How To Unlock GE Dishwasher  

It happens quite often that the GE dishwasher is locked, and you can’t get it to open from the main door. If this has happened to you, too, don’t worry. I’m here to help. 

Quick Info

This happens due to a couple of problems, including power and water source disconnection issues with the dishwasher’s control panel. Your control panel lock may be activated, or there is a serious malfunction with your dishwasher’s door. 

If this is an electronic problem, a simple reset would fix it. The reset procedure is different for the old and new GE models. 

In this guide, I’ll walk you through all these possible problems. Why did they happen, and what can you do to fix them before it’s too late?

I’ll also give a step-by-step procedure for resetting old and new models. Let’s get started.

What is the GE Dishwasher Locking Mechanism?

GE dishwashers have a protection system known as the locking mechanism. This protects your dishwasher, keeping it closed and safe during cleaning.

It’s important because it prevents someone, in particular children, from accidentally opening the dishwasher while it’s running.

If you have an older GE dishwasher, unlocking it is easy. You just press the ‘Lock’ button twice within 3 seconds. It’s like a short code that tells the dishwasher it’s time to open up.

Now, if you have a newer version, unlocking it is different. Instead of the ‘Lock’ button, you should press something like the ‘Heated Dry’ button or a mix of buttons.

Usually, holding down the ‘Heated Dry’ button for a few seconds does the trick.

The thing is that each version has its way to unlock, so it’s a good thing to check the dishwasher’s guide to make sure which buttons to press.

Why Your Dishwasher Might Be Stuck on Lock? Let’s Fix it!

The following are the most common reasons why your dishwasher might be stuck on the lock:

1. Power or Water Sources are Disconnected

A dishwasher needs both energy and water to function. If it is not connected to a power outlet or the water delivery is interrupted, the dishwasher may be locked and unresponsive. 

Check if the dishwasher is correctly plugged in and receiving power. Also, ensure continuous water delivery for correct functioning.

2. Problems with the Electronic Control System

The electronic control panel of your dishwasher might encounter issues because of numerous alerts or interruptions. 

When overloaded, the control system may not respond, which causes the dishwasher to remain locked. Resetting the dishwasher can solve electronic system faults.

3. Activated Control Panel Lock

One common reason the dishwasher stays locked is that the Control Lock feature is activated intentionally or accidentally.

This protection function prevents unauthorized access or adjustments in the cleansing cycle. 

Check if the Control Lock feature is engaged and follow the steps outlined in the guide to deactivate it.

4. Door and Parts Malfunction

The key component responsible for starting and closing the dishwasher is the door. If parts, including the door handle, hinges, latch, or striker, are damaged or malfunctioning, the door won’t open, leaving the dishwasher stuck on the lock. 

However, be cautious while analyzing those elements to avoid affecting the warranty or causing additional damage.

How to Reset Your GE Dishwasher?

Resetting the control system of your GE dishwasher can help resolve certain problems and repair its functionality. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do a reset:

  1. Ensure the dishwasher’s door is securely closed before trying a reset.
  2. Find the ‘Start/Reset‘ button on the dishwasher’s control panel.
  3. Press the ‘Start/Reset’ button for about five to 10 seconds. This long press initiates the reset system.
  4. As you hold the button, you will notice the light flashing at the ‘Start/Reset’ button. This shows that the dishwasher is entering the reset mode.
  5. Keep holding the button until the flashing light stops. This generally takes around two minutes, meaning the dishwasher has finished the reset.
  6. Once the light stops flashing, release the ‘Start/Reset’ button.
  7. Wait for a couple of minutes before restarting the dishwasher. This lets the dishwasher to complete the reset process.

However, it is important to notice that a reset won’t restore all underlying issues. If issues persist or there are extra complex problems with your dishwasher, look at the manual regarding the problem or call in a professional.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How do you unlock the control lock on a dishwasher?

Different methods depend on the brand and model to unlock the control lock on a dishwasher.

For example, on some dishwashers, you can hold down the steam button for a few seconds, while on others, you may need to press and hold a specific button labeled “Control Lock” or “Options” for a certain duration.

Always refer to the dishwasher’s manual for specific instructions.

Why is my dishwasher stuck on the lock?

If your dishwasher is stuck on the lock, it could be due to the control lock feature being activated. This feature prevents accidental button presses or changes during a cycle.

To unlock the dishwasher, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for disabling the control lock. This usually involves pressing and holding a specific button or combination of buttons for a few seconds.

Why are my GE dishwasher lock controls flashing?

If the lock controls on your GE dishwasher are flashing, it indicates that the control lock feature is activated. This safety feature prevents unintended use or changes to the settings.

To turn off the control lock, try pressing and holding the Steam button on your GE dishwasher for 3 to 5 seconds.


Following these straightforward troubleshooting steps, reset your dishwasher and unlock the locking mechanism. 

Additionally, performing a reset often resolves other problems you might encounter with your dishwasher, providing a fresh and improved experience. 

However, your dishwasher remains locked despite attempting these steps. In that case, it is recommended to seek assistance from a professional technician who can provide expert guidance and support in resolving the issue.

Their expertise will ensure a thorough diagnosis and effective solution for your dishwasher.

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