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Dishwasher - Noises

The following are normal sounds that a dishwasher makes throughout the cycles:

  • Clunking sound: This will occur once during the wash cycle. It is the detergent cup opening at the beginning of main wash, which is about ½ way through the complete cycle. This is normal.


  • Clicking sounds: Timer model dishwashers and some models with electronic controls will make clicking sounds as the dishwasher progresses through its cycle. The sounds are heard coming from the control panel. These sounds are normal.


  • Clicking/grinding sound in control panel: some models of dishwashers with electronic controls have a motor driven electrical switching device in the control panel. This type of sound will be heard when the dishwasher is changing cycles, for example, when the dishwasher moves from circulation mode to pump-out mode. The sound is normal.


  • Rhythmic knocking sound: most likely caused by the spray arm hitting something inside the dishwasher as the spray arm rotates. To solve the problem, rearrange dishware inside the dishwasher to provide clearance for the spray arms. The spray arms must be free to rotate for good wash performance.


  • Swishing noise: the dishwasher will make a swishing noise as the water is sprayed around inside the tub during the rinse cycles and the main wash. You are hearing the powerful wash action of your GE manufactured dishwasher. This is a normal sound.


  • Rattling noise: While the dishwasher is in operation, the water action can cause the dishes to rattle, and lightweight plastic objects can be forced out of the rack. Make sure the dishes and utensils are secure and not banging together.

    This rattling sound can be hard to distinguish from abnormal motor noises. To determine if a rattling noise is a loading issue, run the dishwasher again without any dishes. If the noise is not present, please consult the Owner's Manual for loading suggestions.
    Download a free copy of the Owner's Manual and/or Installation Instructions

    View a short video about proper loading:
    Play Video

    If the noise is still present, when running the dishwasher empty, it is most likely due to debris in the pump. It is recommended you contact service.


  • Pipe Rattling/Banging/Booming Noise: This is a household plumbing issue called water hammer. Please contact a local plumber to have an anti-hammer device installed.

  • A snapping sound while running: A dishwasher fills and drains several times during the washing and rinsing cycles. Each time it begins to drain, a solenoid energizes, causing a definitive snapping sound. This will happen about six times during each run cycle depending on the model and options selected. This is normal. Some models do not have drain solenoids, so this sound will not be heard on all models.


  • Snapping sounds while opening the door: It is normal to hear a snapping sound when opening the door of models that have a hinged detergent cup lid that you push to close. The soap cup only opens to a 90 degree angle when in the wash cycle. When the door is opened at the end of the cycle you may hear a snap as the cup opens fully. The sound is normal.
    Note: Models with a "turn-to-close" detergent cup will not have this sound when the door is opened.


  • Squealing, rattling pump noise: If the dishwasher is new, it may not have any water in it. This can cause a "squeal" or "rattling" sound the first time it is used. The sound may also occur if the dishwasher is run after an extended period of time without any use. Add one quart of water to the bottom of the tub and the noise should go away. The water lubricates the pump seals and keeps them quiet. Refer to the installation instructions for more information about this sound.
    Download a free copy of the Owner's Manual and/or Installation Instructions


  • Humming noise: The dishwasher motor may make humming sounds during operation that are normal. This sound occurs because:

    • The fan that cools the main pump motor is rotating.
    • The soft food disposer may be grinding up food waste.
    • The drain pump may be operating.
If the dishwasher is working properly, these are normal sounds.

View a short video about dishwasher noises:
Play Video


If the above suggestions do not resolve the issue, service may be needed. If you would like to schedule a service appointment, please contact GE Consumer Service at 1-800-432-2737 or schedule a service appointment on-line.