GE Dishwasher Tripping Breaker: Is It A Huge Safety Problem?

Your dishwasher tripping the breaker can be more than just a nuisance—it’s a potential electrical hazard. And I can’t have any of my readers be at risk now, can I? 

Malfunctioning heating elements, broken wash motor, messed up control panel, shorted transorb and connectors, and a broken timer- all these can lead to a GE dishwasher tripping the breaker. You’ll have to either try minor repairs or replace these components to avoid risking any damage to the dishwasher.

Keep reading to find out how you can get your safety back and your dishwasher up and running again.

Why Is My GE Dishwasher Tripping Breaker?

There’s a whole bunch of culprits so let’s learn more about them one by one.

Reason 1: Malfunctioning  Heating Element

A damaged heating element in your GE dishwasher can cause it to draw excessive power. 

When the heating element malfunctions, it can create an electrical imbalance that triggers the breaker’s protective function.

Reason 2: Faulty Wash Motor

When the motor is not functioning correctly, it may draw too much electricity, overpowering the dishwasher’s circuitry and triggering the breaker as a protective measure.

Reason 3: Misplaced or Short-circuited Connectors

If you have loose or short-circuiting electrical connectors within your GE dishwasher, they can disrupt the normal flow of electricity. 

This disruption to the electrical flow can cause the dishwasher to draw excessive current, leading the breaker to trip and prevent ground and electrical faults.

Reason 4: Broken Control Circuit Board

Issues within the control circuit board of your GE dishwasher can cause erratic electrical behavior. 

If the circuit board malfunctions, it may send incorrect signals to various components, causing the dishwasher to draw excessive current and trip the breaker to prevent ground faults.

Reason 5: Shorted Transorb

A shorted transorb in your dishwasher can result due to sudden electrical surges. 

These surges lead to an imbalance in the electrical circuit, causing the breaker to trip and protect against potential electrical faults.

Reason 6: Broken Timer

When your dishwasher’s timer goes haywire, it can mess with the whole system, sometimes causing the circuit breaker to trip. 

The timer keeps everything in the dishwasher running uniformly, controlling the wash pump, drain pump, water inlet valve, and heating element. 

If the timer gets out of sync, it throws off the electrical balance, prompting the circuit breaker to step in and prevent any mishaps.

How Do I Stop My GE Dishwasher From Tripping The Breaker?

Now no need to be overwhelmed by all these issues. I’ll tell you exactly how to tackle this like a pro

Solution 1: Heating Element Repair

  1. Disconnect the dishwasher from the power supply and shut off the water supply.
  2. Remove the lower panel of the dishwasher to access the heating element.
  3. Carefully disconnect the wires attached to the heating element.
  4. Inspect the heating element for visible damage such as burns, corrosion, or breaks in the coil.
  5. For minor damage, use heat-resistant epoxy or a repair kit following the instructions.
  6. If you see significant damage, replace the heating element with a compatible one.
  7. Reassemble the panel and restore power and water.
  8. Run a test cycle to confirm the issue is resolved.

Solution 2: Wash Motor Troubleshooting

  1. Begin by turning off the power and unplugging the dishwasher.
  2. Access the wash motor by removing the lower panel.
  3. Inspect the motor for visible signs of damage or obstructions.
  4. If obstructions are present, attempt to remove them to facilitate normal motor operation. If there are none, though, then go ahead and swap in a replacement.
  5. Once you do, reassemble the lower panel and restore power to the dishwasher.
  6. Confirm the fix by running a test cycle.

Solution 3: Electrical Connector Maintenance

  1. Turn off the power to the dishwasher and unplug it.
  2. Remove the lower panel and locate the electrical connections.
  3. Inspect all connectors for tightness and signs of corrosion or burning.
  4. Tighten any loose connectors using appropriate tools.
  5. If you find damaged connectors, repair them using electrical tape or heat-shrink tubing, ensuring a secure connection.
  6. Reassemble the lower panel, plug in the dishwasher, and restore power.
  7. Test the dishwasher to see if there are any trips.

Solution 4: Control Board Fix

  1. Power down and unplug the dishwasher.
  2. Remove the control panel to access the circuit board.
  3. Inspect for burnt areas or loose/damaged components.
  4. Repair using soldering techniques if possible; otherwise, replace the board.
  5. Reconnect wires securely.
  6. Reassemble and restore power, then go test out the dishwasher.

Solution 5: Transorb Inspection and Replacement

  1. Shut off the power and pull the plug out
  2. Locate the control board, usually behind the control panel.
  3. Identify the transorb component on the control board.
  4. Check the transorb for visible damage such as burns or cracks.
  5. If the transorb is faulty, consult the dishwasher’s manual or a professional technician for guidance on replacement.
  6. Reassemble the control panel and restore power to the dishwasher.
  7. Run a test cycle and see if your circuit trips.

Solution 6: Timer Replacement

Since the timer controls so much of the washer, there’s too much risk trying to simply fix it. It’s best if you go for a replacement instead:

  1. Turn off the dishwasher’s power and circuit breaker for safety.
  2. Remove the timer knob and the door latch handle knob.
  3. Unscrew the inner door panel and separate the outer door panel.
  4. You might need to locate the timer in some models – but it’s usually next to the cycle control. 
  5. Disconnect the wire harness from the old timer and remove it.
  6. Attach wires to the new timer and secure them with screws.
  7. Reassemble door panels, ensuring a snug fit.
  8. Reattach timer and door latch handle knobs.
  9. Flip the circuit breaker back on.
  10. Give the washer a run and see if everything runs properly without tripping the breaker. 


How do I know if my GE breaker is bad?

Identify the breaker and check for signs like not staying in “reset”, burning smell, physical damage, or frequent tripping. Test the breaker by turning it off and on. If it trips immediately or shows no voltage with a multimeter, it’s likely bad. If you can’t figure it out, you should check in with an electrician.

Should a dishwasher be on a GFCI breaker?

Yes, a dishwasher should be on a GFCI breaker for added safety, especially in moisture-prone areas like kitchens.

Final Thoughts

Follow these steps to the T, and you should be more than fine. 

Just remember that you’re working with electricals here, so always make sure everything’s off when you open the dishwasher to look inside it.

That’s about it – I’ll leave the rest to you. Good luck, and stay safe!

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