It can be quite shocking when you see your dishwasher door suddenly fall as you try to open it. However, the shock is the least of your worries.
A dishwasher door that slams open unexpectedly can also damage other components inside your appliance. This will lead to more troubles and costly repairs.
So what causes this problem and how can you fix it? Let’s jump right into it.
Why does your dishwasher door fall open?
A dishwasher door falls open if the door spring is broken or disconnected from its bracket. A torn rope or a faulty pulley could also be the issue.
To solve this issue, uninstall your dishwasher from the cubby and remove the lower panel. Inspect the door spring and balancing assembly and replace them if damaged.
If you need a step-by-step guide on how to perform these repairs, keep on reading below!
Important Note: Always unplug your dishwasher first before making any repairs to avoid injury by electrocution. Press the start or power button and make sure the panel no longer lights up.
What is a door spring and balancing assembly?
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.
While some models only utilize a long door spring to hold the dishwasher door, others have a replaceable balancing assembly that includes a pulley and a rope with a door hinge connector.
Below is a picture of a door spring attached to a balancing assembly. Most models install both parts on each side of the dishwasher, located close to the bottom edge of the side panels.
When these parts are damaged, it will place additional stress on other components of your dishwasher such as the hinges and other parts attached to the door.
Also, if your dishwasher door keeps on falling, it could also damage the entire door and break it apart from the main body, adding more expense on your part.
How To Check And Fix Your Dishwasher Door Springs
Repairing your dishwasher’s door spring and balancing assembly is relatively easy. However, for those who are not very experienced with repairs, this can be quite overwhelming.
So here’s a step-by-step guide on how to perform an inspection as well as a replacement for these parts.
1. Disconnect the dishwasher from the power and water supply.
When performing any repairs on your dishwasher, it’s a general rule of thumb to disconnect it from the main power supply. This prevents you from getting electrocuted while troubleshooting.
Since water is a good conductor of electricity, it is also advised to turn off your water supply before repairing your dishwasher. This is also done to avoid soaking the area with water.
To properly unplug and turn off the water supply, follow these steps.
- Step 1: Unplug your dishwasher from the socket. If your dishwasher is hardwired to the electricity, turn off its switch from the main circuit breaker.
- Step 2: Press the power or start button until your dishwasher no longer lights up. This helps remove any residual power in your appliance.
- Step 3: Locate your dishwasher’s water supply valve. It may be located under the kitchen sink, near the water heater, or somewhere around your basement or crawl space.
- Step 4: Turn the knob or the lever clockwise and make sure that it is completely closed off.
2. Remove the front access panel of your dishwasher.
The front access panel protects the junction box where the electrical wires are housed. It also covers the water inlet valve and the supply hose.
Since both electrical wires and the supply hose need to be disconnected later on, remove the front access panel by following the steps below.
- Step 1: Prepare a ¼-inch nut driver to remove the lower kick panel.
- Step 2: Use the nut driver and unthread the screw. Set them aside for safekeeping.
- Step 3: Check along the edges and both sides of the bottom panel since some dishwashers have more screws that secure the panel in place.
- Step 4: Slowly pull the panel away from your dishwasher.
3. Uninstall your dishwasher from the cabinetry.
Since the door springs and balancing assembly are located on the side of your dishwasher, you’ll also need to pull them out from their cubby. Simply follow the steps below.
- Step 1: Disconnect the wires inside the dishwasher’s junction box if your dishwasher is hard-wired to your electricity.
This is one of the reasons why you need to turn the switch off in your circuit breaker – so you can avoid electrocution when you get to this step.
- Step 2: Loosen the nut securing the wires and feed the wires to the opening of the junction box. Make sure to remember how your wires are connected to help you reinstall it correctly later.
- Step 3: Disconnect the water supply line in your dishwasher. You can detach the water inlet hose from the inlet valve located underneath your machine, or disconnect it from the water pipes.
- Step 4: Disconnect the drain hose’s connection from the sink drain or the garbage disposal.
- Step 5: Feed the drain hose to the opening of your cabinetry as much as you can.
- Step 6: Unthread the screws in the brackets that are securing your dishwasher to the cabinetry.
- Step 7: Adjust the leveling legs if you need more room to pull your dishwasher out of the cubby. Use a screwdriver to turn the leveling legs clockwise to lower them.
- Step 8: Gently pull the dishwasher out of the cabinetry. Make sure that you have enough room to access the entire side panel of your dishwasher.
4. Inspect the door spring and balancing assembly and replace them if needed.
Once you have enough room to work, you can now start the inspection of your door springs and balancing assembly.
Follow these steps to perform an inspection and replacement of any damaged parts.
- Step 1: Locate the door springs for your dishwasher model. It is commonly located on either side of your dishwasher, close to the bottom, and towards the front of the unit.
- Step 2: Check if the rope is detached from the door hinge, the pulley is broken, or if the door spring is overstretched or no longer has any tension.
- Step 3: If the balance link connector has simply come off from the door hinge, just reattach it back securely.
- Step 4: Replace the entire balancing assembly if the rope is broken or if the pulley is malfunctioning. Make sure to buy the right balancing kit for your dishwasher model or it might not fit correctly.
- Step 5: To install a new balancing kit, disconnect the door spring from the bracket and bind the rope to one end.
Hook the link connector to the door hinge and run the rope in an S position to the pulley. Lastly, hook the other end of the door spring to the door spring bracket.
- Step 6: Install a new door spring if the old one no longer expands and contracts correctly. Hook the door spring securely onto the bracket.
- Step 7: Repair or replace the door spring bracket if there are visible signs of breaking or bending.
- Step 8: Test the dishwasher door and check if it holds on its own when opened. If the dishwasher door doesn’t open correctly, check the other side or redo the steps above.
If you install a new door spring or balancing kit, it’s best to do it on both sides of your dishwasher even when the other side is undamaged.
This will prevent your dishwasher door from opening and closing unevenly and avoid placing all the stress of the door’s weight on the newly-installed balancing kit.
5. Reinstall all the other parts and put your dishwasher back in place.
Once you’ve reinstalled the new springs correctly, it’s time to put everything back together again.
- Step 1: Push the dishwasher back gently into the cubby. Make sure not to damage the drain hose and the leveling legs while pushing the dishwasher back.
- Step 2: Feed the drain hose into the cabinetry. Reconnect the drain hose into the air gap or create a high enough loop before connecting the hose to the sink drain or garbage disposal.
- Step 3: Reinstall the wires inside the junction box. Verify that you are reconnecting the right wires together.
- Step 4: Tighten the nut to secure the wires in place. Reinstall the junction box cover.
- Step 5: Reconnect the water supply hose to the water inlet valve. Make sure to tighten the connection to avoid leaks.
- Step 6: Screw the lower access panel back in place. Try opening the door to check if the panel bumps against the dishwasher door when it closes and opens.
- Step 7: Turn on the water supply tap.
- Step 8: Plug your dishwasher or turn its switch on from the circuit breaker.
Take note that your dishwasher may still run even when the door springs or balancing assembly are already damaged. As long as the door remains shut during the cycle, the dishwasher will continue to run the cycle normally.
However, don’t delay performing the troubleshooting steps above once you see or hear your dishwasher door fall open.
If some of these steps are too difficult for you, call your dishwasher’s Support Center or hire a professional for help.