How to Replace a Whirlpool Dishwasher Door Latch Actuator

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If a dishwasher door won’t open, it’s almost certainly due to a broken door latch actuator. This is the part that lifts the locking tabs and allows the door to swing down. For Whirlpool machines, order replacement part#WP8524471 and follow these steps:

1. Unplug the dishwasher or flip the circuit breaker.

While this part is not directly electrical, you will have to move wires during the course of the part replacement. Disconnecting the power source is the first step to any safe appliance repair job, especially if you will be accessing any electrical components.

2. Remove the control panel assembly.

First, open the door so it’s ajar and you can access the interior screws. Remove the screws connecting the control panel to the interior of the dishwasher door.  Then flip open the control panel on the exterior of the door (without pulling it away from the machine). Remove the interior cover panel by prying open the tabs with a flathead screwdriver. Set the cover panel aside.

3. Disassemble the door latch.

The door latch assembly is in the center of the uncovered area. Pry the assembly out by prying back the tabs. Then unscrew the door latch switches so you can free the connected wires. This will disconnect the door latch and actuator from the whole assembly.

4. Remove the door latch actuator.

Pry open the tabs holding the handle from the latches with a flathead screwdriver. The interior handle can be broken with too much force, so carefully pry the handle and actuator free. There are three parts: the assembly, the door latch, and the small actuator in the middle, and so you need to separate all three parts.

5. Replace the door latch actuator.

Snap the actuator into place in the door latch bracket. You should hear it click into place, and it should also be able to move up and down without friction. Then reattach the door latch over the actuator by locking the tabs into place.

6. Reassemble the door.

Snap the wired door latch switches back into position and retighten the screws to secure them in place. Then place the door latch assembly back into the uncovered access box. Snape the cover panel back over the box. Next, Slide the whole panel back into place and retighten the screws in the interior of the door.

The more you learn about dishwasher parts and replacement procedures, the easier you can disassemble and repair any make and model. Go to Fred’s Appliance Service for more repairs and procedures.