Gilles' Outlet

February 9, 2009

Repairing a GE Profile Dishwasher

Filed under: Appliance Repair — Gilles @ 4:32 am

A GE Profile dishwasher is repaired. We identify the problem, disassemble the door, clean and lubricate the sequence switch. A full "normal" cycle is run to spread the lubricant on all parts.

 

Skill Level: 2~3 (Basic ~ Moderate)

Time Taken: About 1 hour

During a long washing cycle (called "Pot-Scrubber" by the manufacturer), the dishwasher abruptly stopped and started beeping. The "Normal" indicator was also continuously blinking. Pressing any button including the "Stop/Reset" button did not help. This suggested to me that the dishwasher detected a serious problem and decided to stop operating.

I carefully unlatch the door. Luckily, no water came gushing on the floor.

Left: I immediately attempted to locate the dishwasher model number – it is usually located on a side of the door or on one of the sides of the dishwasher’s recess for the door. I found it at the top left, on the door’s opening. It is difficult to read but the model number is GSD4030Z05WW. Knowing the model number allowed me to find an exploded view of the dishwasher’s door on the Internet at: http://genet.geappliances.com/IPCNet/Dispatcher?REQUEST=IPCNETGETPDF&file=00000000/00000600/00000622.p01.pdf. This greatly helped me fix the issue.

 

Right: I inspected the interior of the dishwasher: soap was released from the locking cup but it seems that it did not yet see any water.

This told me that the first pat of the "Pot-Scrubber" cycle (wash with fresh water only) completed properly and the dishwasher failed right at the beginning of the second part of the cycle (wash with soap).

 

I went to the electrical panel, located the breaker for the dishwasher and turned it off. I also verified that the dishwasher was no longer energized.

Left: I used a Phillips screwdriver to remove the screws holding the door cover to the door. I resisted the urge to use a power tool here. I have seen many cases where old and rusty screws break and I did not want to deal with two problems at once.

I made sure to set all screws aside, in the exact order they were removed. This will make sure there is no confusion on which fastener goes where when I re-assemble the door.

 

Right: After removing about 6 screws, the door cover swung loose. I removed the door and inspected it.

There were signs of soap leaks as well as some minor signs of water leak at the bottom. I cleaned all spots very carefully.

Left: I turned my attention to the door itself. It also did have traces of soap and water. I cleaned those too. Also visible on the door are switch panel (left) and the heart of a dishwasher: the sequence switch (white component on the right).

Right: Close-up of the sequence switch (also known as "Control Module"). This is what controls every single aspect of washing cycles in a dishwasher. Because the dishwasher stopped abruptly in the middle of a cycle, I immediately suspected this component.

Left: I disconnected the two electrical connectors and …

 

Right: … removed the two screws holding the module in place. The screws came out very easily and the module swung free. I picked it up and moved it to a well lit, flat area.

My first reaction was to look or a replacement part. The GE store sells an original replacement part for about $135 at the time of the post (see http://www.myapstore.com/Omega/Dispatcher?REQUEST=ACCESSORY part 904) . Other suppliers also sold it for about $63 (see http://www.repairclinic.com/SSPartDetail.aspx?PartID=271329&PPStack=1). I decided to attempt to prove it is indeed faulty and attempt to repair it before I order a replacement.

Left: Close up of the sequence switch seen from its back. The gray wheel at the top controls the locking soap cup. It appears to have just released it (the wheel has a notch – as the wheel turns, the notch will push a lever releasing the soap and the notch’s location matches the position of the lever). This is consistent with what I already observed.

 

Right: I inspected the module carefully and noticed that the top cover is held in place with plastic pins. I used a small flat screwdriver to release them. This must be done very gently to avoid breaking any of the pins. Once freed, the cover was easily removed.

Left: The internals of he sequence switch. From left to right: the small motor feed by red and black wires causes the white and black gears to turn. The black gear itself causes the large gray wheel to turn at a very slow speed. As the gray wheel turns, various plastic pins on it causes switches to open or close. These switches command various parts of the dishwasher: pump to remove dirty water, water valve to admit fresh water, heating element …

I tried to gently move the gray wheel. It was stuck and did not want to move. At this point, I knew I was right to suspect the sequence switch.

 

Right: There are three things which can fail in such a module: the motor can be burnt, the various mechanic parts may be damaged or not longer moving as designed and switches may not provide a good electrical contact any longer.

I decided to verify them all. I carefully removed the first bank of switches and inspected it. The spark created by the switch opening when power is cut caused the contact point to accumulate sooth I removed the first bank of switches …

Left: … and cleaned up its contact points with a strip of 400 grit sand paper. It needs to be a very fine grit to not damage the contact points. I performed that operation on the bottom contact points as well as on the second bank of switches.

 

Right: I applied a lubricant (in this case WD-40) to all moving parts, including the two gears, the axis of the wheel … I also applied some of the lubricant on every single pins on the gray wheel. This is designed to facilitate the movement of the wheel as switches ride it.

Finally, I disconnected the motor and measured its internal impedance. The reading slowly grew to "1.". This suggested that the motor was still working. This is not a definitive test but I had a hunch that the problem was not at the motor so I took a calculated risk.

 

I put the switch back together, re-installed it and put the door cover back on the dishwasher. I powered the dishwasher and ran a "Pot-Scrubber" cycle. At the time the second part of the cycle started, the same problem happened again. I decided to run the shorter "Normal" cycle once. It worked.

 

Over the course of a week, I ran the "Normal" cycle twice more. This had the effect of spreading the lubricant on all moving parts. I decided to run a "Pot-Scrubber" cycle and voila!, it worked flawlessly.

Tools Used:

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Flat screwdriver
  • Digital multimeter

Materials Used:

  • 400 grit sand paper – 1 strip
  • Lubricant – WD40
  • Rags

1 Comment »

  1. I followed your steps to a tee & VOILA! My problem is solved! Thanks a bunch!!

    Comment by Corky — July 21, 2011 @ 6:07 am


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