Question about GE 24 in. Profile PDW9880JSS Built-in Dishwasher

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GE Profile Dishwasher Not Cleaning

We have a 6 month old GE PDW8700N00WW. In the past few weeks the dishes have not been cleaned well and mostly recently the cleaning is unsatisfactory. Is there something wrong with this type of washer?. The dishwasher is still under warranty but I am concerned about the basic quality of this unit. Cascade liquid is the detergent used in the Smart Dispenser.

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  • Anonymous Mar 22, 2008

    My dishes are not getting clean and residue is left on the cups and glasses particularly ones on the top rack.

  • DickR Mar 24, 2008

    The problem of poor cleaning may be caused by a switch of detergent types. GE notes that, when using the SmartDispenser, one can not "mix a chlorine-based automatic dish-washing detergent with any detergent containing enzymes as this could cause the detergents to congeal and lead to blockage of the SmartDispenser system." Cascade detergent is chlorine bleach based as can be seen from a warning section on the back of the bottle. Cascade Complete contains enzymes(according to GE) although this is not marked anyplace on the bottle. If one accidentally switches from Cascade Complete to Cascade the problem identified by GE may happen causing poor cleaning.

  • cloggedMN Mar 26, 2008

    We have mixed a chlorine and enzyme based detergent and the smart dispenser is clogged.  We have fished out the "precipitate" of hard white chunks from the dispenser, but more are stuck down in there. What can we put in the dispenser to break these down and dissolve?  We have flushed all the detergent out and have tried vinegar...suggestions??

  • Melissa HR Apr 22, 2008

    Our GE Profile Smart Dispense is clogged too as we were confused by the different types of detergent. We've only used Cascade but it appears there are 2 different kinds of Cascade: one with enzymes and one with chlorine. This seems like a poor design to me or at least a break down in communication between dishwasher manufacturers and the detergent manufacturers because the Cascade product labels do not say what they contain--or at least do not do so clearly. If anyone knows how to "unclog" these dishwashers, please let us know. We are very disappointed in Cascade and our GE Diswasher.

  • wasabi02 Apr 22, 2008

    I have the same problem and can't seem to find an answer anywhere on the net. We can't be the only people on the planet with this dishwasher that made this very easy to make mistake.

    I put hot water down the dispenser to try to break up the chunks and used a turkey baster to get the water out. It's still a clogged mess.

  • DrJJP May 07, 2008

    We had the same problem, the SmartDispense was all clogged. I unscrewed the stainless steel inside cover and carefully removed the SmartDispense, cleaned it out (using a thin metal rod to unclog the tiny opening where the liquid is dispensed), put it back together, and refilled the dispenser. Works fine now.

  • stanleybeth Jul 16, 2008

    Same issue as I just read. I accidentally went from Cascade Complete to I guess regular Cascade. I just scraped out hardened dish detergent out of the Smart Dispenser. What to do now?

  • Lyonsden Dec 29, 2008

    I made this simple mistake too. I didn't know until the dishes weren't coming clean. I started investigating and the bottles of detergent do NOT state the ingredients. However, I believe I did mix two different kinds by accident. I have no idea how to fix this because my manuel simply says not to do it but doesn't tell me what to do when it, inevitably, happens.

  • mollypop Mar 28, 2009

    Problem with the dishes not coming out clean. seem to be covered with debris and doesn't seem to matter if we use the smart dispenser or the regular daily dispenser. Not sure what to do.



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I removed the outer metal door cover by removing most of the phillips roundhead screws. The two screws closest to the latch should not be removed (they hold plastic pieces that help hold the outer door cover in place during reassembly), and the two flathead screws on the side of the door near the hinge should not be removed yet (they attach the pump). The door cover also has two small hex bolts on the bottom - these should be removed, too (or at least loosened). I removed them.

The outer door cover has two flat flexible wire bundles (for the buttons) that attach to the door using "quick-connect" push-pull connectors. One has a small tab which must be slightly depressed. Gently but firmly pull these out. Set the door cover aside.

I removed the pump by (one) gently but firmly removing the short (2" or so) gray rubber tube from the bottom of the detergent reservoir (NOTE: any detergent remaining in the reservoir will immediately drain on the floor at this time -- I let it drain most of the detergent into a cup, but then I taped a tapered wood screw into the opening to serve as a plug); (two) removing the 90 degree rubber fitting that attaches to the door; (three) disconnecting the motor wire electrical quick-connect; and (four) removing the two flathead screws that attach the pump to the door.

My (rotary peristaltic) pump has a black flexible tube that was clogged with solidified detergent. I verified the pump worked by first connecting the pump to power from the wall outlet. I used an old extension cord, cut the ends, crimped some small connectors that did not fit well to the pump connector, then taped the whole thing to help prevent a shock (I did not feel comfortable with this, but I did it anyway. Use caution. If I have to do it again, I would have used a pipe cleaner or wire instead of operating the pump as described below.). The pump motor is rated 110 volts ac., and the pump was operating fine. I think I got lucky (the pump spun the correct direction). It may be that if I reversed the wires, the pump might have operated backwards.

I then held the pump inlet hose under hot water in the sink for about 10-15 minutes, occasionally squeezing the hose, until the thick detergent had dissolved. During this time, the pump was pumping the water out the outlet.

I put everything back together, and the dishwasher cleans again.

Posted on May 20, 2008

  • codehead Jan 19, 2011

    About the pump:

    "It may be that if I reversed the wires, the pump might have operated backwards."--no, it's "ac", like you said--no polarity.

    But way easier to go into trouble-shooting mode (Down and Heated Dry buttons for 3 seconds--9700/9900), the Added Heat button toggle the pump on/off.


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Call GE appliance answer line. They will give you a step-by-step procedure to purge the Smart Dispense for your model dishwasher. I had to run the purge program three times but now it's all clean and working great again, no removing the door or making a service call.

Posted on Jul 20, 2010

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Most likely, there's some stuff clogging up the filter screen that covers the pump suction. This screen is metal and internal to the pump section. It's not intended to be accessed on a regular basis.
First, I am assuming this is the cause of your concern. Second, I say this to every customer when I am working on their dishwasher: "You do not need to rinse your dishes, but you do have to scrape them off."
I'm amazed how many salesmen call this screen a "blender," or "disposal," or "chopper." It's really just a metal screen with a blunt rotating blade that wipes the holes clean and mashes the food into smaller bits. Chicken bones, toothpicks, bits of paper or plastic wrappers, popcorn seeds, and broken bits of glass frequently cause problems.
If you want to clean the screen manually, I can walk you through it. Or, you could call to have it serviced while still under warranty. If you do nothing, the food particles will slowly dissolve and get washed down the drain.
In the future, I want to encourage you to scrape all your dishes carefully, before loading them into the dishwasher. That should prevent this from happening again in the future.
To answer your original question: yes; you have a good machine. Few units will wash dishes as well as yours did when it was new. It's simple, effective, and easy to work on. My only reservation about this machine is that it is electronically controlled. But so is mine, and it's getting harder to find a decent machine that isn't.

Good luck!

Posted on Mar 19, 2008

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I'm fully aware of the mixing chlorine bleach/enzyme issue; I don't do this as I learned within the first month of ownership. My question is this: should there be water in the bulk "smart dispenser"? I have sucked it out using a turkey baster, and it always ends up back in there. This morning, I sucked out all of the water to find out that the dispenser was really empty of detergent, hence the reason my dishes had not been clean for about a week. The water must've tricked the sensor into thinking it was full.

Posted on Jul 29, 2008

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You may have a plugged water inlet valve. If you have hard water, or sediment in your water lines, it can collect in the water inlet valve and cause the dishwasher to not get enough water to properly clean the dishes. Often one this happens you will often find the detergent is not even being washed from the dispenser fully.
To clean the water inlet valve you will need to remove it from the dishwasher. It is typically located behind the lower kick plate panel in either the right or left corner. On my dishwasher (GE Triton XL) I had to remove the front door panel to expose the two screws holding the valve to the frame.
Once you have the unit removed (unplug, remove both water lines, and unscrew from frame), you will need to unscrew the 4 screws to remove the inlet piece. Inside you will find a screen filter that is probably full of sediment.
GE Profile Dishwasher Not Cleaning - 4fae519.jpg

Hope that helps.

Posted on Aug 15, 2009

  • atholis Jan 28, 2014

    thank u so much for this


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Go to the GE Appliances Knowledge base and type "purge" in the search box. Click the first result: "Dishwasher - Sudsing or Leaking SmartDispense". It will give you step by step instructions to print out and follow.

Posted on Oct 21, 2010

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Check out this solution.....

Posted on Nov 23, 2010

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I do not use the detergent dispenser because the GE service man told me not to, because of the problem with the clogging. I have a friend who had the same problem and the GE service man replaced the detergent dispenser. If you machine is still under contract, ask them to replace it.

Posted on Apr 25, 2008

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Part of the solution is on the GE website:

But first you must remove or mash the gelled detergent into very small pieces so it can pass through the pump and outlet. You must clean out most of the gelled detergent down in the door going towards the pump and the outlet at the base of the door. You can disassemble the door, or I used a length of 3/8" soft plastic tubing pushed down into the detergent cavity repeatedly to break up and pull the chunks up to the fill door where I could remove or mash them. You may also need to do this between the first run of the procedure and the second. You may need to do the purge filling the dispenser with water (I used hot - 120F) more than the once in the procedure.

Posted on Jan 17, 2011

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There is a new product out called the dishwasher filtration system. it actually filters the water going into your dishes. the dishes look dirty because your water has a lot of calcium and magnesium in it making them appear cloudy or dirty. the dishwasher filter reduces those minerals and my dishes look perfect now. no more dirty and grimy looking dishes. i also dont waste time washing them by hand before and after the dishwasher. hahaha you can get it at use code DFMTEN and you will get 10% off. it fits right under your sink and is very affordable. you will be glad you bought this product. thanks

Posted on Apr 27, 2008

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See if there is goo or chunks in the SmartDispense (push down cap and unscrew). If there is the it needs to be cleaned out. This problem is caused
by using enzyme detergent in SmartDispense and bleach based detergent in Manual
Dispenser (or visa-versa). If you have a lot of the sludge and it is thick then
start out with method 1 but if not so bad, you can jump to method 2. If really
bad or method 1 & 2 don\'t work then do "Door Removal Method".

Method 1

First get as much out as
you can with a spoon. Then pour hot water in and swish it around by opening and
closing the door. Then try to work some more loose by getting a wire/hanger and
sweeping it around in there as well. Then vacuum out the mess with your wet/dry
vac. Repeat this about 3 or 4 times and you should be able to work it all loose
and get it all out.

Once it seems to all be
out (new water poured in stays clear), run the purge feature (Method 2) a
couple times and the low detergent light came on and everything was back to

Method 2

The purge routine operates the bulk dispenser pump continuously
to drain the bulk dispenser tank when an incorrect liquid was poured in the
tank. The process consists of setting up the dishwasher to run the purge mode,
running the purge mode and then cleaning up the purged detergent. Can do this
multiple times. Follow these steps carefully to have a successful purge run.

For Top Control Models:

1. Make sure
Pre-wash, Added Heat and Heated Dry LEDs are off.

2. Press
Heated Dry and Down Arrow buttons together for 3 seconds. All LEDs will

3. Press
Added Heat and Up Arrow buttons together for 3 seconds. The Anti-bacteria LED
will illuminate

4. Press
Start button one time

5. Select
Normal and make sure Pre-wash, Added Heat and Heated Dry LEDs are off.

6. Press
Start button one more time and dishwasher will run a complete cycle without the
main motor running. Cycle is complete when the Clean light illuminates. This should
take approximately 60 minutes.

7. Open
door and wipe up excess detergent from the door and tub

8. Flush
remaining detergent off by pouring water on the door and tub where there is
detergent residue.

9. Remove
SmartDispenser cap and fill tank with water and then replace cap.

10. Repeat
Steps 1 through 9 one time.

11. Then,
repeat Steps 1 through 6. When the Clean LED illuminates, the system is purged
and ready to be refilled with the correct detergent.

Mount Controls (same as above except for the changes in the two below steps):

2. Press Heated Dry and Cookware together for 3
seconds. All LEDs illuminate.

3. Press Added Heat and Cookware together for 3
seconds. The Anti-bacterial LED illuminates.

Door Removal Method

There was just so much gelled and hardened junk
in the dispenser container, it would have forever to clean out.
Additionally, I think it could have had the chance of damaging the pump. Here
is what I did instead:

Remove power to the
dishwasher (viacircuit
or pull plug under sink).

Take all dishes and bottom
rack out of the dishwasher.

Close dishwasher door.

bottom 2 bolts with a ratchet.

dishwasher door.

Put a small
box that is big enough to hold the panel while the door is opened.

screws holding inner door to outside panel. Don\'t remove the screws heading
into side of door itself. Also, there are 2 screws near the latch that you
don\'t want to take out...just loosen them and you\'ll see they don\'t behave like
the other screws.

The panel
will separate from the door, BUT there are 2 ribbon cables connecting them.
Have someone hold onto the it won\'t pull up hard on the ribbon

back and forth (side to side) on the white ribbon cable on the door. It will
come off with a connector.

10. Use a small flathead screwdriver to gently
press the tab in on the blue connector and gently pull the blue ribbon cable
straight out.

11. Remove panel completely and put aside.

12. Gently close dishwasher door. It will want to
fly up since it doesn\'t weigh as much.

13. Look for a red/green cable from the detergent
container (detergent level sensor) and disconnect it.

14. Open dishwasher door and take off detergent

15. Have someone hold onto the detergent container
from the other side and un-twist the detergent locking ring (the item you
normally screw the cap into). You can use your hands or put a cloth over it and
gently remove with pliers. The detergent container will now be free, but
connected to a rubber tube that leads to the detergent dispenser pump. It will
easily disconnect by pulling the container away from the tube/pump. The
container is now free!

16. Shake the living hell out of the detergent
container over a trashcan. Mine had tons of white and blue gel in it. Once you
remove most of the gunk, bring it under the faucet in the sink and rinse with
warm/hot water. Shake, rinse, empty, shake, rinse, empty. The hole where the
detergent comes out should be 100% cleaned out. Use the handle of a small
paintbrush (or something) to push the hardened gunk out of the hole. Be sure
the container is totally cleaned. Take your time on this.

17. Put everything back in reverse order. The only
thing I did differently is putting the door panel back on the door: Close door,
reattach container & cable, bring over panel and re-attach ribbon cables,
hang panel on the top two white plastic blocks that you loosened the 2 screws
by the latch with earlier. Then screw on the bottomscrews (do not tighten until all
screws are put back in place). Put all screws back...don\'t over tighten.

18. Re-apply.

19. Do Method 2 (purge).

20. Put in fresh detergent and you should be good
to go.

Posted on Jul 13, 2013

We just hooked up our dishwasher. We used the cascade pillow packs. It worked great.

Then I thought I should use the smart dispense. I did the dishes are dirty and filmy!!!

I think the solution is once you get the dispense clear ONLY use the cascade pillow packs and for go the smart dispense.


Posted on Oct 21, 2008

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