There’s a chance that one day you’ll go to open your dishwasher and the door slams to the floor, completely at the mercy of gravity. Your dishwasher door obviously isn’t supposed to do this, so if you see this happening you should be rightfully concerned.
The cause of this issue is most likely a broken or disconnected door spring or rope. The door spring gives the door some resistance when it’s opened, so you can let go of it without having it immediately crash to the floor.
In this article, we’ll go into further detail about what dishwasher door springs do and why it’s important for your dishwasher to have them, and we’ll also give you a step-by-step guide on how you can fix your dishwasher door springs by yourself.
What’s the Big Deal About Bad Dishwasher Door Springs?
As we’ve mentioned, the door springs in your dishwasher exist to control the speed and force at which the dishwasher door falls open. In most dishwashers, there are usually two of these springs, which are located in the lower corners near the front of the machine.
It’s important to make sure that you always have two functioning door springs installed; if only one spring is in place, then there’s obviously a lot more tension being put on it when the dishwasher door is opened, which can potentially make the remaining spring wear out more quickly.
If both of your dishwasher door springs fail, you’ll be forced to replace two springs instead of just one, which is not only more time-consuming but will also be more expensive.
You may be wondering why it’s such a big deal if your door keeps slamming open. When this happens, it puts undue stress on other components of the dishwasher, since they aren’t intended to deal with that kind of force. If you keep doing this, you’ll inevitably break other parts of your dishwasher aside from just the door springs, which will of course lead to even more expensive repairs.
Now that you know why it’s important to have the right number of working door springs in your dishwasher, let’s go over how to check your door springs and replace them if you need to.
How to Inspect and Fix Your Dishwasher Door Springs
In this step-by-step guide, we’ll show you everything you need to do to correctly change your dishwasher door springs. This process isn’t too complicated, and should only take you about half an hour if all goes smoothly.
1. Disconnect the Dishwasher from Electricity and Water
It’s always a good idea to disconnect your dishwasher from the main power supply before replacing the door springs. When working on any kind of electrical appliance, safety always comes first.
You may have to briefly interact with some of your dishwasher’s electrical components during this repair, so disconnecting the dishwasher from its power supply will eliminate any risk of injury involved in this.
To disconnect your dishwasher from its power supply, find the circuit breaker in your breaker box that connects to the dishwasher and switch it off. Before doing anything else, you may want to check that your dishwasher is powered off by making sure the control panel is unresponsive .
To turn off your dishwasher’s water supply, find the connected water supply valve in your home (it may be located under the kitchen sink or in the basement) and close the valve all the way.
2. Remove the Front Access Panel
Once you’re sure that the power and water supplies to your dishwasher have been turned off, you can now begin the repair itself. Start by removing the access panel at the bottom front of the dishwasher.
To do this, the only tool required is a 1/4-inch nut driver, which you’ll need to remove the screws keeping the access panel in place. Once you’ve removed the screws, you can remove the access panel by pulling it away from the dishwasher.
3. Pull Out the Dishwasher
Since the door springs are located on the sides of the dishwasher, you’ll have to pull the dishwasher out from the cubby it’s in to be able to access them. However, before you do that you may have to disconnect the wires leading to the junction box.
Because dishwashers are usually hard-wired to your home’s electricity, you can’t actually unplug them from your wall (which is why flipping the circuit breaker is the only way to actually disconnect your dishwasher from its power supply). Dishwashers are connected to a home power supply via wires that hook up to the dishwasher’s junction box.
If these wires don’t have enough slack, however, you’ll have to disconnect them from the junction box before pulling the dishwasher out from its cubby. This is why it’s important to ensure that your dishwasher is not receiving power; otherwise, you risk electrocuting yourself with this step.
Odds are, your dishwasher also has a couple of brackets to keep it in place inside its cubby; these will also have to be removed. The brackets will likely be held in place by screws, so just remove these screws and you should be able to move the dishwasher out of its cubby.
4. Check/Remove the Springs and Replace Them If Necessary
At this point, you should now have your dishwasher in a position where you can inspect the door springs. As we’ve said, the door springs are located on either side of the dishwasher, close to the bottom and towards the front of the unit.
Examine the springs and see what the damage is.
- If you’re lucky, it may only be that one of the springs has become detached from either the door hinge or the door spring bracket, in which case you can fix the issue by simply reattaching the spring to the bracket.
- If the spring has broken or has become too stretched out and no longer has any tension, you’ll have to replace the spring.
It’s important to note that not all dishwasher door springs are universal, so you need to make sure that any replacement springs you use are actually compatible with the make and model of the dishwasher you have.
It’s also possible that the brackets that the springs attach to have broken instead of the springs themselves. If that’s the case, you’ll have to have the brackets replaced instead.
- To install the new springs, first attach one end to the dishwasher door hinge, then use a pair of pliers to pull the other end of the spring onto the bracket.
5. Reinstall the Dishwasher
Once you’ve reinstalled the new springs correctly, it’s time to put everything back together again.
- Start by pushing the dishwasher back into its original position, then reconnect the power wires to the junction box and reinstall the junction box cover.
- Next, reinstall the brackets that hold the dishwasher in place, making sure the screws are fully tightened.
- Then, reinstall the cover panel, also making sure that it is fully screwed in.
- Finally, now that the dishwasher has been fully reassembled, you can now restore power and water to the dishwasher.
- Flip the dishwasher’s circuit breaker back on, and open the water supply valve.
- If you’ve done everything right, your dishwasher door should now open normally!