Question about GE 24 in. Profile PDW9880JSS Built-in Dishwasher

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GE Profile SmartDispense clog

Can you tell me how to unclog the smartdispenser or direct me to a site that can help me? I use cascade, but I guess my wife
mixed the different kinds.

Thanks so much,


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  • donmerl May 27, 2008

    mY smart dispense is congealed and will not dispense. The cause I believe is non use for 3 months. The washer has been used daily for the last 6 weeks but the empty light has not come on. How can I clean out the smart dispense and put in new soap? Don

  • pmcknell May 28, 2008

    I have always used the same type of detergent and yet the tank filled with water and the empty light never came on.  How can I get rid of the water in the dispenser? I have run it a couple of times with no detergent.

  • pmcknell Jul 06, 2008

    I still have the same problem with the smartdispense.....Too much detegent runs out from the bottom.  I have had GE repair three times.  They have replaced the interior tank for the detergent and then the timer.  It's still happening.  I will probably give up and use the manual detergent cup.

  • allan947 Aug 03, 2008

    I have the same problem described by TimMichelle. I only use Cascade. Can the dispenser be flushed with a vinigar solution to break up any clogs?

  • zwmz Mar 13, 2009

    I have the same problem but the mixture has gelled in the pump. Is there a way to clean this out?



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I have the same problem and found the below on the GE website. It says to purge the detergent from the Smart Dispense. I am in the process of doing it now...we'll see if it works:

How to Purge Incorrect Liquid Detergent from the Bulk Dispenser

The purge routine operates the bulk dispenser pump continuously to drain the bulk dispenser tank when an incorrect liquid was poured in the tank. The process consists of setting up the dishwasher to run the purge mode, running the purge mode and then cleaning up the purged detergent.

Follow these steps carefully to have a successful purge run.

For Top Control Models:

  1. Make sure Pre-wash, Added Heat and Heated Dry LEDs are off.
  2. Press Heated Dry and Down Arrow buttons together for 3 seconds. All LEDs will illuminate.
  3. Press Added Heat and Up Arrow buttons together for 3 seconds. The Anti-bacteria LED will illuminate
  4. Press Start button one time
  5. Select Normal and make sure Pre-wash, Added Heat and Heated Dry LEDs are off.
  6. Press Start button one more time and dishwasher will run a complete cycle without the main motor running. Cycle is complete when the Clean light illuminates. This should take approximately 60 minutes.
  7. Open door and wipe up excess detergent from the door and tub
  8. Flush remaining detergent off by pouring water on the door and tub where there is detergent residue.
  9. Remove SmartDispenser cap and fill tank with water and then replace cap.
  10. Repeat Steps 1 through 9 one time.
  11. Then, repeat Steps 1 through 6. When the Clean LED illuminates, the system is purged and ready to be refilled with the correct detergent.
Front Mount Controls (same as above except for the changes in the two below steps):

2. Press Heated Dry and Cookware together for 3 seconds. All LEDs illuminate.

3. Press Added Heat and Cookware together for 3 seconds. The Anti-bacterial LED illuminates.

Posted on Sep 16, 2008

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I inadvertently mixed chlorine and enzyme cleansers. The solution turned into mortar! No one at GE knew anything about these directions, nothing on their website, nothing in the manual. If hubby and I can do this, you can too.
Turn off the power to the dishwasher from the house fuse box, naturally.
Unscrew the bottom two door bolts. Lay the door down.
Unscrew the door panel from the door. Carefully lift the panel to get to the white and blue (flat) cables that hold them together. The white cable pulls straight out, with some wiggling and patience. The blue cable has a middle button to "click" downward to, also, pull it straight out. Not that easy but can be done. You can then set the door aside. The other cables easily remove.
Now you can get to the dispenser container. It is held in by the screw top. Lay the panel flat. Unscrew the dispenser top. Then unscrew the dispenser container ring that is on the panel. Hold the dispenser so as not to fall off. The dispenser will remove from the tubing to the pump very easily. Rinse out the dispenser. It takes some hot water and shaking. Reverse steps to put washer together.

Posted on Sep 21, 2008

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  • cougup Jan 31, 2011

    If you have already mixed the two types of detergents, solution #3 is the answer. Try purging a couple of times first though. One important clarification on solution 3 - when removing the dispenser container ring (that the fill cap screws into, on the inside surface of the door), wrap a rag around it and turn it only about 1/8 of a turn counter clockwise. It doesn't really screw in, it sort of locks into the dispenser container. This is not obvious just from looking at it. And rinse the container throughly, making sure to get all the small chunks of gel out.

  • Paul Augustin Nov 27, 2011

    I also had accidentally mixed detergent types. I ran the purge cycle several times and removed the bulk of the mess. Then I oured very hot water into the detergent dispenser and sucked out the remaing solidified detergent with my shop vac fitted with some thick aquarium tubing connected on the end with duct tape. After about ten times I got clear water out. Ire set the breaker on the dishwasher circuit and all is working now. A bit time consuming but it worked and I'd not cost a dime.

  • Mayra Irigoyen
    Mayra Irigoyen Dec 20, 2013

    Once the smart dispenser is clogged no matter how many times you purge it won't help. Why, because it does not drain. That is the problem when the dispenser gets clogged. Detergent, water nor anything else comes out through the small hole on the bottom.


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Same problem accept I have always used the same detergent since new. I think this is going to be an ongoing issue with the smart despencer.
gives a good view of the parts you are working with on page 17.

I started with solution #3 accept I didn't take the tank out and didn't destroy the tank ring assembly that cost $75++ dollars. I took the pump off and pushed the end of a coat hanger into the soap outlet which loosened the geled soap. I placed a catch pan under the outlet, filled the tank with water then blew throught the soap fill hole forcing the soap out into the catch pan. After running about 10 glasses of water through the bottle I believe I got all the old soap out. Good luck!

Posted on May 28, 2010

I found this on the GE site:
Dishwasher - SmartDispenseTM Detergent and Poor Washability

Mixing an enzyme-based detergent with a chlorine-based detergent causes a jell-like coating on the detergent dispenser tank sensor. This coating prevents the Low Detergent LED light from coming on. You will get poor washability, since there is no visual indication that the detergent tank is empty and that you need to refill the tank.

Currently, the only enzyme-based detergent on the market is Cascade Complete. If you want to switch from Cascade Complete to a chlorine-based detergent (or the other way around), the following routine should be used:

Once the Low Detergent LED light comes on, run an additional 3 wash cycles to empty the SmartDispenseTM detergent tank. (The light will come on when there are 3 loads of detergent left. Running these three additional cycles will clear the tank of any remaining detergent).

Then use the standard manual detergent cup for the next 10 wash cycles to make certain no residue is left in the SmartDispenseTM detergent tank. After the ten cycles in the manual cup, you can fill the SmartDispense tank with your new choice of detergent. At this time you can stop use of the manual cup.

Note: These steps must be taken when you want to switch detergent TYPE (enzyme vs chlorine). You do not need to follow these steps if you are just switching BRAND of detergent (Electrosol to Sunlight).

To avoid this process, we recommend choosing one type of detergent and "sticking with it."

Posted on May 17, 2008

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I had the problem the light not coming on. i thought it was clogged but i stuck a mechanic mirror and looked in the dispenser and no detergent. so i unplugged the dishwasher and waited 30 sec then pluggedd back in the light came on finally. it fixed my problem.

Posted on Jan 09, 2010

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I just had this same exact problem. Solution #3 is the best solution. I couldn't believe how many chunks of gel came out of the container. To flush it out with water would have taken forever...and I would have still had chunks of gunk it in.

Posted on Jun 19, 2009

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I filled my SmartDispense halfway full and ran my first load. When I started my second load, the Low Detergent light came on and I found the dispenser empty. Why did this happen?

Posted on Aug 05, 2010

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: Put wrong soap in the SmatDispense container...

If you run it as is you will have a kitchen full of soapy water.
Take a pot or pan. Fill it with COLD water. Our it into the DW. Fillit to the regular water level, about 1 inch below the bottom rim.
Set the DW to a pump out setting and drain it.
You will have to repeat this several times to clear the soap out.
COLD water pump out. Cold water pump out etc.
Do not use HOT water. You will get instant suds and lots of them.

Posted on Mar 27, 2009

SOURCE: I have a GE Profile SmartDispense PDWT4800PSS

If your dishes or glassware appear with a white residue or spotted following a complete wash cycle, adjusting the amount or type of detergent you?re using and adjusting your hot water heater?s water temperature may solve the problem. But before you do either of these, put a rinse additive (such as Jet-Dry) in the rinse dispenser to improve the sheeting action of the water.

Next, you?ll have to determine whether the film is removable or permanently etched. To do this, soak a glass in undiluted white vinegar for about 15 minutes. Or, wash the glass with warm water and concentrated dishwasher detergent or a high-phosphate detergent (such as Glass Magic).

If the film comes off, it is probably caused by hard water minerals, improper amounts of detergent, or unsuitable water temperature.

Permanent etching is often caused by a combination of soft water and excessive heat or detergent. If glassware is permanently etched, there isn?t anything you can do to make it clear again. But you can avoid future etching by taking these steps:

1) Be sure hot water entering the dishwasher is no hotter than 140 degrees F. Don?t use extra-hot settings such as ?Power Scrub,? and use the ?Energy Saver? dry cycle.

2) Adjust the detergent amount.

3) Don?t pre-rinse your dishes before loading them in the dishwasher. Food particles on the dishes actually help the detergent and drying agents clean better.

A common cause of poor washing results is improper loading?dishes that block or impede the spray arm(s) or prevent the soap dispenser from opening. On the other hand, if your dishwasher has chronic problems with good washing, the problem may not be your dishwasher. A good first step is vary the amount of dishwasher detergent you're using and try switching brands.

Other possibilities: Your home?s water pressure may be too low, your water may be too hard, or the water temperature may not be hot enough.

In order for your dishwasher to fill to the appropriate level, water pressure should be from 20?120 pounds per square inch. If you suspect that your water pressure may be low, turn off all faucets or other users of water (such as washing machines and sprinklers) and then put a half-gallon jug under the kitchen faucet. Turn on the hot water full-blast. If the jug doesn?t fill within 14 seconds, your water pressure may be too low for proper dishwasher operation. Call your city water utility to discuss your options, or avoid drawing water elsewhere in the house or yard during dishwasher cycles.

The right amount of detergent to use depends on how large your load of dishes is and how hard your water is. Hardness is measured in grains of minerals?the more grains per gallon you have, the more detergent you?ll need. If your water has 12 grains or more of hardness, fill both dishwasher soap cups completely with detergent. If that doesn?t work, consider installing a water softener. (For more information, see the article Water Softener Systems.

To check water temperature, hold a meat thermometer under the hot water faucet for two minutes; if it doesn?t register a minimum of 140 degrees F., turn up the temperature dial on your hot water heater. (However, if you have a newer dishwasher that heats the water internally, it isn?t necessary to turn up your hot water heater.)

If your dishwasher has worked fine in the past but suddenly your dishes aren?t clean after the dishwasher completes all cycles, listen to the spray arm(s) spinning inside during the wash cycle. If spinning poorly, wait for the machine to cool down, remove the spray arm(s) by unscrewing the hubcap(s), lifting the arm(s) off, and then cleaning out the spray holes in the spray arm(s) with a stiff piece of wire.

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Posted on Sep 04, 2010

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Posted on Oct 29, 2010

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