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C4 error Code - GE Dishwasher

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Old 12-04-2009, 09:31 AM
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Default C4 error Code - GE Dishwasher
Model Number: GSD2800 L03   Brand: GE   Age: More than 10 years   

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I have searched the dishwasher forum for an answer to this problem, but found only one reference to the C4 error code which now stubbornly refuses to clear from my dishwasher. That post (by Donna, 2/22/09), contains some recommendations which have not worked for me, hence this post.

This problem surfaced after I had filled the rinse aid dispenser (which I do monthly). For some reason, what sometimes happens after I do that, is that the dishwasher will foam up (presumably in reaction to an abundance of rinse aid), and spill out the door onto the floor. This time, upon running the first cycle after filling the rinse aid dispenser, the machine went into the C4 error mode, which has never happened before. The C4 error code is supposed to signify "too much water", or similar, but there is NO water in the machine (except in the sump, where it belongs).

I have tried numerous times to do a "clear/reset", but it keeps going back into C4. The only way to stop the code and the machine is to shut off the power to the machine by hitting the breaker.

The dishwasher is circa 1990, and has been relatively trouble-free. About three months ago, I replaced the control board and a GE service tech replaced the plunger assembly. That having cost me about $300, I am not ready to simply buy a new dishwasher; Iím invested in this machine.

I have attempted the following in order to resolve this problem:

1) I removed and inspected the screen in the rear of the dishwasher, and the plunger assembly below it (which is new);

2) I removed the float cover in the left front of the machine, pushed down on the float to make sure it was operating freely (which it was). However, I donít know if the switch associated with the float is working properly - and donít know how to "test" that; one recommendation I had was to replace the float switch. Presumably, you can have a float operating freely, but the switch is bad - which could fool the control board into thinking that there is too much water in the machine. Any suggestions or comments on that?

3) I replaced the water inlet valve (last night -phew!). Just prior to doing this, I followed up on a suggestion in this or another forum to turn off the water supply and then run the dishwasher, and that would resolve the C4 error. It did - but just temporarily. When I shut the water supply off, and then turned the power supply on, the dishwasher went into the "PF" mode (Power Failure), which then allowed me to enter the normal dishwasher cycles. I then hit the "rinse cycle" and let the machine run for about a minute. I then reset the machine, because I was wary of running the machine without water, lest it damage the pump or something. I then turned the water on, and then went to run the cycle again, but it went immediately back to the C4 mode. I attempted to get the machine into the dishwashing cycle one more time by turning off the water, etc, but it didnít work - it only returned the C4 code.

At this point, I said "the heck with it", and went ahead and replaced the water valve - an arduous task. When I powered up the dishwasher again, it went right into the C4 cycle again - NO dice.

So, frankly, I am running out of solutions short of calling an appliance technician. Some of you may be thinking that I have a clogged drain hose, but Iím pretty sure I donít - I would be getting additional evidence in the form of backed up sinks, etc, and, moreover, I had checked the drain hose about three months ago just prior to the last repair visit.

The only option I can think of is to replace that float switch and see if that does the trick. I'm just taking shots in the dark at this point, so if anyone has some genuine insight into what might be going on, I am all ears. I am entirely open to advice, suggestions, recommendations.

Have at it!


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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 12-06-2009, 09:43 AM
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Default followup info....

I have tested the float switch by pulling it out of the bracket and holding it down, which I guess simulates that the dishwasher is not full. The dishwasher still went into the C4 mode, but when I opened the dishwasher, there was a little bit of water in the tub, which signifies what - that the switch is working? Not sure what to make of all this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeclose View Post
I have searched the dishwasher forum for an answer to this problem, but found only one reference to the C4 error code which now stubbornly refuses to clear from my dishwasher. That post (by Donna, 2/22/09), contains some recommendations which have not worked for me, hence this post.

This problem surfaced after I had filled the rinse aid dispenser (which I do monthly). For some reason, what sometimes happens after I do that, is that the dishwasher will foam up (presumably in reaction to an abundance of rinse aid), and spill out the door onto the floor. This time, upon running the first cycle after filling the rinse aid dispenser, the machine went into the C4 error mode, which has never happened before. The C4 error code is supposed to signify "too much water", or similar, but there is NO water in the machine (except in the sump, where it belongs).

I have tried numerous times to do a "clear/reset", but it keeps going back into C4. The only way to stop the code and the machine is to shut off the power to the machine by hitting the breaker.

The dishwasher is circa 1990, and has been relatively trouble-free. About three months ago, I replaced the control board and a GE service tech replaced the plunger assembly. That having cost me about $300, I am not ready to simply buy a new dishwasher; Iím invested in this machine.

I have attempted the following in order to resolve this problem:

1) I removed and inspected the screen in the rear of the dishwasher, and the plunger assembly below it (which is new);

2) I removed the float cover in the left front of the machine, pushed down on the float to make sure it was operating freely (which it was). However, I donít know if the switch associated with the float is working properly - and donít know how to "test" that; one recommendation I had was to replace the float switch. Presumably, you can have a float operating freely, but the switch is bad - which could fool the control board into thinking that there is too much water in the machine. Any suggestions or comments on that?

3) I replaced the water inlet valve (last night -phew!). Just prior to doing this, I followed up on a suggestion in this or another forum to turn off the water supply and then run the dishwasher, and that would resolve the C4 error. It did - but just temporarily. When I shut the water supply off, and then turned the power supply on, the dishwasher went into the "PF" mode (Power Failure), which then allowed me to enter the normal dishwasher cycles. I then hit the "rinse cycle" and let the machine run for about a minute. I then reset the machine, because I was wary of running the machine without water, lest it damage the pump or something. I then turned the water on, and then went to run the cycle again, but it went immediately back to the C4 mode. I attempted to get the machine into the dishwashing cycle one more time by turning off the water, etc, but it didnít work - it only returned the C4 code.

At this point, I said "the heck with it", and went ahead and replaced the water valve - an arduous task. When I powered up the dishwasher again, it went right into the C4 cycle again - NO dice.

So, frankly, I am running out of solutions short of calling an appliance technician. Some of you may be thinking that I have a clogged drain hose, but Iím pretty sure I donít - I would be getting additional evidence in the form of backed up sinks, etc, and, moreover, I had checked the drain hose about three months ago just prior to the last repair visit.

The only option I can think of is to replace that float switch and see if that does the trick. I'm just taking shots in the dark at this point, so if anyone has some genuine insight into what might be going on, I am all ears. I am entirely open to advice, suggestions, recommendations.

Have at it!
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 12-06-2009, 09:49 AM
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I believe after all you have done you are down to a bad float switch or a bad control board (which you just replaced). If there is no water in the tub and you are getting that code after all you have done these two things are the only choices. You can check the float switch with an ohmmeter. It should be open if the float is up and closed with the float down. If it is open all the time replace it. hope this helps!

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 12-06-2009, 10:08 AM
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We must have posted at the same time. The switch has three wires one is common, One normally open which means that if the float is up the circuit is open this cuts off the water valve. The other wire is normally closed which indicates to the control that the float is up i.e the circuit is closed. If that wire switch is closed when the float is down the control will put up that code. Pull off the wire that is connected to the normally closed NC I believe is a pink wire and see if the code reappears. If it reappears with that wire off I believe the control board is bad.


If I understand you correctly when the code is displayed there isn’t enough water in the tub for the float to rise correct? If so like I said the float is bad or the control.

Be carefull when doing this the wires may be hot. The best thing is the open the door remove the wire and tape then test. Better yet turn the curcit breaker off.

Last edited by applianceman : 12-06-2009 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:54 AM
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Default Not quite Hallelujah....

I thought I fixed it!!

Here's what the problem was: Sitting here wondering what to do next, I wondered if I had re-attached the electric leads to the water inlet value properly; had I inadvertently switched them? So I switched the leads, turned the power on, and bang - it went right into the dishwasher cycle mode. I thought I was done.

I turned the power off again, so that I could put the protective shield around the leads, and turned the power back on. Damn - C4 error again.

Beginning to get to my wit's end here....

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeclose View Post
I have tested the float switch by pulling it out of the bracket and holding it down, which I guess simulates that the dishwasher is not full. The dishwasher still went into the C4 mode, but when I opened the dishwasher, there was a little bit of water in the tub, which signifies what - that the switch is working? Not sure what to make of all this.
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Old 12-06-2009, 01:16 PM
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Default Which is the float switch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by applianceman View Post
I believe after all you have done you are down to a bad float switch or a bad control board (which you just replaced). If there is no water in the tub and you are getting that code after all you have done these two things are the only choices. You can check the float switch with an ohmmeter. It should be open if the float is up and closed with the float down. If it is open all the time replace it. hope this helps!

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Thanks for getting back to me - I really appreciate it. I've got to possibly correct what I said before, because now I'm not so sure I'm looking at the float switch, but maybe the drain valve sensing switch instead; maybe you can clear up my confusion:

The reason is because the part shown on ************************.com (part 27144) doesn't look like the switch that is in the left front of the dishwasher which APPEARS to be the float switch because it's enabled by the float in the left front (I can see that using a mirror). Part 27144 appears to be clear or white and the part I have in the left front of the machine is black.

They both have a thin metal extension that sticks out (I guess that is the switch). I thought that this item in the left front of the machine WAS the float switch, which is easy to get to, but I am wondering of it is actually the drain valve sensing switch.

Is it possible that the switch I thought was the float switch is actually the drain valve sensor switch? The other switch with the metal extension is attached to the solenoid in the middle of the dishwasher. Is THAT the float switch instead?

So I would like to replace this switch as a next step. I looked at the exploded diagram here:

http://www.************************....ReqAct=2023399

but I'm not sure which part it is cause there isn't a key for the part numbers.
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Old 12-06-2009, 02:23 PM
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Default Testing the float switch

Okay - let's assume the thing in the left front of the dishwasher is the float switch - it's got three wires: Two are white with a pink stripe, and go to one lead; the other is red and goes to the other lead. The other switch connected to the solenoid has only two wires, and since that is a drain solenoid, I have to assume it is the drain solenoid sensing switch.

I had a little trouble understanding what you were saying, as I am not an electrician, but I read between the lines and here's what I did:

I took one wire off at a time, and then threw the breaker to turn the machine on. In each instance, the machine went into the C4 mode, and would not stop. I used a pair of needle nose pliers to open and close the switch to see if that would have any effect - nothing. I just kept getting the C4 error.

You said to also check the float switch with an ohmeter. I do have such a device, although not well-versed in its use. I turned the dial to check for ohms, then put the test leads on each of the electrical connections to the float switch. When the switch was DOWN (closed), there were numbers displayed the readout (they changed constantly, but there were numbers). When the switch was UP (open), the display read OL - which according to the user's guide means "there is no resistance encountered across the test leads or the measured value exceeds the range you set".

Does this mean the float switch is working?
Quote:
Originally Posted by applianceman View Post
We must have posted at the same time. The switch has three wires one is common, One normally open which means that if the float is up the circuit is open this cuts off the water valve. The other wire is normally closed which indicates to the control that the float is up i.e the circuit is closed. If that wire switch is closed when the float is down the control will put up that code. Pull off the wire that is connected to the normally closed NC I believe is a pink wire and see if the code reappears. If it reappears with that wire off I believe the control board is bad.


If I understand you correctly when the code is displayed there isnít enough water in the tub for the float to rise correct? If so like I said the float is bad or the control.

Be carefull when doing this the wires may be hot. The best thing is the open the door remove the wire and tape then test. Better yet turn the curcit breaker off.
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Old 12-06-2009, 03:00 PM
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Default One more thing....

If the dishwasher ran once (as it did) today, and then reverted to the C4 error code as before, what would that indicate? It seems to me that if the float switch is bad, it would just be bad - and you wouldn't get the dishwasher running at all. A bad switch doesn't go "good" and then go bad again.

So I remain stumped. The control board is only three months old - not likely that this is the culprit.

Can it still be the float switch?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jeclose View Post
Okay - let's assume the thing in the left front of the dishwasher is the float switch - it's got three wires: Two are white with a pink stripe, and go to one lead; the other is red and goes to the other lead. The other switch connected to the solenoid has only two wires, and since that is a drain solenoid, I have to assume it is the drain solenoid sensing switch.

I had a little trouble understanding what you were saying, as I am not an electrician, but I read between the lines and here's what I did:

I took one wire off at a time, and then threw the breaker to turn the machine on. In each instance, the machine went into the C4 mode, and would not stop. I used a pair of needle nose pliers to open and close the switch to see if that would have any effect - nothing. I just kept getting the C4 error.

You said to also check the float switch with an ohmeter. I do have such a device, although not well-versed in its use. I turned the dial to check for ohms, then put the test leads on each of the electrical connections to the float switch. When the switch was DOWN (closed), there were numbers displayed the readout (they changed constantly, but there were numbers). When the switch was UP (open), the display read OL - which according to the user's guide means "there is no resistance encountered across the test leads or the measured value exceeds the range you set".

Does this mean the float switch is working?
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Old 12-06-2009, 03:02 PM
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One more piece of information: When the float switch was fully connected (no leads disconnected), I pushed down on the switch several times to see if that had any effect on the C4 error - it didn't.




Quote:
Originally Posted by jeclose View Post
If the dishwasher ran once (as it did) today, and then reverted to the C4 error code as before, what would that indicate? It seems to me that if the float switch is bad, it would just be bad - and you wouldn't get the dishwasher running at all. A bad switch doesn't go "good" and then go bad again.

So I remain stumped. The control board is only three months old - not likely that this is the culprit.

Can it still be the float switch?
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Old 12-06-2009, 04:58 PM
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Ok I was looking a wiring diagram for a similar model that had three terminals on the float switch and I though yours did as well. If this is the case disconnecting the wires will not have any effect on the C4 code.

What you did with the ohmmeter proves the switch is ok as long as the numbers you got were close to zero and if you disconnected the wires before testing. Other wise you can get a false reading.

As far as I know the only thing that has anything to do with this are the float switch and the control. I realize the control is new and I canít say for sure if it is the problem or not. But then again I was looking a diagram that showed three terminals on the float switch.

The switch on the solenoid isnít the problem it will cause the C2 code rather than the C4.

Look for the mini manual under the dishwasher and see if it says anything about the C4 code and if so post what it says.
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