Dealing with household appliance issues can be a real headache, especially when you’re unsure of what’s causing the problem.
Thankfully, General Electronic dishwashers use error codes to tell you what exactly is going on inside the machine.
One such error that commonly appears is the FTD error. This error can lead to an array of issues, including incomplete cycles, standing water, and damp dishes.
If you’ve encountered this dreaded error message, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll show you how to fix the FTD code on a GE dishwasher. We’ll discuss what’s causing this issue and walk you through the steps to tackle it head-on.
What Triggers the FTD Code on a GE Dishwasher?
FTD stands for Failure to Drain. An FTD error occurs when the dishwasher’s drainage system is unable to efficiently move water from the machine during or after a wash cycle. It can stem from various factors, from sump obstructions to faulty sensors.
With the potential causes below, you’ll be better equipped to diagnose and address the FTD error if it ever occurs:
Obstructions in the Sump
Typically located under the filter basket, the sump pumps water into a drain hose connected to the pipes. If it gets blocked by food particulates, debris, or broken glass, it can hinder the drainage process and trigger the FTD error.
Faulty Drain Pump Impellers
Clogged Chopper Blade
Advanced GE dishwashers, like GE models GDWT668V00SS and GDT530PGP6WW, are equipped with chopper blades that grind up food particles to prevent blockages. Should the blade get damaged or clogged, it can obstruct the flow of water and lead to drainage problems.
Blocked Drain Hose or Sink
The drain hole is responsible for channelling water out of the dishwasher and thus must be free of blocks and kinks. If it’s linked to a sink drain or garbage disposal, these components can also accumulate blockages, leading to water backup within the dishwasher.
You read that right—detergent type matters! Using regular dish soap instead of specialized dishwasher detergent can lead to excess suds that obstruct proper drainage.
Dishwasher detergents are formulated to minimize the formation of suds without compromising efficiency. We recommend Finish Quantum Infinity Shine and Cascade Platinum for their exceptional cleaning power and glass protection.
Incorrect Installation or Setup
Sometimes, improper setup can cause an FTD error. Inefficient or poorly designed drainage paths can lead to water pooling in certain areas, resulting in drainage problems. The drain hose should be properly connected to ensure proper drainage.
Malfunctioning Pressure Sensor
Most dishwashers come equipped with sensors that gauge the drainage process. When the sensor malfunctions or gives inaccurate readings, it can trigger an FTD error because the machine thinks there is water in the dishwasher even when there isn’t.
Fixing the FTD Code: Proven Solutions to Get Your GE Dishwasher Running
Here’s a comprehensive guide on resolving the FTD code issue:
Check for Obstructions
Inspect the dishwasher for any obstructions that may prevent proper drainage. Remove the filter and clear out any debris, food particles, or foreign objects with a soft brush or toothbrush. If the filter is greasy or grimy, wash it with warm, soapy water.
Inspect the Drainage System for Clogs
Assess the dishwasher’s drainage system for any clogs or blockages, as well as any twists, kinks, or knots that could be hindering its functionality. If you come across these issues, clean and straighten the hose to the best of your ability.
Examine the Drain Pump
Remove the bottom panel of the dishwasher and locate the pump. Check for obvious signs of cracks, leaks, or deterioration. If the drain pump appears visibly damaged, it’ll need to be replaced.
Inspect the Impeller
A dishwasher has two impellers: a wash impeller and a drain impeller. These components are responsible for moving water efficiently throughout the dishwasher and expelling it during the drainage phase.
The wash impeller is situated beneath the spray arm at the bottom of the dishwasher. While it doesn’t directly impact drainage, it’s essential for proper dishwasher operation.
Remove the lower dish rack and check for food scraps, debris, or foreign objects that may have become lodged around the wash impeller. Then, gently spin the impeller to ensure it moves freely and without obstruction.
The drain impeller is connected to the drain pump, which you can usually find at the base of the dishwasher—beneath the spray arm assembly. This component is the key player when it comes to expelling water during the drainage phase.
Depending on your GE dishwasher model, you may need to remove the lower access panel and other components to reach the drain pump area.
Examine the drain impeller for debris, food particles, and broken fragments. Carefully remove them using tweezers or a soft brush. Then, gently rotate the drain impeller by hand. It should turn smoothly without any resistance.
If you notice grinding or resistance, it may either indicate an obstruction or damage.
Should the impeller be damaged, you’ll need to replace the impeller to ensure the continued performance of the dishwasher.
Clean the Chopper Blade
If your dishwasher comes equipped with a chopper blade, make sure it’s not clogged with food particles.
The chopper blade is usually located within the dishwasher’s pump assembly. Depending on the model, you may need to remove the lower spray arm and the lower rack to access it.
Once you’ve accessed the pump, use a screwdriver to carefully remove the screws holding the chopper cover in place.
Lift the chopper cover and remove any visible food particles, debris, or foreign objects that may have accumulated over the past few months. Then, clean the chopper under running water to remove any trapped debris. When finished, reassemble the chopper and secure the screws.
Check For Sensor Malfunctions
The sensor is positioned near the bottom of the dishwasher’s interior, close to the sump area. If the sensor is malfunctioning, it might incorrectly signal that the dishwasher didn’t drain properly, triggering the FTD error.
To determine the functionality of the sensor, inspect the sensor for visible damages, such as cracks or breaks. If the physical structure of the sensor is compromised, it needs to be replaced. Dishwasher sensors are extremely sensitive, so it’s best to let a professional help you with replacement.
Debris or mineral buildup can also affect the sensor’s reading ability. If you notice any residue or particles around the sensor, clean the area with a soft blush or cloth.
Use the Correct Detergent
Regular dish soap can lead to excessive suds and drainage issues. Make sure to use dishwasher-specific detergent to prevent an FTD error. If you have a high-efficiency dishwasher, ensure that the detergent you’re using is compatible with your machine’s requirements.
Preventing FTD Error in Your Dishwasher: Maintenance Tips
Here are some steps to take to prevent an FTD error from occurring in the future:
- Properly load your dishes: Load your dishes in a way that allows water to circulate freely. Don’t overload the dishwasher, either, as this can obstruct water flow and lead to drainage issues. Be strategic and load your dishes, pots, and pans in the right places.
- Pre-rinse your dishes: To prevent clogs, ensure that you pre-rinse your dishes to remove grease, gunk, and large food particles before loading.
- Regularly inspect the drain hose: Regularly inspect the drain hose for kinks, damage, and blockages. Ensure it’s properly connected to the sink drain or garbage disposal.
- Regularly clean the dishwasher filter: Take a couple of minutes every month to clean out your dishwasher’s filter to prevent debris buildup and unpleasant odours. The filter is usually located on the floor of the unit, below the spray arm. Remove the filter and gently handwash with soap and warm running water.
- Reduce build-up with vinegar: Once every few months, run an empty dishwasher cycle with a cup of white vinegar placed on the top rack. Vinegar is an excellent cleaning agent that helps dissolve mineral deposits, break down grease, and eliminate the odour that accumulates within the dishwasher’s internal components.
- Monitor water pressure: Ensure your home’s water pressure is adequate. Low water pressure can affect the dishwasher’s performance, including drainage.
We hope our guide on how to fix the FTD code on the GE dishwasher helped you understand the potential causes and solutions for the issue.
By following the instructions above, you can confidently troubleshoot and address the FTD error for the continued operation of your dishwasher.
If you encounter challenges beyond your expertise, like changing the sensor or cleaning the drainage pipe, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance. It’ll help you understand the meaning behind blinking light patterns and how to fix