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My Frigidaire dishwasher (model FFBD2411NS) stopped working today in the middle of a cycle, lights blinking (heavy load light, hot water light, heat dry light, sanitize light, and one phase light (wash): lights corresponding to the options I picked). It is an old model, without fancy displays or even a place for error codes.

I tried to restart the machine. It drained residual water and restarted a cycle, only to break down again a few minutes later. Most of the time, I can't even get the machine to restart, as the lights come blinking as soon as I hit the start button. I have tried different option combinations, but nothing seems to work. It seems sheer luck to get the thing to start. If I try again after 10 minutes, I might be lucky enough to get it to run a short while, but eventually it breaks down. It has been running fine for a year. Just yesterday it was working perfectly fine.

What could be the possible issue here? Any possibility this could be fixed without having to change parts?

  • In older machines the combination of lights or the flash pattern tells you the code - just need to look it up. Also a particular key combination does a reset... – Solar Mike May 26 at 3:55
  • Use your google-fu, try "frigidaire dishwasher error codes"... – Solar Mike May 26 at 4:00
  • @SolarMike I have employed my Google-fu. There is actually no flash pattern or any particular combination. Whatever buttons I pick flash, so it does not seem like a message to be decoded. The user manual contains literally zero information about this... The only things I found online are: 1) unplug and plug back in, which I have done. 2) this post here – Eddie Kal May 26 at 4:42
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The wiring diagram document for your model is available here:

http://manuals.frigidaire.com/prodinfo_pdf/Kinston/A03589801A.pdf

There is quite a bit of good information on that sheet that may be worth reading. The wiring diagram shows a number of sensor devices that could be marginal and should be checked. As indicated on that sheet always make sure to disconnect the power before opening or attempting to service the unit. Items to check:

  1. The door switch could be marginal or intermittent. This switch has two pairs of contacts which actually switch the 120VAC power source to large parts of the circuitry. Inspect contacts and check with a multimeter in continuity testing mode.
  2. There is a float switch in the bottom of the dishwasher that will cut power to the water fill valve if the water level rises too high. Check that the related switch opens and closes properly. Gunk can build up in the float mechanism and may need to be cleaned. The float needs to be able to freely move up and down.
  3. There is a high-limit thermostat sensor that will cut power feed to the heater if the temperature gets too high. Check that this is electrically closed and not in some intermittent state of high resistance.
  4. There are thermistors and optional turbidity sensors. You could inspect these and assure that the wiring to these is secure with non-corroded contacts.

I would most likely suspect the door switch as being intermittent or the wiring connections associated with it since it is involved with switching the AC power connections. There is a note on that sheet that indicates that OPTION LED'S flashing can be an indication of a power failure happening. The door switch can get a lot of abuse as the door is open and closed a lot on a dishwasher.

  • This is right on the nose! Thank you! I tried shoving the door tight while the lights flash, and the machine droned on again. It definitely seems to be the door switch. – Eddie Kal May 26 at 13:31

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