My Frigidaire Dishwasher Does Not Cycle

You can stand near your Frigidaire dishwasher after you begin the cycle and listen through the door as it goes from phase to phase. These sounds may even become familiar to you over time. If you notice a sudden change in the way the dishwasher progresses through the selected cycle, your dishes may not come out clean. After opening the door, if your dishes are wet but still dirty, there may be a simple explanation for why the dishwasher did not properly cycle, and you may be able to easily correct the problem on your own.

Man checking water heater
credit: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images
Carefully increasing the water heater's temperature can reduce Frigidaire dishwasher cycle delays.

Automatic and Manual Delays

Many dishwasher detergents are powder-based and need the heat and water to properly dissolve into an effective cleaning solution. Frigidaire dishwashers will automatically delay the cycle if the water is too cold. You will probably notice this automatic delay if you selected the "Hi-Temp" or a similar wash cycle.

In some models, you can "manually" program an automatic delay to start the dishwasher up to 24 hours later. You may need to cancel this "Delay" if you need to run the cycle sooner.

Detergent and Rinse Aid Dispensers

You might assume the dishwasher did not cycle very effectively if you see food on your dishes -- and the "Clean" light is on, but there may be other reasons for the not-so-clean dishes. Generic and low-quality detergent might not mix too well in the hot water at the bottom of the Frigidaire dishwasher's tub. Old and stale detergent can lose its stain-fighting and food-dissolving properties. Consider using rinse aid, which is a liquid that helps reduce spotting on glassware. Another explanation is that a large plate or bowl blocked the spray arm from shooting water at the dispensers to flush the products out into the bottom of the tub. Try rearranging your dishes. After making these adjustments, restart the cycle from the beginning to ensure a thorough cleaning.

Drainage Problems

The Frigidaire dishwasher might automatically stop the cycle in its tracks if there is a drainage problem detected by the overfill protector. The drainage hose leads to the sink-based garbage disposal in most kitchens, and you can check to make sure that food isn't clogging the drain and disposal chamber. This hose can also form a kink or bend due to the force of gravity, but you can reposition it so that the drained water can flow more easily when it is pumped from the dishwasher.

After troubleshooting water drainage and backup issues, you may want to restart the full cycle, but the messy pool of water would still be at the bottom of the tub. Most Frigidaire dishwashers have a function that cancels the existing cycle via the "Start/Cancel" button and then automatically initiates the drain pump. Consult the owner's manual for instructions specific to your machine's model number

"Smart Soil Sensor"

The "Normal" cycle is anything but that in many Frigidaire dishwasher models that include the "Smart Soil Sensor." This feature probes your dirty dishes for soil levels. Intuitively, the appliance makes determinations on how much water to fill in the tub so that you get the best cleaning results. The addition of more water means that the cycle times may vary to the point where washing and rinsing phases are longer, making it seem like the dishwasher is not cycling. Refer to your owner's manual to find out if you can disable the "Smart Soil Sensor."