GE Dishwasher Not Drying: 9 Ways To Fix this Issue

A GE dishwasher may not dry well due to heating element, vent, thermostat, loading, setting, float switch, detergent, rinse aid, wiring, or sensor issues. To fix, use detergent and rinse aid correctly, check the heating element, clean the vent, troubleshoot the thermostat, load dishes properly, choose the right settings, and maintain the float switch.

For the full details, keep reading this comprehensive post.

Why Is Your GE Dishwasher Not Drying?

Let’s talk about everything that could’ve gone wrong with your dishwasher to cause this issue: 

Reason 1: Not Enough Soap or Rinse Aid

If you’re not using a good amount of soap or forget to fill up the rinse aid dispenser, your dishes might not dry properly. 

Soap helps clean off grease and food, and rinse aid makes water slide off your dishes, helping them dry faster.

Reason 2: Broken Heating Element

The heating element in your dishwasher warms up the water, and if it’s broken or the connection is messed up, your washer won’t be able to get the heat for proper drying. 

This issue tends to happen every once in a while, mostly in GE Adora dishwasher models.

Reason 3: Vent or Vent Fan Issues

A malfunction in the vent or its fan hampers the release of hot air during the drying phase. 

Without proper ventilation, steam is trapped, making moisture dissipate less efficiently. This trapped moisture condenses on dishes, making them damp again.

Reason 4: Thermostat Troubles

The dishwasher’s thermostat regulates temperature to prevent excessive heat. 

Malfunctions can prematurely halt the drying phase, leaving dishes poorly dried. 

Reason 5: Loading Mistakes

The way you load or unload your stuff also matters. 

For instance, by unloading the upper rack first, you can have water droplets from upper dishes falling onto the lower rack, leaving you with a bunch of wet dishes.

Reason 6: Selecting the Wrong Dishwasher Setting

Some GE washers need you to manually activate cycles for proper drying. 

Not choosing the right cycles can make dishes come out somewhat dry, but not as much as the dishwasher can actually offer.

Reason 7: Stuck Float Switch

A stuck float switch can prevent the dishwasher from progressing to the drying phase, leaving dishes wet. 

The dishwasher relies on the float switch to signal the transition between cycles. Anything getting in the way can mess up the drying.

Reason 8: Wiring Issues

Internal wiring complications disrupt communication between dishwasher components. 

As a result, drying and heating functions don’t work correctly. 

For instance, a loose or damaged wire harness that transmits voltage from the dishwasher control board to the heating element can result in it not receiving enough power. 

Reason 9: Faulty Turbidity Sensor

The turbidity sensor keeps tabs on food particles in the water, influencing the duration of wash or rinse cycles. 

Some models also use a thermistor to regulate temperature. 

If the sensor malfunctions, it can disrupt the dishwasher’s progression to the drying phase.

How To Fix Poor Drying Issues in GE Dishwashers?

I’ll walk you through a lot of stuff you can do yourself. I’ve added detailed instructions from my own experience of fixing wonky dishwashers.

Solution 1: Use Detergents And Rinse Aids Correctly

If you’re new to dishwashers, this might help:

  1. Fill the detergent compartment with the recommended amount of detergent.
  2. Open the rinse aid dispenser and fill it with the appropriate amount of rinse aid.
  3. Choose a high-quality Rinse Aid (GE suggests Jet-Dry).
  4. Adjust the rinse aid settings based on water hardness if applicable.
  5. Ensure both detergent and rinse aid compartments are securely closed.
  6. Start the dishwasher and allow the dishwasher to complete its cycle before opening.

Solution 2: Dealing With The Heating Element

  1. Ensure the dishwasher is properly plugged in and check for tripped circuit breakers.
  2. Turn off the power to the dishwasher.
  3. Locate and inspect the heating element for damage.
  4. Use a multimeter to test the heating element’s continuity.
  5. Disconnect the dishwasher and remove wires from the heating element.
  6. Check wiring for damage and secure connections.
  7. Clean the heating element from mineral deposits and debris.
  8. Test the high-limit thermostat for continuity.
  9. If cleaning and fixing the wire doesn’t help, swap out the element entirely.

Solution 3: Fixing A Malfunctioning Vent

  1. Check for debris blocking the vent opening and remove any obstructions.
  2. Turn on the dishwasher to listen to the vent fan. If it’s not running, proceed to test the motor.
  3. Disconnect the power and locate the fan motor. Access it underneath the base, on top, or behind the outer door panel.
  4. Use a multimeter to check it for continuity. If the resistance reading is 100-150 ohms, the motor is functional. Otherwise, replace it.
  5. Examine fan blades for smooth movement and check wiring for damage.
  6. Ensure proper power supply and try performing a reset on your GE Dishwasher.
  7. Inspect vent components for damage, focusing on the vent cover and fan blades.
  8. Remove dust from the blades.
  9. Once all that is done, run hot water in the sink before starting a drying cycle.

Solution 4: Inspecting The Thermostat

  1. Find the dishwasher’s wiring diagram.
  2. Locate the thermostat/TCO on the wiring diagram, usually connected to the heating element.
  3. Turn off the dishwasher by unplugging or switching off the circuit breaker.
  4. Check the thermostat for visible damage. Replace if burns or corrosion are present.
  5. Inspect wiring for loose or damaged connections. Reconnect or repair as needed.
  6. Find the black reset button on the back of the TCO. Press it to reset, ensuring it clicks into place.
  7. Use a multimeter to check the continuity of the thermostat. Replace if the check fails.
  8. Plug in the dishwasher or switch on the circuit breaker.
  9. Run a test cycle to ensure the drying phase completes. Monitor for any unusual behavior or overheating.

Solution 5: Loading Or Unloading Better

Here are some steps you can follow from loading to unloading to get better drying:

  1. Leave space between dishes for better air circulation during the drying cycle.
  2. Unload from bottom racks to upper ones to minimize water droplets falling onto already-dried dishes.
  3. Open the dishwasher door slightly after the cycle to let steam escape and prevent condensation.

Solution 6: Pickling The Right Cycle Settings

  1. Select “Heated Dry” or “Power Dry”.
  2. Use high-heat options like “Added Heat,” “Wash Heat Boost,” or “High Temperature Rinse.”
  3. Choose the “Heavy” cycle for increased heat during washing.
  4. If skipping “Heated Dry” for energy savings, crack the door open after the cycle or let dishes air dry overnight.
Note: You can “Power Dry” in any cycle (except Rinse). It adds an extra 65 minutes of drying. With Express Wash, “Power Dry” turns up the final rinse heat and adds 15 more minutes of fan drying. In eWash, it’s just the fan doing its thing for 1.5 hours, without cranking up the temperature.

Solution 7: Taking Care Of The Float Switch

  1. Turn off the dishwasher.
  2. Locate the float switch in the bottom front corner of the dishwasher tub.
  3. Remove the lower rack to access the bottom of the dishwasher.
  4. Clean the float switch and its surroundings with a damp cloth or sponge.
  5. Test the float switch manually by gently lifting it up and down to ensure smooth movement.
  6. Inspect the float switch for visible signs of damage, such as cracks or broken parts.
  7. Verify proper alignment of the float switch in its housing.
  8. Reassemble the lower rack.
  9. Turn on the dishwasher.
  10. Run a test cycle to observe its behavior, including the drying phase.

Solution 8: Checking The Wiring Issues

  1. Unplug the dishwasher.
  2. Refer to the wiring diagram again.
  3. Take a peek at the heating element and thermostat wires. Fix any that look burnt, frayed or severed.
  4. Make sure the other end of these wires are snug at the control panel and board.
  5. Test and fix voltage issues using a multimeter.
  6. Check and repair continuity in the wiring circuit.
  7. Put everything back together and power it up.
  8. Run a quick test to see if things are back to normal.

Solution 9: Replacing The Turbidity Sensor

It’s generally better to replace this rather than try to fix it; here’s how you can do it yourself:

  1. Turn off your dishwasher before swapping the turbidity sensor.
  2. Unscrew and remove the lower access panel.
  3. Under the dishwasher, locate the pump housing.
  4. Use a flat-head screwdriver to twist the old turbidity sensor counterclockwise and remove it.
  5. Disconnect the old sensor’s wire.
  6. Install the new turbidity sensor by connecting its wire.
  7. Secure the new sensor in the pump housing by twisting it clockwise.
  8. Replace any removed insulation.
  9. Put the lower access panel back in place and screw it in.
  10. Turn the dishwasher’s power back on.
  11. Try to wash a dish and see if it still comes out wet.


What are some tips to improve the drying performance of GE dishwashers?

For better drying with GE dishwashers, use rinse aid, choose any special drying options, and give dishes a moment after the cycle ends before unloading to let them dry more.

Is there a dry cycle on GE dishwashers?

There’s no GE Dishwasher Dry Only cycle, but you can amp up drying by selecting enhanced drying cycles or using rinse aid. The regular cycles also include drying phases.

Final Thoughts

Getting your GE dishwasher to dry like a champ isn’t rocket science. 

Just a few tweaks, a little maintenance, and you’ll be waving goodbye to wet dishes.

Follow the stuff I said about using detergents and rinse aids, remember to load and unload correctly, and you’ll be all good to go. 

With all that, your dishwasher will start giving out super dry dishes in no time!

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