Dishwasher Door Won’t Close? How to Fix It

Fred's Appliance
May 4, 2022
Dishwasher Repair

If your dishwasher door does not close, there are several components that could be causing the issue. First, you need to check that it is not a simple reason, such as the door hitting the kitchen cabinet. Next, you need to inspect the door latch, door strike, and door handle. If one of these components is not defective, the door hinges, cables, pulleys, springs, or tension cords that help the door to open and close will need to be checked.

Unfortunately, providing clear instructions for diagnosing and fixing a dishwasher door that will not close is made more difficult due to the variety of door locking mechanisms that vary from dishwasher to dishwasher, including how to access them. However, the principles remain the same; if the door will not close, it is most likely because of the door latch or one of the components that make up the door latch assembly.

Here’s what to check first to fix a dishwasher door that won’t close. Make sure to disconnect the power before accessing internal dishwasher components.

1. Is the door hitting something that stops it from closing?

You have probably already checked, but if not, make sure the door is able to close without hitting the kitchen cabinet or a dish rack that is not properly secured inside the dishwasher. The dishwasher door gasket should also be checked to make sure it is not stopping the door from closing. Once you are sure that the dishwasher is not being impeded from closing, move on to the next step.

2. Check the door latch

Most dishwashers have a door latch that works with the door strike to keep the door closed. Depending on the type of dishwasher, the door latch may be separated or be a part of a single component that includes the door latch, door strike, and door switches.

If the door latch is causing the door closing issue, you should be able to notice that the door is not latching. If the door strike is not damaged, the door latch is most likely causing the issue.

With most dishwashers, the door latch is located inside the control panel on the dishwasher door. Depending on the type of dishwasher, you may need to remove the outer door panel, or you may be able to simply remove the control panel screws to remove the control panel cover.

Once you have removed the control panel cover, you should be able to see the door latch assembly and check that it is working properly. If the door latch is damaged, it should be replaced to ensure the door can close correctly.

If the door latch does not have a mechanical issue, it may have an electrical one. A lot of dishwashers have a door switch that is part of the door latch assembly. If working properly, when the door latch is activated, the door switch sends voltage to the water inlet valve solenoid to activate and fill the dishwasher with water.

The door latch will need to be removed from the dishwasher and tested with a multimeter for continuity to determine if the door latch and door switch are working correctly. If the door latch does not have continuity (a continuous electrical path), it will need to be replaced.

Typically, installing a new door latch is relatively easy, as you only need to unscrew the old door latch and disconnect its wire connector, then screw in the new one and plug in its wire connector.

3. Check the door strike

Dishwasher door strikes come in a variety of styles, usually with a loop on one end that holds the door latch to keep the door closed.

The dishwasher door strike needs to be secure and not bent so that it can make contact with the door latch. If the door strike has worn out over time or become bent, it will most likely need to be replaced so that the dishwasher door can close properly.

The strike usually pokes out from the middle of the dishwasher top panel. Depending on how your dishwasher is installed, you may need to pull the dishwasher out from under the kitchen cabinet to access it.

If the door strike is loose or not aligned to connect with the door latch, it is usually best to replace the door strike to ensure you do not have any more door strike issues in the future.

4. Check the door handle

Depending on the type of dishwasher, if the door handle is broken, it may stop the door from opening or closing. Some dishwashers will have handles that are connected to the dishwasher door latch assembly, while other dishwashers may not.

The door handle can first be inspected for damage or whether or not it is working correctly. Further troubleshooting will likely require the removal of the control panel cover to inspect the door handle mechanism.

If the door handle is broken or defective, it should be replaced.

5. Check the door hinges, springs, and pulleys

Depending on the type of dishwasher, there may be hinges, springs, and/or a pulley system that allows the door to open and close smoothly.

The door hinges can usually be checked by locating them at the lower corners of each side of the dishwasher door. If a hinge appears loose or bent, it may need to be replaced or bent back into shape to ensure the door can properly close.

Accessing the pulleys or springs that help the dishwasher door open and close will usually require moving the dishwasher out from under the kitchen cabinet to access and remove the panels on the side of the dishwasher. Once you remove the side panels, you should see the pulley or spring system that your dishwasher uses.

If you discover that a component is damaged, worn out, or loose, you will likely need to replace it to fix the door closing issue.

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