Suppose you have noticed that the lights on your Frigidaire Dishwasher have started flashing. In that case, it means there is some kind of issue that needs addressing, but exactly what’s causing this is not always immediately clear, which can make diagnosing the problem challenging.
The good news is once you’ve identified the root cause of the problem, it’s usually pretty easy to fix.
So before rushing out and contacting a costly technician to fix the problem, be sure to read this article, as I’ll be listing all the reasons why this problem occurs, and give you easy-to-follow steps in order to get things fixed up and back to working order.
Why Are Your Frigidaire Dishwasher Lights Flashing?
Depending on the problem, different lights will flash in various patterns, which you can use to ascertain exactly what kind of problem is occurring.
For example, if you have a bad heating element, the Heat Dry and Start/Cancel butting will alternately flash.
These patterns may also change from model to model, which makes diagnosing the root cause even more challenging. So we encourage you to cross-check these flashing patterns against your user manual to confirm the root causes.
1. Overheating Dishwasher
One of the main reasons why the lights will happen is due to the dishwasher overheating. An internal temperature sensor is equipped inside the dishwasher, which will monitor the internal temperature during operation to ensure it doesn’t exceed the designated threshold and protect the dishwasher from harm.
This specific problem is usually indicated by the “Hi-Temp Wash” and “Heat Dry” washing lights flashing alternately. If you see this combination of flashing lights, it’s a good idea to check for clogs and blockages that may prevent the heat from escaping during operation.
2. Clogged Spray Arms
Some sensors monitor the dishwashing cycle as it progresses. If the spray arms become blocked up due to something like mineral deposit accumulation, then the wash cycle will not be able to complete correctly.
This will then commonly cause the “Hi-Temp Wash” and “Start/Cancel” lights to flash. You will need to manually clean out the spray arms so the wash cycle can complete properly.
3. Clogged Drain
The dishwasher drain has a small filter inside, which helps to catch bits of food debris or foreign objects before they go down the drain. Ideally, this filter should be cleaned every few weeks to ensure it doesn’t get too clogged up.
If it gets clogged up, it can often cause water to back up into the machine, triggering the float switch. So if you have the “Hi Tempt Wash,” “Heat Dry,” and “Start/Cancel” lights all flashing alternately, then it means a drain problem has been detected.
This can often be easily solved by cleaning out the drain filter.
4. The Heating Element has Failed
The heating element is the component that heats the incoming water to the correct temperature based on your chosen wash cycle.
If there is a broken heating element, then your dishwasher will detect that it’s not able to reach the desired temperature and will trigger the “Heat Dry” and “Start/Cancel” flashing light combinations to alert you of this problem.
The heating element will need to be inspected, and if found to be non-functional, it should be replaced.
5. Faulty Thermostat
While the heating element physically heats up the water, the thermostat monitors the water temperature and tells the heating element when it’s time to go to work.
If the thermostat malfunctions or fails, the dishwasher cannot maintain the correct internal temperature, triggering the flashing light combination of “Hi Temp Wash” and “Heat Dry” to alert you of this issue. The thermostat will need to be inspected and potentially replaced if it’s faulty.
6. A Water Inlet Valve Issue
The water inlet valve is a small valve that automatically opens and closes upon receiving instruction from the control panel to ensure the correct water level can be maintained during the wash cycle. If the inlet valve fails or becomes stuck for any reason, your dishwasher may be deprived of water, causing the “Hi Temp Wash” and “Normal Wash” lights to flash.
In some rare cases, this may be caused by your home’s water supply being too low to open the valve, but most of the time, it’s due to a valve failure and will need to be replaced.
7. A Control Board Problem
The control board of your dishwasher acts as the machine’s brain, sending out signals to control the various components and ensure everything works together as needed to clean your dirty dishes.
However, if the dishwasher control panel malfunctions, all kinds of error codes may occur, which can interfere with a successful clean cycle; when this happens, all the indicator lights will flash at once to alert you of this problem.
As a bad control board is a highly complex component to both diagnose and fix, the usual course of action here is just to replace the whole board with a new one.
How To Fix A Frigidaire Dishwasher Flashing Lights?
Now that you better understand what underlying issues will trigger flashing control panel lights on your dryer and which lighting combinations relate to each problem, let’s now walk through how to fix each of these issues.
We highly encourage you to cross-check these against your dishwasher user manual, as these lighting combinations may differ depending on your exact dishwasher model, and it’s crucial to ensure you’re addressing the right issue.
1. Check for Clogs and Blockages
If your dishwasher is overheating, it’s essential to address this problem as quickly as possible to prevent any further damage from being caused to the internal components of your dryer.
- Ensure the dishwasher has adequate circulated ventilation and is not placed too close to the wall or other heat sources, such as a stovetop.
- Check the drain isn’t blocked, which is causing hot water to remain in the machine, and heat it up. This may be clogged if the filter is broken or dirt/mold has built up over a long time.
2. Clear Out the Spray Arms
Sometimes the spray arms may become clogged with dirt, debris, or mineral deposits from hard water. So you’ll need to manually unblock the arms so the water can spray correctly.
You can find the spray arm at the bottom of the dishwasher; you’ll then need to remove the bottom tray to gain access to it. Unscrew or unlatch it and take it over to the sink.
Depending on the severity of the blockage, sometimes you can just use a small wire or paperclip to unclog the nozzles manually. If the blockage is particularly severe, you can soak the spray arm in a mixture of warm water and vinegar, then rinse them through and reinstall.
3. Clean Out the Drain Filter
The drain filter helps to catch the food debris and stop it from blocking up the drain. But the filter must be cleaned out from time to time, or it will result in a major blockage preventing the water from draining.
To resolve this, you simply need to remove the filter from the drain at the machine’s bottom and rinse it under warm running water. If the food debris is particularly stuck, you can use some soap and a brush to clean it properly.
4. Check and Replace the Heating Element
Before going ahead and replacing the heating element, you should first confirm that it’s not working. Turn the machine off and locate the heating element, usually placed at the bottom of the dishwasher tub; use a multimeter to test the heating element for continuity.
If it’s found to be faulty, you can simply replace the old heating element with a new one.
5. Replace the Thermostat
Fortunately, replacing a broken dishwasher thermostat is a relatively easy process that can be performed in a few minutes.
- Start by turning the power to the dishwasher off.
- Locate the thermostat, most commonly found near the heating element or on the control panel. You can refer to your user manual if you are unsure.
- Disconnect the wires from the old thermostat and remove the mounting screws.
- Discard the old thermostat and install the new one in its place.
- Before powering the dishwasher back up, test it with a multimeter to ensure it’s working correctly.
6. Replace the Water Inlet Valve
Before rushing out and replacing the water inlet valve, you should first ensure that your home’s water supply provides enough pressure to actually open the valve. A Frigidaire water inlet valve requires a minimum pressure of 20psi in order to function, so first check you meet that requirement before replacing the valve.
Once you have confirmed the water inlet valve needs replacing, you can do so by first turning off the power supply at the circuit breaker. Then locate the old water inlet valve, and disconnect the wires and mounting screws. This will free the old inlet valve, which can now be discarded.
Install the new inlet valve in its place, attach the wires, and then power the dishwasher back up.
7. Replace the Control Board
If you have a faulty control board suggested solution is just to replace the entire control board, yet these are very difficult to diagnose and fix by yourself.
As installing a new control board is quite an involved process unless you are already trained on how to replace this critical component, we recommend contacting Frigidaire customer support, who will arrange for a qualified appliance technician to come and replace any faulty components for you.