GE Dishwasher doesn't clean / water pressure?

buzzinggraceJune 9, 2009


We just moved into our new house that was built around 1993. The kitchen has been updated since then. I think the dishwasher is 5 maybe 6 years old. It is a GE Triton XL Model # GSD 6200. I have run the diswasher 3 times and it really doesn't clean. I have food particles inside and outside of my glasses that I have to rewash. I also have terrible water pressure. I have not tried Jet Dry yet, but that is my next step.

My question is this:

should I buy another dishwasher because this one is terrible? OR

is the water pressure the difference and buying a new one won't make it any better?

I have learned from my new neighbors, that the former owner did not cook alot, so she probably didn't run the dishwasher much either.


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Dishwashers typically run on a timed fill, not pressure-controlled fill like a washing machine. If the water supply to the unit is very low, it very well may not be filling enough. Have you paused it (after you hear the water stop filling) to see what is the water level?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 2:16PM
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Put a teaspoon of Tang - YES TANG in the dispensor and run the unit thru a rinse only cycle, it will clean out the jet ports and increase your pressure, if it only slightly improves on the first rinse repeat procedure

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 2:25PM
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Did the Tang and Jet Dry. Glasses are still crummy. After I unload and wash everything by hand, again. I will turn it on and check the water level.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 8:26AM
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Try dishwasher machine too. What type of detergent are you using? Are using a rinse aid? I have always had good results with the electrasol tabs with a ball in it. Pricey but well worth it.


    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 12:00PM
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The spray arm(s) may not be rotating properly or the pop up jet may be sticking. I have had the same problem with a low end GE in an investment property I own. Sometimes it washes well. Sometimes it doesn't.

I have had numerous GE dishwashers over the years. They all came with the property. Most of them were garbage. I would never buy one.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 1:01PM
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This might be a dumb question, but where is the pop up jet?

I have been using Cascade gel and Jet Dry rinse agent.

What about the PUMP?

And could it just be the pump that isn't working? I've been reading up on this and it seems like the water pressure just dictates how fast or slow the water fills the tub. It's the pump that actually determines the pressure of the water inside the tub.


    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 2:24PM
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Try using Cascade Complete POWDER - most manufacturers recommend powder rather than gel or liquid. I think the gel can clog things up.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 2:41PM
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The pop up jet (my term, I'm not sure what it really is called) is in the bottom center of the machine. Water pressure makes it extend. It then sprays the lower rack, if I remember correctly.

I have no idea what percentage of dishwashers use one of these. It may only be in some GE models. It doesn't work particularly well, IMHO.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 4:16PM
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If the pump isn't working, you will either hear a loud hum (sticking) or nothing (otherwise dead). What you won't hear is the typical GE noise of the water being sprayed and splashed inside the machine. If you can hear that, it isn't the pump.

If you open the door in the middle of the cycle, and water is dripping from the upper rack, it isn't the pump. In short, a pump failure is pretty obvious.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 4:23PM
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I recently replaced a GE (had to be the lowest end washer) with a Kenmore Elite.

My GE did not clean dishes consistently within the last 5 years. I always had crum on my dishes and on the door after the wash.

While I was waiting for my new dishwasher, I read where enzymatic detergent works much better than chlorine based detergent. I gave it a try and to my surprise the darn things cleaning performance was DRAMATICALLY improved! I need to note that I always used a rinse agent and I never saw the benefit (with previous dishwasher).

I still replaced the dishwasher, being that it was old and loud, but try to use an enzymatic cleaner. The product HAS TO SAY "contains enzymes", if you see "chlorine" anywhere on the package it is not an enzyme based detergent.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 6:14PM
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Thanks to all that replied.

I took the lower spray arm off, along with the filter, and tried to flush out any debris-there was alot. I was hoping this would solve the problem. It didn't and there was still food on the bottom of the dishwasher when I ran it last night. My dishes come out sparkingly clean, but they have food particles stuck all over. :(

I was urged not to use powder of any sort because I have an older septic system.

So, if anyone else can think of anything, please let me know. As of now, I going hunting for a new dishwasher either a Bosch or Kenmore.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 1:38PM
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You haven't spoken about water level yet. Have you checked the level in there after the fill?

What you've described sounds like bad fill-solenoid to me -- and the inadequate water level which it would cause. It is simple and cheap to fix.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 6:00PM
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1. turn it on.
2. let it fill.
3. let it start washing.
4. open the door (carefully) and then describe where the water level is. Does it cover the heating element at the bottom?

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 6:33PM
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I have never personally heard-tell against use of powdered detergents with septic systems, either for laundry or dishwashing. My dishwasher *can't* use gels, I've not had any trouble with my septic in 4.5 years of living at the location. Gel dishwasher detergents have in the past used clay as a thickening agent. I don't know if that's still the case, but I wouldn't want that muck running through the machine.

Run your machine through one or two full cycles (longest, hottest choice on the dial) with JetDry Dishwasher Cleaner, or a strong dose of LemiShine (fill both cups completely, and maybe even open the machine and add a little more when each wash phase gets going). Or add a couple measured cups of plain white vinegar to both the prewash and main wash.

Then get an ENZYME POWDER detergent (check the label) and see if things perhaps improve.

Also as asolo points out, you haven't reported on checking the fill level. Water valves can get clogged with calcium residue from hard water, or sand/debris in the water line over time. Remember, dishwashers are almost always TIMED FILL ... so if the water flow is very low the pump won't have enough water to reach full spray force ... and what you have happening is the result.

Dishwashers with soft-food macerators can get overwhelmed and clogged by folks who try to use the machine as a garbage disposer ... or hard residue such as bones, seeds, fruit pits, wire ties and other debris can break the grinding mechanism.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 6:41PM
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