Have an odd situation that started a week or so ago. The dishwasher was running to completion and dishes were either still dirtyish or the dishwasher pod was not dissolved and the dishes basically unwashed.

The model is a GE GDT535PSJ2SS.

After digging into it more and watching several cycles and testing it in between cycles, the issue appears to be with the inlet water temperature. After initial fill, if I open the dishwasher and touch the water in the sump, it is cold.

The dishwasher is connected to a separate tap from the hot water on the sink (likely the same line with a Tee behind the backing) which means I can't run the hot water tap till hot and then start the cycle. Further, playing with the hot water in the sink, I noticed that on opening the tap and setting it to hot, the water is luke warm, then cold then progressively hot.

My theory was a bad mixer in the kitchen sink tap causing backflow of cold water into the hot line. But closing the hot water off in the sink didn't seem to affect the first test.

I am planning to shut off all other mixer taps in the house and run some more tests. Any other thoughts?

Thanks in advance.

  • Are you absolutely certain it should be connected to the hot supply? That's a huge waste of heat & water. I've never known any dishwasher that connects to hot. [Clothes washers used to until maybe the late 90's but they don't either these days. My first dishwasher was mid 80's & cold feed only even then]
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 17, 2020 at 9:01
  • According to the manual, yes. See page 8 here products.geappliances.com/MarketingObjectRetrieval/…
    – user122211
    Aug 18, 2020 at 14:50
  • I wonder if it's for the same reason electric kettles aren't particularly popular in the US - 120v being poor for rapid heating elements.
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 18, 2020 at 15:29
  • 1
    If it's a tee off the sink hot line, you can run the sink hot water until it's steady hot, then start the dishwasher and shut off the sink.
    – Ecnerwal
    Jan 14, 2021 at 3:16
  • @Ecnerwal it is a Tee, but behind the wall. Running the sink does mitigate the issue, but only after the first fill happens. There is enough cold water in the piping to fill the first couple of fills.
    – user122211
    Jan 15, 2021 at 5:25

2 Answers 2


Sounds like the separate tap is connected to the cold supply.

The most likely failure is the internal water heater element or control in the dishwasher. So check that. Build up of scale like in a kettle is a common failure for those heating elements as thick patches cause them to get too hot and overheat.

Using a cleaner is a good idea - Calgon is one name but may not be in your market / location.

  • I find it hard to believe someone would connect a DW to the cold supply. But you're right, it's something to check. I'm wondering what type of water heater is supplying the DW. If "on demand" perhaps something is wrong there and the DW isn't drawing water fast enough to turn it on due to wear and tear there. The fact that there are large variations when (s)he is "playing with the hot" it gets warm, then cold, then hot tells us something. Let's be sure the DW is on the hot feed and see what WH (s)he has. Aug 16, 2020 at 13:56
  • @GeorgeAnderson well, mine is connected to the cold supply and so are all the ones I have checked with my friends...
    – Solar Mike
    Aug 16, 2020 at 14:10
  • That is so weird. I've never heard of that in my part of the country (pacific NW), but I don't have a lot of building experience. I'd love to hear from others on their opinion. Thanks for the resp. Aug 16, 2020 at 14:15
  • The separate line is hot. If I run and cancel the dishwasher a couple times after the initial fill, it ends up filling with hot water. The other thing is, the setup has not changed since the house was built. So something recent has caused this issue.
    – user122211
    Aug 16, 2020 at 15:27
  • I wasn't aware the GE could heat the water. I checked the user manual and it states that incoming water must be 120 degrees.
    – user122211
    Aug 16, 2020 at 15:29

Turns out, after more troubleshooting and some time with the multimeter, the actual issue was the control board. The issue with the water continues to exist, although the new control board and proper operation has somewhat mitigated it. The first couple of rinse cycles are on the colder side, but over the course of operation the dishes are clean.

The control board issue only became apparent when different things started to fail such as the door lock, the soap dispenser and the run times. Ordered a new one, installed it and the problem is now solved. I likely will add a tee off the sink hot water on the next project.


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