunctioning any components of your dishwasher, you can run the Diagnostic mode to test out the functioning of that component.

Can I run a diagnostic test on my GE dishwasher without any special tools?

Yes, you can run a diagnostic test on most GE dishwashers without any special tools. Simply put the dishwasher in standby mode, press and hold the Start and Cycle Select buttons for about 5 seconds, and follow the prompts to conduct the test.

Can I use the diagnostic mode on my GE dishwasher to check for leaks?

Yes, you can use the diagnostic mode to identify potential leaks. It checks various components for issues, including water flow and pressure, which can indicate a leak. Regular diagnostics help catch leaks early, preventing more serious problems.

Can I use the diagnostic mode on my GE dishwasher to check for electrical issues?

Yes, the diagnostic mode can help identify electrical issues. It runs tests on various electrical components such as the motor, heating element, and sensors. If there’s a malfunction, the diagnostic mode will display an error code to guide your troubleshooting.

How long does dishwasher diagnostic take?

The time taken to run diagnostic mode depends upon the model and manufacturer of your dishwasher. You can refer to your service manual to know the exact time requirement. In an average dishwasher, diagnostic mode can take up to half an hour to complete the testing.


The Ge dishwashers offer manual testing of their components through the Diagnostic feature. It is a helpful feature, especially when you are confused about which part of your dishwasher is causing a problem. 

You can start the diagnostic feature by pressing some buttons in a unique sequence. These buttons vary in different dishwasher models. In this mode, your dishwasher will test its various components and will show you a fault code. Then, you can identify and fix this fault code to enjoy a fully functional dishwasher.

This was all from my side. I hope you found it helpful. If you have any queries, then comment below. I would be happy to help you further.

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