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Why Is Your GE Dishwasher Overheating?

Meredith Jameson

Under most circumstances, a dishwasher should not overheat when used properly. However, if a GE dishwasher is overheating, several possible reasons may exist -- from internal motor issues to melted items inside the dishwasher. Investigating the cause of the overheating can help owners either resolve the situation or know enough to contact GE for service.

Packing Material

Look in the bottom of the dishwasher tub for items that may have fallen and are causing the problem.

If the GE dishwasher is new and was recently installed, there may be packaging material that was overlooked during the installation that is causing the overheating. Look inside the dishwasher, especially in the bottom of the tub near the heating element, which is black, and remove any remaining shipping material. Check underneath the dishwasher with a flashlight as well and pull out any material.

Water Supply

The GE dishwasher will overheat if there is no water supply when the dishwasher is turned on. The water valve is usually situated underneath the kitchen sink or in the rear of the dishwasher. Make sure the valve is turned all the way on, usually in a counterclockwise motion, and the water hose is straight and not trapped, bent or otherwise restricted. Contact GE if the water hose is damaged and a replacement is needed.

Melted Items

Sometimes small items may drop from the racks onto the heating element in the dishwasher and melt. This creates a burning smell and can cause the dishwasher to overheat. If there is residue or debris on the black heating element, wait for the dishwasher to cool completely and then use a wet cleaning sponge or a wooden spoon to clean the melted plastic off the heating element. Dry with a towel.

Wiring or Motor Problems

Over time, the motor or wiring connected to the dishwasher may begin to fail. If this happens, the dishwasher is more likely to overheat and may make very loud noises, have a burning smell and possibly stop working altogether. Check other possible reasons for the dishwasher to overheat and then disconnect the power if the reason cannot be determined. Contact GE for assistance.