GE Dishwasher Not Drying? Discover 5 Steps to Rectify the Problem

If your GE dishwasher not drying your dishes has become a recurring issue, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll guide you through a detailed, step-by-step process to solve this common problem, even if you’re not technically inclined.

GE Dishwasher Not Drying
From by PhotoMIX Company

Why Is Your GE Dishwasher Not Drying?

Before diving into the solutions, it’s crucial to understand why your dishwasher isn’t drying your dishes. Some common reasons can include improper loading, defective heating elements, or issues with the vent and fan system.

Step 1: Check Your Dish Loading

Incorrect loading of dishes can block the heat from reaching all dishes, leading to some dishes not drying properly. Make sure you are not overcrowding your dishwasher and that dishes are not nested within each other. This will allow for better heat circulation and more effective drying.

Step 2: Inspect the Heating Element

The heating element is responsible for heating the air inside your dishwasher to dry your dishes. If your GE dishwasher is not drying, it could be due to a malfunctioning heating element. To check this, look for the heating element (it’s typically a thin, round tube located at the bottom of the dishwasher) and feel it carefully after running a drying cycle. If it’s not warm, it might need to be replaced.

Materials Required:

  1. New heating element for GE dishwasher (make sure you have the correct model)
  2. Phillips head screwdriver
  3. Needle-nose pliers
  4. Multimeter (optional, to test the current heating element)


  1. Safety First: Before you begin, make sure to unplug the dishwasher from the electrical outlet to prevent any electrical shocks. If the dishwasher is hardwired to the power supply, then turn off the circuit breaker.
  2. Access the Dishwasher: Pull the dishwasher away from the wall or counter. You may need to unscrew it from the countertop or remove a panel for easier access.
  3. Drain the Dishwasher: If there is water left in the dishwasher, you will need to drain it.
  4. Remove the Lower Rack: Open the dishwasher door and take out the lower rack. This will give you clear access to the heating element.
  5. Remove the Element: The heating element is usually a thick, circular tube located at the bottom of the dishwasher. It is held in place by a few brackets that are screwed into the bottom of the dishwasher. Use a Phillips head screwdriver to remove the screws and brackets.
  6. Disconnect the Wires: On the underside of the dishwasher, find the wires connected to the heating element’s terminals. You may need to remove a cover to access them. Use the needle-nose pliers to carefully disconnect the wires. Remember or note down which wire connects to which terminal for the reinstallation.
  7. Remove the Heating Element: Now that everything holding the heating element in place is removed, you should be able to lift it out of the dishwasher.
  8. Check the Old and New Elements: Compare the old heating element with your new one to ensure they are the same. If desired, you can use a multimeter to confirm that the old heating element is indeed faulty.
  9. Install the New Heating Element: Place the new heating element in the dishwasher, making sure it sits properly in its designated place.
  10. Reconnect the Wires: Connect the wires to the terminals on the new heating element. Ensure the connections are secure.
  11. Secure the Heating Element: Use the brackets and screws you removed earlier to secure the new heating element in place.
  12. Replace the Lower Rack: Slide the lower rack back into the dishwasher.
  13. Restore Power: Plug the dishwasher back into the electrical outlet or turn on the circuit breaker if it’s hardwired.
  14. Test the Dishwasher: Run a short cycle to ensure everything is working correctly.
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Remember, if you’re unsure about any of these steps or uncomfortable doing this on your own, it’s always a good idea to call a professional. Safety should always come first when working with appliances.

For more articles on dishwashers, click here: Dishwasher Problems and Solutions: Your Ultimate Guide to Hassle-free Dishwashing

Step 3: Check the High-Limit Thermostat

The high-limit thermostat is a safety device that prevents the dishwasher from overheating. If this is defective, it may not allow the heating element to heat enough to dry your dishes. Use a multimeter to test the thermostat for continuity – if it doesn’t have continuity, it will need to be replaced.

Materials Required:

  1. New high-limit thermostat for GE dishwasher (ensure you have the correct model)
  2. Screwdriver set (Philips and flathead may be needed)
  3. Needle-nose pliers
  4. Multimeter (optional, to test the current high-limit thermostat)


  1. Safety Precautions: Ensure the dishwasher is unplugged or if it’s hardwired, the circuit breaker is turned off. This step is crucial to prevent any potential electrical shocks.
  2. Pull Out the Dishwasher: Remove the dishwasher from under the counter. You may need to remove screws holding it in place under the counter. Then, gently pull out the dishwasher, being careful of the water and drain connections.
  3. Locate the High-Limit Thermostat: The high-limit thermostat is typically located at the bottom of the dishwasher, attached to the bottom of the tub. It will typically be a small device with two wires leading into it.
  4. Remove the Wires: Use your needle-nose pliers to disconnect the wires leading into the high-limit thermostat. Be careful not to let the wires slip back into the insulation. Note or take a picture of which wire connects to which terminal for easy reassembly.
  5. Remove the High-Limit Thermostat: Remove the screws holding the thermostat in place. Once the screws are out, you should be able to remove the thermostat.
  6. Test the Old Thermostat (Optional): If you have a multimeter, you can test the old thermostat. It should display a reading of zero or as close to zero as possible. If it shows anything else, it’s defective and needs to be replaced.
  7. Install the New High-Limit Thermostat: Attach the new high-limit thermostat to the same place where you removed the old one, using the screws you removed earlier.
  8. Reconnect the Wires: Reconnect the wires to the new high-limit thermostat, making sure to attach them to the correct terminals.
  9. Reinstall the Dishwasher: Carefully slide the dishwasher back into its spot under the counter. Be sure to reattach any screws or connections that you had to remove to get the dishwasher out.
  10. Restore Power: Plug the dishwasher back in or switch on the circuit breaker.
  11. Test the Dishwasher: Run a short cycle to ensure the dishwasher is working correctly and that there are no error messages indicating an issue with the high-limit thermostat.
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Remember, if you’re uncomfortable doing this yourself or if you’re unsure about any of these steps, you should hire a professional. Always prioritize safety when working with home appliances.

Step 4: Examine the Vent and Fan System

Some GE dishwashers use a vent and fan system to circulate air and assist in the drying process. If the vent doesn’t open properly or if the fan doesn’t run, your GE dishwasher will not dry your dishes. Check for any blockages and ensure that the fan is operating properly.

Step 5: Consider Using a Rinse Aid

If all the components are working correctly, but your GE dishwasher is still not drying, you might want to consider using a rinse aid. Rinse aids reduce the surface tension of water, helping it to roll off dishes and speed up the drying process.


In conclusion, a GE dishwasher not drying dishes is a common issue with various potential causes. By following these steps, you can identify and rectify the problem, ensuring your dishwasher works effectively. Remember, if the issue persists, it’s advisable to consult a professional for further assistance.