Why Is My Dishwasher Flashing?

Published on Oct. 30, 2015

Why is my dishwasher flashing? I do not know what to do about it. It has no other way of warning you that the mold on the dirty dishes has evolved into something that wants out. I do not think there are dirty dishes in there. Then it is desperately signaling that you need to empty it, and it would use an air horn if it had one, but it does not. I see it flashing even if the dishwasher is empty. If it is a smart appliance, it may need a reboot. You’re thinking of a gaming console. I’m thinking of an energy saving appliance full of sensors and control panels and motor control systems that does not even update periodically from the internet but gets filled with water and heat that corrode electronics periodically. So it could be a hardware failure. Yes, you may need to replace the control board. However, rebooting it is way cheaper than paying someone else to power cycle it. How do you power cycle a dishwasher? For many models, you do that by turning it off, waiting five minutes, and then turning it back on. I thought power dissipated from control boards in around two minutes. Yes, but when you’re impatient to get the appliance cleaning the dishes again, people tend to turn it back on too soon. What if that does not work? Unplugging it might work. I do not even clean the dishwasher filter. I do not know where it is plugged in. It could be flashing because it needs maintenance, like cleaning the slime off the filter so it can work right. I’d hire a pro to do that. You could try turning the dishwasher off at the circuit breaker, waiting two or three minutes, and then turning it back on. That’s the appliance version of a hard reboot. I would feel weird paying a professional to do that. Another option is breaking out the manual and finding out if the flashing lights indicate a problem. After turning off power to it, I would expect errors for a general power outage or interruption. In that case, simply setting a cycle and then turning it off is enough to reset the control board and stop the warning flashes. And if it does not? See if the flashing lights signal a particular error message. And then call in a pro to fix it. And having an error message known means I know something of what may need to be replaced. Even if it is just the control board.