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Jon, Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 3634
Experience:  Appliance Service Technician with 10+ years experience.
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I have a Frigidaire dishwasher, model GLD4050, about 4 years

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I have a Frigidaire dishwasher, model GLD4050, about 4 years old. Recently it has been failing to drain after the last rinse cycle, leaving about an inch of dirty water in the bottom after it's done. The dishes are very spotty, as if they've been rinsed with dirty/soapy water. It will drain perfectly if I start/cancel a cycle, and it also drains fine if I do a full rinse-only cycle. How can I fix it?

Jon Grella : Hello
Jon Grella : myHello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I am an authorized frigidaire service tech and I can help you today.
Jon Grella : you problem is common believe it or not
Jon Grella : what does the drain hose drain to? The sick drain under cabinets under the sink or to a disposal under the sink?

I can believe it. I have Googled this and found many other people having similar issues, but so far nothing has worked for me.

Jon Grella : i know for sure we can work together to fixThis. And fix it quickly and cheaply

The drain hose is connected to the sink drain pipe (no garbage disposer), about 4 inches below the sink drain itself

Jon Grella : where do you have the machine draining to?
Jon Grella : Ok great.
Jon Grella : Does the drain hose just go down then up to the sink drain

Up, then down, actually

Jon Grella : ordrain or does it get hooked to the top of the underside of the counter top under the cabinets?
Jon Grella : does it go up about a foot abovethe drain in the sink?

Yes, about a foot above the drain into the sink. There is no air vent to the countertop, just the hose.

Jon Grella : ok. Thanks. That was my next question. Does the drain have a check valve? But you just answered that. It doesn't ,and that may be the problem
Jon Grella : please do this for me.

Unless the dishwasher pump has a check valve built-in, then no



Jon Grella : It shouldn't. And actually they fail all the time. Especially if the drained water is being siphoned back into the machine. It would force the drain check valve back and allow the water to comeback into the machine.
Jon Grella : do tis for me
Jon Grella : uninstall the dish drain hose under the sink and allow the water to flow into a large bucket
Jon Grella : and let it wash and drain normally


Jon Grella : if it does then we know the drain hose installation is the problem.

how big of a bucket will I need? I have a couple 5 gallon ones, I assume that'll be big enough

Jon Grella : My guess is that the force from the drain pump is causing a syphoning issue. Which happens often. It will drain most the water out and at the end of the drain cycle it will back flow into the tub and wash with the rest of the dirty water.
Jon Grella : yes. Five gallon is good
Jon Grella : just keep an eye on it.

of course :-)

Jon Grella : if it runs fine with draining into the bucket install a check valve at the end of the drain hose
Jon Grella : if it doesn't help the replace the drain pump

if this does turn out to be the issue, what could I do to fix it? I've read that an air gap to the countertop is the only sure way to prevent siphoning

Jon Grella : i am sure it is the drain hose though. Just get back to me here if not and I will help you more

alright, will do. Thanks for your help so far.

Jon Grella : the check valve at the end of the drain hose will fix the syphoning. And if you want to install the air gap as well that would help
Jon Grella : your welcome.
Jon Grella : please remember to rate my performance below with ok service or better rating. And should you have more questions please come back here and I will help you more for no additional charge.
Jon Grella : Thanks.
Jon Grella : Please remember to rate my performance below with positive rating.
Jon Grella : Thanks again.
Jon Grella : do you have any other questions for me?
Jon Grella : are you there?
Jon Grella : if you feel that I have answered your questions today please remember to rate my performance positively below now.
Jon Grella : and should you need more help please come back here and I will help you more.
Jon Grella : thanks.
Jon and 2 other Appliance Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you for the positive rating.

Should you need more help please get back to me here and I will help you more for no additional charge.

Thank you again.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.



I tried your suggestion of draining into a bucket, and learned something important--most of the drain cycles (and even some of the wash cycles) were completely skipped. I have the service data sheet that details exactly when the drain is supposed to turn on. In the cycle I ran (eco wash), it's supposed to wash/rinse and drain 5 times, with one additional drain in the middle of the drying period, for a total of 6 drains. Instead, the drain pump only turned on twice: once after the very first wash cycle, and once in the middle of drying at the end. The four times in the middle when it should have drained, it did nothing--the bucket was empty.


I also noticed that during 3 of the 5 wash/rinse cycles, it did not fill with water, or do any spraying. The heating element turned on at the correct times, but aside from that it basically sat there for 45 minutes doing nothing at all.


Some good news: The tub did not have any water left in it at the end. So you may be right about the siphoning issue. But it sounds like I have bigger problems--I'm guessing the control circuit or timer is the reason it's not washing and draining at the correct times. What do you think?

That is absolutely correct. If the dish is skipping cycles when it should be either draining filling or rinsing and it is not then it is most certainly the electronic circuit in the timer or control.

But let me ask you a questions, in the tech sheet you have with the machine, it says that in an Eco wash it fills rinses and drains five times? That seems like too many times to fill rinse and drain for a Eco wash cycle. Usually an Eco wash cycle will be the shortest cycle. Which is why it is the Eco wash. Staying on for the shortest time frame. And I am almost 100% that the Eco wash cycle should not be on for a period of time that allows five separate fills rinses and drains.

Are you sure that you read the tech sheet correctly?

If you are and the machine is still skipping the last drain on any cycle then it will definitely be the timer that is causing that. And to be sure you may need to check the power being sent to the drain pump at the last drain cycle in the machine. If the machine is not sending power to the drain pump at time of the last drain cycle then the timer is at fault. But if it does have power to the drain pump and still doesn't drain when in a drain cycle then the drain pump is bad.

Get back to me here and I will help yo more
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Yes, I am pretty sure I'm reading the data sheet correctly. I suspect the sheet is incorrect about some things, since the timings don't add up to the actual length of the cycles, but it does generally agree with the user's manual which you can find here:


which indicates that Eco Wash may do 3 washes and 2 rinses.


Regardless of that, I tried a Normal Wash cycle today and monitored what it was doing. The first two cycles (wash/rinse) went normally--for each, I could hear it filling up, pumping/spraying, then draining at the end. However, the third cycle had a problem. Here's the sequence of events for that cycle:


  • Fill with water for 2 minutes

  • Wash for 16 minutes

  • Pause for several minutes

  • Display showed blinking "HO" for about 20 minutes. No washing or draining occurred during this time; the dishwasher was silent

  • Blinking "HO" stopped showing, but dishwasher remained silent for the next 31 minutes, not washing or draining


According to the tech sheet, it ought to be filling, washing, and/or draining during all of this time. A brief pause I can understand, but 20 or 30 minutes seems crazy. After waiting for 51 minutes with nothing happening, I opened and closed the door--it immediately started washing again, and blinking "HO". Then after 5 minutes it stopped again. After a few minutes of nothing happening, I opened/closed the door again--once again it resumed washing. A third time it paused, and a third time I opened/closed the door to make it resume. Finally, it drained and entered the drying cycle.


This is consistent with what happened during the Eco Wash, and it's also consistent with the lack of drainage, and dishes coming out dirty--it's like it gets stuck in mid-cycle, and won't resume unless I open/close the door.


I've looked inside the front panel, and there does not appear to be a mechanical timer, only a circuit board. I can see no visible damage or loose connections to the circuit board. Considering how opening/closing the door seems to make it restart, I wonder if it could be a bad sensor in the door latch mechanism. It looks like a new control board is about $140, so I'd like to rule out the possibility of a sensor malfunction before springing for that.


Do you think there could be a problem with the door latch or some other sensor? I'm electrically competent enough to test them with my multimeter, if necessary. Please let me know if my hunch makes sense. And thanks again for your patience in helping me figure this out.


Thank you for the very detailed response to my last post to you.

The ho in the display is actually an error code for a heat relay in your machine. And according to the manual, well actually I don't think it is listed in yours, but I can see on my technical data sheet the ho is for the heater relay. More specifically, a delay in the process of heating the water in the machine.

S if you get this error when the machine is going through its final rinse and drain and then heating cycle this is very common. Especially if selecting a heated wash and dry.

It basically means the heater relay is bad or element.

S we can check easily with a meter set to continuity.

Remove the machine from the cabinets, and or if you can get your hands and meter under the machine, and check the resistance of the heater. If you have toned continuity set your meter to that and remove the wires to the heater, with power off, and check the continuity. If the heater has continuity then replace the heater sensor. If no continuity to the heater change the heater.

Now I will say this, in most cases the heater is good and will either be a bad heater sensor or control board. It happens often.

Please try these quick fixes. They work half the time and are worth a shot before doing anything.

First kill power to the machine by flipping off breaker for about ten minutes then turn back on and hit and hold the cancel button on the control board for ten seconds. This will quickly reset the board.

Them tin on hot water to the sink and let it run for about two minutes. Then turn the dish on and set a hot wash and heated dry cycle and start it as normal. This will allow the water to be heated more from the sink being on hot and should heat the water to desire temp by sensor and allow the machine to run as normal.

If the machine runs through fine, all the way through, then you need to have hot water to the home checked. It may not be hot enough. If it doesn't run through then replace the heater sensor.

Get back to me her wife you have any other questions.

Thanks again.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I tried as you suggested--the heating element itself is good (resistance of 15 ohms), so I took out the thermostat and tested it. At room temperature, it was closed (had continuity). After heating it up to 180F with a hair dryer, it was still closed, so clearly there's something wrong with it. I tried simply leaving it out of the dishwasher so the connection would be open. Two full washing cycles ran perfectly! I've ordered another thermostat, and I'm pretty confident that will fix the problem for good.


I would not have thought that a faulty thermostat could cause drainage to fail, but there it is. You nailed it! Thanks once again for your detailed suggestions and explanation. Finally, I can consider this question answered.


Great I am glad we could help you out. Sometimes on these machines silly little parts like this break down. And we wouldn't normally think to look at them.

Please get back to me here if you need any other help or have any other questions and i will still help you for no additional charge.

If you feel that I have done a great job please feel fee to leave positive feedback on my profile or a bonus if you feel I deserve that as well. It is not required but greatly appreciated.

Thanks again.