How to Replace the Drain Solenoid in Your GE Dishwasher

A dishwasher that won’t drain is a hassle nobody enjoys dealing with, especially when your day is jam-packed with work and family obligations. While there are quite a few component malfunctions that can lead to a non-draining GE dishwasher model GSD4030ZWW, a defective solenoid is one of the more common causes. However, before you skip ahead to our solenoid replacement guide, take a moment to read through our list of easy-to-solve dishwasher drainage problems.

The Garbage Disposal

If you have a garbage disposal installed in your kitchen sink, your dishwasher’s drain hose most likely empties into the disposal. For this reason, unground food sitting in the disposal can restrict the drainage of your dishwasher. Luckily, running the disposal to break down the obstruction is an easy fix.

The Air Gap

Not having a garbage disposal means your dishwasher drain hose is likely connected to an air gap. Basically, an air gap stops wastewater from reentering your dishwasher and contaminating the clean dishes in your appliance. A clogged air gap can affect your dishwasher’s draining ability. Often times, water leaking from the air gap vent, which is located on top of your sink, is an early sign an obstruction has formed. To check whether or not a clogged air gap is preventing your dishwasher from draining, remove the top of the air gap and clean away the debris obstructing it with water and a long, straight cleaning brush.

The Drain Hose

The dishwasher drain hose runs from the drain pump to either the garbage disposal or the air gap. A twisted or kinked drain hose can stop water from leaving your dishwasher. This issue often occurs when homeowners try to store too many items under the kitchen sink. Untwisting the hose will get the wastewater flowing out of your dishwasher again, however, the kink is likely to reoccur, meaning replacing the drain hose is the better option.

The Solenoid

Located on the drain pump, the solenoid opens your dishwasher drain valve. A faulty solenoid will fail to initiate the draining process, meaning it will not switch from the wash cycle to the drain cycle. If the solenoid is defective, you’ll need to replace the part to remedy your dishwasher’s draining issue.

Before you begin taking apart your dishwasher to reach the solenoid, unplug the appliance and turn off its water supply. Wearing work gloves and safety goggles during the repair is highly recommended.

How to Replace the Solenoid in Your GE Dishwasher

  1. Uninstall your dishwasher drain hose and its fill line from under your sink. Once the lines are disconnected, head over to your dishwasher and open its door. Then, take out the lower dish rack. After the dish rack is removed, locate the screws that secure the dishwasher to your countertop and unthread them.
  2. With the dishwasher no longer attached to your countertop, use its door to carefully pull it forward a few inches. Then, close the door and grab onto the sides of the dishwasher to finish removing the appliance from under your kitchen counter.
  3. At this point, you will need to lay your dishwasher on its back. The appliance is heavy, so you may want to enlist the help of a family member or friend to tilt the dishwasher backwards. Once the dishwasher is situated, find the solenoid on the drain pump.
  4. To remove the solenoid, first, disconnect the two wire harnesses attached to its terminals. Be sure to make a mental note of which harness runs to which terminal before detaching them. Next, take off the spring that runs from the solenoid to the drain arm. Then, use a flat head screwdriver to remove the E-clip found on the drain arm.
  5. Now you can unthread the two screws that hold the solenoid bracket to the drain pump. Once you’ve taken the screws off the bracket, carefully, slide the bracket, the solenoid and the drain arm off the drain pump.
  6. The new solenoid does not come equipped with a spring or the bracket the spring connects to, so you’ll need to take the spring and bracket off the old solenoid and install it on the new part. To do so, simply disconnect the spring from the solenoid and set it aside, and then pull the small bracket the spring was attached to off the larger mounting bracket which holds the solenoid. Once both parts are free, retrieve the new solenoid and attach the small bracket. After the bracket is secured to the larger mounting bracket, connect the spring.
  7. With the spring and bracket in place, you can begin the solenoid installation process. First, grab the drain arm and the attached plunger. Then, insert the plunger into the opening on the solenoid. Next, line up the drain arm with the hole on the solenoid mounting bracket where the housing shaft will come through. Once everything is aligned, push the solenoid and the drain arm onto the housing shaft, and then rethread the mounting screws to secure the solenoid and bracket to the drain pump. Next, place the E-clip back on the drain arm and reattach the spring that runs from the solenoid to the drain arm. To finish off the solenoid installation, reconnect the wire harnesses to their proper terminals.
  8. Now it’s time to stand your dishwasher back up. As stated before, the appliance is heavy, meaning you may need a second person to help you lift it. With the dishwasher back on its feet, feed the drain hose and fill line through the hole that leads to underneath your sink. Then, push your dishwasher under your kitchen counter. Once the appliance is situated, reconnect the drain hose and the fill line.
  9. To finish off your repair, plug-in your appliance and turn its water supply back on. Before you pat yourself on the back for a repair job well done, test out the new solenoid by running a wash cycle while your dishwasher is empty. If at the end of the cycle your dishwasher is water free, your repair was a success.

If your dishwasher isn’t draining and you can’t figure out why, please contact us today, and one of our highly trained appliance repair technicians will be happy to help you diagnose and fix the malfunction.