GE Washer Start Button Not Working: 7 Reasons & Fixes!

GE washers are a staple in many homes, but a common issue users face is the start button not working. The start button is crucial for commencing the washing cycle and its interruption can be a major inconvenience. ///

A malfunctioning start button can disrupt the entire laundry routine, affecting daily chores. We’ll explore how to identify the root cause of this issue, from checking connections to examining the display panel or lid./// By understanding these key points, such as posts, upvotes, and join date, you can quickly get your GE washer back on track without unnecessary hassle.

GE dishwashers became a hit as soon as the first model hit the limelight./// And while they’re now commonplace with the likes of Whirlpool and Samsung, operation errors still occur.

So what could be the reason for the GE dishwasher start button not working? ///

The GE dishwasher start button won’t work because of dirt buildup, a faulty trap and filter, or an electrical problem./// You may have had the control lock activated, forgotten to latch the door, or selected an incorrect dishwasher setting./// Also, the start button won’t start if you set the cycle delay.///

I understand that nothing is as frustrating as wanting to clean your dishes fast only to find out that your GE dishwasher can’t start.///

But the failure for the unit to start may not be as bad as you think./// From my experience, the issue could be because of a small issue such as forgetting to close the door or not turning the power on. ///

So let’s look at why your GE dishwasher start button isn’t working and what you can do to fix the problem.///

GE dishwasher start button not working

7 Reasons Why Your GE Dishwasher Start Button Isn’t Working

I’ve studied GE dishwashers, posts, upvotes enough to know why they fail to start. From what I found, the reasons for minor issues often have quick DIY fixes.

The table below shows the most common errors for GE dishwasher start button not working and the recommended fix.///

 ProblemQuick DIY FIX
1.GE dishwasher not getting power  Ensure you have the unit plugged into a power source and power turned on ///.
2.Water supply turned offSwitch the water supply position to on. Check the hose for tear or kink and replace
3.Incorrect cycle settingsReset the unit by holding down the start button for about 3 seconds
4.Control lock activatedHave the control lock deactivated and press the start button again
5.The unit’s door isn’t latchedMake sure you close the door and check that it latches properly and try pressing the start button again
6.The touchpad may be faultyHave the touchpad replaced
7.Your GE dishwasher control board is faultyInspect the main control board for performance issues and replace if necessary

Let me take this even further and discuss each of these issues in more details: 

1. Your GE Dishwasher Isn’t Getting Power

Here’s the deal:

The start button of your GE dishwasher is probably not working because there’s a power issue in your home. So I suggest you check the power source first to be sure it’s working properly.

Ensure that you connect the dishwasher to a working electrical outlet and verify that the power switch is ON.

Check for tripped breakers or blown fuses in your home’s circuit breaker or fuse box. Replace any blown fuses or reposition any tripped breakers.

2. The Water Supply of Your GE Dishwasher May Be Off

If your GE dishwasher’s start button won’t respond as expected, it might be because the water supply system built into the machine isn’t working.

If I had this problem myself, I would check if the water supply valve is on the ON position and adjust it if it isn’t. I’d also go as far as inspecting the water supply hose for kinks or rips.

You should do the same. Also, gently straighten the kinks in the line. But if you notice the water supply hose has signs of leaks or damage, have it replaced.

I recommend getting the Kelaro dishwasher installation kit an easy-to-install solution that’s equally made of premium grade 304 stainless steel, which means superior corrosion resistance.

kelaro dishwasher installation kit

But if the water supply valve and hose are working properly, a faulty water inlet valve may be the reason why your GE dishwasher button isn’t responding. 

The valve is an important element that opens and shuts as needed to enable water into the dishwasher at the appropriate times throughout the wash cycle. I recommend that you inspect the water input and replace the water input valve as necessary.

3. Your Unit Has Incorrect Cycle Settings

Here’s the thing:

A GE dishwasher won’t start if you don’t select a wash cycle – or if you select the wrong cycle to run.

Fortunately, you can easily fix this issue by pressing and holding down the Start button for a maximum of three seconds. Doing so will disable the wash cycle and get the machine to start working optimally again.

With the current wash cycle disabled, you shouldn’t have a problem starting the dishwasher for a second time – of course assuming that there isn’t another underlying issue.

4. The Unit’s Control Lock is Active

Because you have had the control lock (also known as the kid lock function) engaged, pressing the start button isn’t going to get the unit to start working.

I understand how important the Control Lock is.  For what it’s worth, it keeps kids away from interfering with the current wash cycle and from starting new ones. It also helps keep hands and feet out of the bottom racks and avoids broken fingers because youngsters can’t reach in.

Before you may utilize the control panel, you must first disengage the control lock. To turn off the Control Lock function on GE dishwashers:

  • Press and hold the Lock pad for three seconds

  • Put your four-digit passcode if asked

When the Control Lock function is off, the lock symbol blinks twice to indicate that you have deactivated the lock.

Now press the start button to see if works.  

5. You Haven’t Latched the Unit’s Door

Your GE dishwasher’s start button isn’t responding because the door closed, as it should. Check to see if anything is obstructing the door, which may include dishes that you haven’t properly loaded in the unit.

You may have to remove some, or all, of the dishes from the unit and load them again one at a time. Then, make sure the door closes completely and that you’ve engaged the latch.

If your GE dishwasher won’t start even after you close the door properly, the door latch or switch may be broken. The door switch will not indicate the dishwasher to start if the door latch is faulty.

Even if the latch engaged but the door switch is defective, the unit still won’t start. That’s because the switch won’t transmit the electrical signals required to start the dishwasher. In either situation, you may have to replace both components.

The GE WD13X10003 Dishwasher Door Latch is a good example to consider for a replacement.

GE dishwasher door latch

In addition to fitting multiple models, this original door latch replacement is also easy to install, so you don’t need the help of a professional to have it fixed.

6. There May Be a Problem with the Touchpad

Verify that the display is operational. On most models, this needs holding down a key for about five seconds.

Some displays stay lit as long as the power is on, some light and turn off even with the unit engaged. 

Now, try pressing each button to see if they’re working as expected. If you notice that the start button isn’t starting the next time you try to start the machine, then it’s highly likely the touchpad has a problem.

The best thing to do in this case would be to replace the control panel. And one of the best options available for the GE dishwashers is Ge WD34X22262 Genuine OEM Dishwasher Control Panel.

Ge WD34X22262 Dishwasher Control Panel

I do recommend replacing the entire control panel instead of just the touchpad because it’s easier to do so. And you aren’t going to spend more than $150 on the replacement, so it should be relatively affordable.

7. The Control Board is Faulty

A faulty control board can result in a variety of issues, ranging from buttons not working to the dishwasher failing to start.

Try disconnecting and re-plugging your dishwasher’s control panel if you doubt that it could be the problem. Simply trying to reinforce the connection between the control board and the control panel sometimes help to fix the problem.

Unplugging the system and removing the motherboard allows you to test the control board. After that, you may connect a known-good power supply to the motherboard.

If your attempt to troubleshoot the main control board fails, you may have to replace the entire control board.

A good example of a control board that you might want to consider if you have the GE dishwasher is the GE WD21X24901 Dishwasher Electronic Control Board.

GE WD21X24901 Dishwasher Electronic Control Board

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Do You Start a GE Dishwasher Without the Start Button?

It’s possible to start a GE dishwasher without ever touching the start button. To do this:

  • Close the unit’s door and ensure you latch it securely.

  • Check your home’s electrical fuse and replace it if blown.

  • Unlock the control panel and hold the Heated Dry button for about three seconds.

  • Turn the water valve on.

  • Switch on the dishwasher from the wall.

It’s that simple. The unit should start, even if the start button isn’t functional. 

2. How Do I Reset the Control Panel on My EG Dishwasher?

You can reset the GE dishwasher control panel by holding the start button for about five seconds. Again, hold down the Start and Select Cycle buttons for a second. The control panel will light up, indicating a reset. 

3. How Do You Reset a GE Dishwasher That Won’t Start?

You can reset a GE dishwasher that won’t start by pressing the Start or Reset button during a washing cycle. Wait for about two minutes to pump out water. Then you can open the unit’s door and add dishes to clean.  

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Final Thought: ”Why GE Dishwasher Start Button Is Not Working”

I hope this guide on GE dishwasher start button not working has helped you to understand that you don’t necessarily need a professional technician to help you with some of the most common dishwasher problems.

As someone who has handled GE dishwasher before, I can tell you from experience that some of the most common issues are so minor that they only require DIY fixes.

So if your GE dishwasher’s button doesn’t work, try the troubleshooting options that I’ve shared in this guide. You should be able to fix the problem all by yourself.

Understanding the Problem

Common Symptoms

When your GE washer start button is not working, you may notice a few common symptoms. Firstly, when you press the start button, it does not respond as expected. You might also observe that there is no power or display on the control panel. You may find yourself unable to initiate a wash cycle despite pressing the start button multiple times.

These symptoms can be frustrating and inconvenient, especially when you’re trying to do laundry efficiently. It’s essential to address these issues promptly to avoid further inconvenience.

Potential Causes

Several potential causes could lead to your GE washer start button not working. One of the reasons could be an electrical malfunction in the washer itself. This malfunction might disrupt the normal functioning of various components within the appliance, including the start button.

Another possible cause could be a faulty start button or control board. Over time and with extensive use, these components can wear out or become damaged, leading to unresponsiveness when attempting to initiate a wash cycle.

It’s important to consider whether the control lock feature has been accidentally activated. Many modern washing machines come equipped with this safety feature which prevents any buttons from being pressed while active – this includes the start button.

Initial Troubleshooting Steps

When your GE washer start button is not working, the first step is to ensure that the appliance is receiving power. Start by checking if the washer is properly plugged into a functioning power outlet. Look for any tripped circuit breakers or blown fuses in your home’s electrical panel. If everything seems fine, inspect the power cord for any signs of damage or looseness.

If you find that the washer was not plugged in, do so and try pressing the start button again. If there are issues with circuit breakers or fuses, reset them and attempt to operate the washer once more. In case of a damaged or loose power cord, it’s crucial to address this issue before attempting to use the appliance again.

Addressing the Flashing Start Button

When your GE washer start button is not working, it may display error codes on the control panel. These codes provide valuable information about the specific issue. For instance, if you see the “E1” code, it typically indicates a problem with the door lock mechanism. On the other hand, an “E3” code suggests an issue with the motor.

Understanding these error codes can help you identify and address the root cause of the start button malfunction. By referring to your washer’s manual or looking up GE washer error codes online, you can gain insights into what each code means and how to resolve it.

It’s essential to note that different models may have varying error codes. Therefore, always consult your specific model’s documentation for accurate interpretation of any displayed error codes.

Resetting Electronic Controls

Power Cycle Method

To reset the electronic controls on your GE washer, you can perform a power cycle. First, unplug the washer from the power outlet. Then, wait for at least one minute before plugging it back in. This simple process can help clear any temporary glitches in the electronics and potentially resolve issues with the start button not working.

Performing a power cycle is beneficial because it’s quick and easy to do. It doesn’t require any technical expertise or tools, making it accessible for most users. However, this method may have limitations if the start button issue is caused by a more complex underlying problem within the washer’s electronic system.

When dealing with a non-responsive start button on your GE washer, you can use the power cycle method as an initial troubleshooting step. If you notice that the start button continues to malfunction despite repeated power cycles, then it might be necessary to explore other solutions or seek professional assistance.

Control Panel Reset

Another way to address issues with a non-working start button on your GE washer is by resetting the control panel. To do this, begin by locating the “Pause/Cancel” or “Start” button on your washing machine’s control panel. Press and hold this button for about three seconds to initiate a control panel reset.

Resetting the control panel has potential benefits in resolving problems related to unresponsive start buttons on GE washers. It allows the electronic components of the appliance to recalibrate and restart afresh, which might eliminate any temporary malfunctions causing the start button issue.

Before proceeding with a control panel reset, take precautions such as ensuring that there are no ongoing washing cycles or water inside the machine that could be disrupted during the reset process.

Fixing Model GTWN4250DOWS Specific Issues

When dealing with a GE washer start button not working, it’s crucial to consider the specific model, such as the GTWN4250DOWS. Different models may have unique troubleshooting steps or solutions for this issue. For example, while some models might require a simple reset of electronic controls, others could have specific components that need attention.

Consulting resources provided by GE can be immensely helpful in identifying model-specific information and assistance. Visiting the official GE Appliances website is a great starting point to find detailed guides and support tailored to different washer models. Reaching out to customer support or browsing through user forums dedicated to GE appliances can provide valuable insights into addressing issues with specific washer models.

User Manual Guidance

The user manual serves as an essential resource when attempting to resolve problems related to the start button on a GE washer. It offers comprehensive guidance on various aspects of the appliance, including troubleshooting common issues.

Locating and accessing the user manual for your specific GE washer model is relatively straightforward. The manual is often available for download on the manufacturer’s website or can be obtained from authorized dealerships where you purchased the appliance.

Once you have access to the user manual, pay close attention to sections or instructions specifically related to start button issues. These sections often contain step-by-step procedures for diagnosing and resolving problems effectively.

Replacement of Start Button

Indications that it may be necessary to replace the start button or control board

If your GE washer’s start button is unresponsive, and you’ve already ruled out issues like power supply and door lock problems, it might be time to consider replacing the start button. If you notice visible damage or wear on the start button or control board, this could indicate a need for replacement.

Factors to consider when deciding whether to repair or replace the washer

When evaluating whether to repair or replace the start button, consider the age of your washer. If it’s an older model and has had multiple repairs in the past, investing in a new start button might not be cost-effective. On newer models with fewer issues, replacing just the faulty component could extend its lifespan.

Signs that other components may need replacement instead of just the start button

Sometimes, what seems like a malfunctioning start button could actually stem from other faulty parts such as wiring harnesses or electronic control boards. If troubleshooting efforts point towards these components rather than just the start button itself, they might require attention instead.

Advanced Troubleshooting Techniques

Wiring Inspection

Inspecting the wiring connections related to the start button is crucial when troubleshooting a GE washer’s unresponsive start button. Visually examining the wiring for any signs of wear, fraying, or damage is essential. Look for loose connections or burnt areas that may indicate an electrical issue. Ensure to disconnect the washer from the power source before inspecting any wiring components.

When visually assessing the wiring, pay close attention to where each wire connects to its respective component. Any loose or disconnected wires could be causing the start button malfunction. If you notice any damaged wiring, it’s important to address it promptly and with caution. Handling electrical components can pose potential risks such as electric shock or further damage if not done carefully.

It’s advisable for homeowners who are unfamiliar with handling electrical components to seek professional assistance when dealing with wiring issues in their GE washers.

Electronic Control Board Assessment

The electronic control board plays a vital role in facilitating the functionality of a washing machine’s start button. It governs various operations within the appliance, including initiating cycles and responding to user commands such as pressing the start button.

Assessing whether the electronic control board is causing issues with the start button involves checking for visible signs of damage such as burnt areas or unusual discoloration on its surface. Testing specific functionalities controlled by this board can help diagnose problems related to its operation.

If homeowners suspect that their GE washer’s electronic control board is at fault for a non-responsive start button, seeking professional assistance from certified technicians is recommended due to complexities involved in diagnosing and repairing electronic components within appliances.

Identifying the Need for Professional Repair

Expert Diagnosis

When your GE washer start button is not working, seeking professional help for diagnosis offers several advantages. Qualified technicians can conduct thorough assessments and tests to accurately pinpoint the root cause of the problem. For instance, they may use specialized tools to test the electrical components connected to the start button, ensuring a comprehensive evaluation.

Finding qualified repair services or technicians is crucial. Look for professionals with extensive experience in handling GE washers specifically. They should also have a track record of successfully diagnosing and resolving start button issues in washing machines. Online reviews, recommendations from friends or family, and checking certifications can help you identify reliable experts.

It’s important to note that expert diagnosis goes beyond simply identifying the issue with the start button; it extends to providing insights into potential underlying problems that could affect its functionality in the future.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

When evaluating whether professional repairs are cost-effective compared to replacement, consider various factors influencing repair costs. These include expenses related to parts replacement and labor fees charged by technicians for their service. If multiple components need attention due to interconnected issues within your GE washer’s control panel, this could impact overall repair costs.

Despite these initial expenses, investing in professional repairs can yield long-term benefits by restoring your washer’s reliability. A properly functioning start button ensures smooth operation during each laundry cycle without interruptions or delays caused by faulty controls.

Ultimately, opting for professional repair services not only addresses immediate concerns but also contributes to extending your appliance’s lifespan while maintaining its efficiency.

Preventive Measures and Maintenance Tips

Regular Cleaning

Regular cleaning is crucial for maintaining optimal washer performance, including the start button. Over time, dirt and debris can accumulate around the start button and control panel, affecting its functionality. To prevent this, it’s important to clean these areas regularly. Use a soft cloth dampened with water or mild detergent to gently wipe the start button and control panel. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials as they may damage the buttons or surrounding surfaces.

Dirt or debris accumulation can interfere with the electrical connections underneath the start button, leading to malfunction. By keeping these areas clean, you can prevent such issues from arising in your GE washer.

Usage Best Practices

To ensure that your GE washer’s start button continues to function properly, it’s essential to follow usage best practices. Avoid applying excessive force when pressing the start button as this can lead to premature wear and tear of its internal components. Instead, press the button firmly but gently each time you use it.

Furthermore, make sure not to misuse the start button by repeatedly pressing it in quick succession or while other functions are still active. This kind of misuse can strain the internal mechanisms of the start button and cause malfunctions over time.


You’ve now gained valuable insights into troubleshooting and addressing the issue of a non-responsive start button in your GE washer. By following the steps outlined, you can effectively diagnose and resolve the problem, whether it involves resetting electronic controls, model-specific fixes, or considering professional repair. Remember to prioritize regular maintenance to prevent future issues and extend the lifespan of your washer. If problems persist, don’t hesitate to seek assistance from a qualified technician to ensure the optimal performance of your appliance.

Now armed with this knowledge, go ahead and tackle that unresponsive start button with confidence. Your proactive approach will not only save you time and money but also keep your GE washer running smoothly for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my GE washer start button not working?

The start button may not work due to electronic control issues, such as a malfunction or power surge. It could also be caused by a faulty start button or other internal components.

How can I troubleshoot the flashing start button on my GE washer?

First, try resetting the electronic controls by unplugging the washer for a few minutes. If that doesn’t work, check for any visible damage to the start button and its connections.

When should I consider replacing the start button on my GE washer?

Consider replacing the start button if it shows physical damage or if troubleshooting steps don’t resolve the issue. Always ensure you have proper knowledge and tools before attempting replacement.

What are some preventive measures to avoid issues with the GE washer’s start button, pause button, spin button, and diagnostic mode?

Regularly clean around and underneath the buttons to prevent debris from interfering with their function. Avoid excessive force when using them to prevent premature wear and tear.

When should I seek professional repair for my GE washer’s start button issue?

If basic troubleshooting and DIY fixes do not solve the problem, it’s best to consult a certified technician who has expertise in handling appliance repairs. This ensures safety and prevents further damage.