Why My GE Dishwasher Turns On by Itself? (7 Reasons)

By: Talen Quire

Having a GE dishwasher turns on by itself can be frustrating, and annoying. You likely purchased the dishwasher expecting reliable performance, not this unexpected behavior. When the GE dishwasher behaves like this, it’s natural to have concerns about wasted energy, possible leaks, strange noises, and potential damage. 

The good news is that in most cases, this problem can be resolved with some troubleshooting and minor repairs. With a few easy steps, you can get your GE dishwasher back to working normally. 

In this article, I’ll walk you through the causes of a GE dishwasher that turns on by itself. I’ll also provide actionable solutions to diagnose the specific problem and fix it for good. You’ll gain the knowledge to restore your dishwasher to normal condition.

Dishwasher turning on by itself.

Can a dishwasher turn on by itself?

Yes, a dishwasher can turn on by itself. This unexpected behavior is often caused by activating the delay cycle function, which allows the appliance to start automatically after a set period of time. 

If you haven’t intentionally programmed your GE dishwasher to start later using the delay feature, it would be concerning for the machine to automatically begin operation. Several other issues can also lead to a dishwasher powering on without input, like stuck buttons, control board failures, or accidental contact with the buttons.

Older dishwashers that have been used regularly for 4+ years are more prone to having problems that cause them to turn on alone. Knowing the potential reasons a dishwasher starts by itself will help you diagnose and resolve the problem if it happens with your appliance.

Why does my GE dishwasher turn on by itself?

There can be several reasons for a dishwasher that turns on by itself. Here are some of the most common reasons for a self-starting dishwasher:

  • The delay wash feature could be activated, making the dishwasher turn on automatically after a set time. You can disable this setting to prevent self-starting.
Delay start feature on dishwasher
  • Someone may have mistakenly pressed buttons on the display or keypad, triggering a wash cycle to begin.¬†
  • If the control panel has buttons that are stuck or unresponsive, they can continuously activate wash cycles.¬†
  • Existing wash cycle settings are still in effect on the main control board can trigger the dishwasher to start up.
  • A faulty main control board might malfunction and power on the dishwasher at random intervals.¬†

How can I fix a GE dishwasher that turns on by itself?

Fixing a GE dishwasher that turns on by itself begins with properly diagnosing the cause. Unless you have in-depth GE dishwasher expertise, it can be difficult to find out the reason. Calling a qualified appliance repair technician or plumber may help in troubleshooting.

Professional technician diagnosing the issue with the dishwasher

However, by following simple DIY steps, you can easily identify and address the issue on your own without professional assistance. 

Here are the repairs you will ever need to solve this issue:

Avoid touching the keypad by mistake

First, you should take care not to press the control panel buttons by mistake. If you have a bad habit of it. Turn on the control lock when the dishwasher is not running. Turning on the child/control lock will make the keys unresponsive. Therefore, the buttons won’t respond to accidental touch.

Also, ensure that the dishwasher delay button is not on. Cancel the delay start in case it is on.

Check for the stuck buttons on the keypad

Inspect all the buttons on your dishwasher’s control panel. Look to see if any buttons are stuck in the pressed-in position or not responding as expected.

Stuck button on control panel.

Pay special attention to the delay feature switch, as it could be inadvertently activated causing the dishwasher to start on its own after a set time. Before moving on, test each button to confirm it is functioning properly.

If you find any faulty buttons you’ll need to troubleshoot the issue with your GE dishwasher control panel.

Reset the main control board

If all the buttons are working normally, try resetting the main control board. 

To do this, unplug the power cord of the dishwasher for 15 minutes. This will allow the control board to reset. After 15 minutes, reconnect the power and turn the dishwasher back on to see if the issue is resolved. 

Unplugging the power cord of the dishwasher.

Resetting the control board will clear any software glitches and stop it from starting the dishwasher randomly if it is malfunctioning. Turn on the dishwasher to check if the self-starting problem is fixed.

Check for a faulty component

To check for the faulty component, you will need to perform a test. To do so, follow the given below steps:

  • Unplug the dishwasher and disconnect the ribbon cable from the control board.
  • Make sure disconnected wires don’t touch each other or get wet.
Ribbon cable of the control board.
  • With the ribbon cable detached, restore the dishwasher’s power to see if it starts up again.
  • If it does turn on by itself, it means the control board has defects and needs replacement.
  • If the dishwasher doesn’t start up, the issue could be with the console, keypad, or wire harnesses. Check them for defects and replace them as needed.

Replace the control board

If you have followed all of the above given fixing instructions but the issue with your dishwasher is still persisting it means there is a fault in your appliance control board. It is the main component of the dishwasher if it has any defect it can cause the dishwasher to self-start. The only solution to this is replacing the faulty control board with a new one. 

But before that, you should check it to confirm if it really malfunctioning. To do so follow the given steps:

  • Disconnect power to the dishwasher.
  • Detach the power connector from the control board.
Disconnecting connector from the control board.
  • Inspect for visible damage like burnt or melted components, bulged capacitors, damaged wires or connections, worn parts, etc.
  • Replace any visibly damaged parts on the control board if possible.
  • If you can’t find a specific faulty part, replace the entire control board assembly.

Now, to replace the dishwasher circuit board, buy a new circuit board according to your dishwasher model number and follow the instructions taught in the video given below:

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I manually reset my dishwasher?

To manually reset your dishwasher, shut off the power by unplugging it or using the circuit breaker. Alternatively, on some models, press and hold the Start/Reset button on the control panel, then wait before starting a wash cycle.

 Can a dishwasher turn on by itself even if it’s new?

Yes, it’s possible. New dishwashers can experience issues like stuck buttons. While a faulty control board is less likely, it’s essential to diagnose and fix any problems that arise.

How do I prevent my dishwasher from turning on by itself in the future?

Besides repairing the issue, leaving the door slightly open after each wash cycle or installing an external ON/OFF switch can prevent unintended starts.

Can a dishwasher turn on by itself if it’s not connected to a power source?

No, a dishwasher requires power to function. If it’s turning on by itself, it indicates an internal issue, such as a malfunctioning control board or buttons.

Final thought

Having a GE dishwasher that starts up on its own can be annoying. Thankfully, with some of the fixing methods mentioned above you can resolve the issue.

First, avoid the accidental touches of the buttons or delay settings causing auto start. Carefully inspect the control panel for any stuck keys as well. 

If the buttons are all good, reset the main control board and test it for proper operation. If the problem persists, inspect the control board for burnt parts or other damage, and replace the components as needed.

If you are confused and want to get some professional advice, you can reach out to the GE customer support portal or hire a private technician.

This was all from my side. If you have any queries, comment down below. I will be happy to support you further.

About Talen Quire

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