GE Dishwasher FTD Code- Meaning, Causes, & How to Fix

Dishwashing used to be one of the most annoying tasks ever. Fortunately, we now have appliances like the GE dishwasher to make life easier.

But, sometimes, your dishwasher could develop faults, causing some error codes to appear on your display screen.

GE Dishwasher FTD Code Causes

One such error code is the GE dishwasher FTD code.

Many questions and confusion surround this code, its meaning, its causes, and how to fix it. This article explains all these in detail.

What Does The GE Dishwasher FTD Code Mean?

The GE dishwasher FTD code stands for “Failure to Drain.” This means your dishwasher cannot carry out one of its core functions: drainage of wastewater.

So, if you’re trying to use your washer and it keeps showing you that code, there’s no need to panic. Instead, the washer merely warns you of a fault that can be solved with an easy fix.

Another sign that your washer is experiencing a draining system is when you open your appliance and see a stinky and stale water puddle inside.

Draining issues don’t happen overnight. Instead, they’re usually caused by an accumulation of several problems that might’ve occurred during previous wash cycles.

An example of these issues is a clog in your dishwasher. Besides this, many other causes of a GE dishwasher FTD code exist.

Causes Of A GE Dishwasher FTD Code

Sump Blockage

A dishwasher sump is a part that allows for free water flow in the drain pump. Therefore, it’s only natural that a GE dishwasher FTD code appears when this sump is blocked.

However, this sump doesn’t get blocked on its own. Instead, there are several objects behind this issue.

For example, dumping dishes with large pieces of food remnants can cause a blocked sump. These large food pieces keep piling up in the sump, blocking the path through which water is meant to flow.

Faulty Drain Pump Impeller

Every appliance that requires water use has an impeller of some sort. An impeller is a device that determines the amount of water an appliance produces or drains by applying a certain amount of pressure.

Many appliances have just one impeller. However, a GE dishwasher has two impellers: the wash and drain.

The wash impeller is inside your dishwasher, while the drain impeller is at the bottom.

This is the part in your washer’s draining system, as it’s attached to the main pump. When this develops difficulties like a food clog, it causes a GE dishwasher FTD code.

Faulty Drain Pump

Another dishwasher part that features in its draining system is the drain pump. The drain pump’s main purpose is to drain the water the washer has used to wash dirty dishes.

Therefore, this part is only built to take liquid, not solid particles. Of course, it’s almost impossible for your washer not to encounter some solid particles in the drain pump.

However, there’s only so much your drain pump can take. When your washer encounters leftover food particles and built-up grease, it can cause a faulty drain pump.

This results in a major blockage in your washer’s draining system, preventing water from being drained after a washing cycle.

Besides food particles, your washer might also come across some other foreign objects, like broken glass, which can easily slip into the drain pump and cause it to stop working.

Clogged Chopper Blade

Since the dishwasher makes work easier, it’s easy to abuse it. Usually, the safest way to use dishwashers is to clear any food remnants from the dishes thoroughly.

But with time, you could become so dependent on the washer that you barely clear the plates as much as you should. This is because the washer has done a great job removing those remnants for you in the past.

But what happens when the chopper blade is clogged? It’s simply saying it has had enough.

Even though the chopper blade is designed for breaking down foreign items found on your plates during wash cycles, you still need to take care.

Too much debris can build up around the chopper screen, causing a GE dishwasher FTD code.

Blocked Drain Hose or Sink

The drain hose is vital for any dishwasher that carries dirty water away from the appliance.

It usually shares the same drain line as the kitchen sink and helps to prevent the washer from developing a water puddle of wastewater.

It is very rare for a blocked drain hose to cause a GE dishwasher FTD code. However, this could happen if you don’t clean it regularly.

The Wrong Type of Detergent

It’s natural to think you can use ordinary dishes or hand soaps for your dishwasher.

However, these soaps are structured to create lots of foam which could block your dishwasher’s draining system. In extreme cases, the water could flood your dishwasher and overflow to the floor.

GE Dishwasher FTD Code Solutions

How To Fix A GE Dishwasher FTD Code?

The first step to fixing a GE dishwasher FTD code is to know its particular cause. Once you’ve discovered this, it becomes easier to understand which of these methods to apply.

Replace The Drain Pump Impeller

Replacing your drain pump requires utmost care and attention, as it’s the only solution to a drain pump impeller.

First, you’ll need to remove the racks inside your dishwasher. These racks come with spray arms that will come right off once you remove the racks.

Next, remove the screws holding the pump cover, which will lead you to the backwash arm and filter, which you’ll also need to remove.

This is the best point to clean your filter, as it becomes easy to access all its corners and remove any dirt capable of clogging it later.

Finally, remove the screws on the washer’s discharge cover. There, you’ll find the impeller below it. Replace the impeller and ensure you fix all the removed parts the way you met them before.

Check for Sump Blockage

The sump and filter are located close to each other in the dishwasher. Therefore, both devices are susceptible to blockage if you don’t clean or check them.

Foreign objects will always get into your dishwasher, no matter how careful you are. It’s now up to you to ensure that these objects don’t accumulate, causing major issues in the long run.

Inspect The Drain Hose or Pump

Your drain hose and pump require regular inspections, as they can get blocked or kinked over time. Use a plier to detach the hose from under your sink during inspections.

You can also fix your drain hose by putting the end of it into a large bucket and running water through it at high speed. This causes the objects blocking the hose to flush through the hose and into the bucket. 

On the other hand, fixing the drain pump requires using a multimeter to test for continuity. If it lacks continuity, you’ll need to replace it.

Use Your Unit-Appropriate Detergent

Most GE dishwashers have specific detergents appropriate for each unit. You can find these specifications in your manual. However, a wonderful alternative is using detergents designed especially for dishwashers.


When a GE Dishwasher FTD Code appears on your dishwasher, it means the dishwasher is experiencing draining problems.

These problems are caused by various factors like a blocked chopper blade, a faulty drain pump, the wrong detergent, etc.

Understanding these factors will help you identify the problem and guide you better on how to fix the GE Dishwasher FTD Code. Once you’ve achieved this, you’re off to a new and improved GE dishwasher.

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I am a professional appliance repair expert and write articles that help average users diagnose and troubleshoot their kitchen gadgets, like microwaves, dishwashers, etc. I’m a foodie by heart and love reviewing food recipes, ingredients, and the cookware products used in them for meal preparation.