How to Replace Your Dishwasher Door Latch

The dishwasher door latch is essential to the functioning of your dishwasher. Without it, your dishwasher may not close and seal, causing leaks, Or if the latch sensor is broken, your dishwasher may falsely believe it is still open when it is closed and refuse to start. Or you may simply have a broken latch that feels loose to the touch and you won’t be comfortable until it’s fixed, even if your dishwasher is behaving normally.

Whatever the reason, it is important to replace your dishwasher door latch assembly any time it breaks. Here’s how to do it: 

Gather Your Supplies

Start by identifying the correct replacement part number and ordering a new door latch assembly that will work with your dishwasher. Then grab your screwdriver, work gloves, and a towel to lay on the floor. The towel is for cushioning, not potential leaks. 

  • Replacement Door Latch Assembly
  • Screwdriver
  • Work Gloves
  • Towel

Disconnect the Power

You are about to replace an electrical component of your dishwasher by opening up the door and control panel. So remember to unplug your dishwasher or through the relevant breaker if the plug is unreachable. This is for your safety and to ensure your dishwasher doesn’t short while you are fixing it. 

Separate the Dishwasher’s Outer & Inner Door Panels

A dishwasher door is made up of an inner panel and an outer panel. The outer panel houses the controls and the door latch. The inner panel forms the front interior surface of the dishwashing chamber and houses the soap dispenser. For this repair, you will be working with the outer panel, but to reach the door latch you will need to separate the two panels and disconnect the wiring that connects them.

  • Open the Dishwasher Door and Support the Outer Door Panel
    • Open your dishwasher all the way. Use your legs or a friend to support the underside, which will soon come loose.
  • Remove the Scews on the Inside Door Panel
    • Remove the border of screws along the inside edge of the dishwasher door. This will release the bottom panel (with the control panel) from the top panel.
  • Pull the Panel Halves Apart
    • Carefully separate the bottom panel from the top panel if they need to be pulled apart.
  • Disconnect the Wire Harness
    • Disconnect the clip holding the wires that connect the outer-panel controls to the inner panel.
  • Set the Outer Panel on the Towel
    • Set the outer panel on your towel to protect it and the floor. The door latch is in the outer panel.

Remove the Old Dishwasher Door Latch

The door latch you are replacing is located in the outer panel which you have just removed. Setting the panel on your towel, you will be able to see the interior function of the door latch and reach the assembly. The door latch has a wire harness which lets the dishwasher know when the door is closed, as well as locking tabs to hold it in place.

  • Disconnect the Door Latch Wire Harness
    • There is another wire harness near the door latch that will need to be disconnected.
  • Release the Locking Tabs
    • Release the two locking tabs that hold the door latch assembly in place by pressing on them firmly.
  • Remove and Throw Away the Door Latch
    • Pull the old door latch assembly out of its slot and throw it away. Or keep it for electronics recycling.

Install the New Dishwasher Door Latch

Make sure you have completely removed the packaging from your new door latch. It will go into the place of the old door latch, exactly as it was before. The locking tabs should latch on automatically.

  • Press the New Door Latch Into Place, Tabs Will Lock
    • Take your new door latch assembly and line it up where the old one was just removed. Press it into place until the two locking tabs click or press the locking tabs over the door latch. Depending on your model.
  • Connect the Door Latch Wire Harness
    • Now connect the new door latch wire harness to the wire clip attached to the outer door panel that you just separated.

Reinstall the Outer Door Panel

Once the new door latch is in place and secure, you will be ready to put your dishwasher door back together. Connecting the two panels of your dishwasher door are as simple as it was putting them back together. You will, however, need the help of a support or a friend to hold the outer panel up to the inner panel during this reassembly.

  •  Lift the Outer Door Panel Into Place and Support
    • Now raise the outer door panel back into place as the underside of the open inner door panel. Support it with your knees or with the help of a friend.
  • Return the Screws Through the Inner Door Panel
    • Return the border of screws to the inner panel, which will secure the outer panel to it. Tighten firmly but do not over-tighten as this can damage your panels.

Test Your Success

Now that everything is back together, you are ready to test the success of your repair. It’s time to run your dishwasher through its paces and see if the new door latch is working satisfactorily.

  • Plug the Dishwasher Back In
    • Now you are ready for the repair success test. Plug the dishwasher back in or flip the breaker on to restore power.
  • Try the Door Latch
    • Open and close your dishwasher several times to make sure the door latch feels secure and natural.
  • Run a Load
    • Finally, run a load empty or with dishes to prove to yourself that the latch and lock are working 100% how they are intended to.

Congratulations, you have just completed a fairly interesting dishwasher repair by replacing your dishwasher door latch assembly. Repairing your dishwasher door latch is a serious achievement and one you can be proud of yourself for tackling. For more home repair guides, search the blog archive for anything you want to know. And if you run into a repair that you’re not confident tackling yourself, contact us today!

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