April 1, 2014

How to replace a dishwasher door spring

By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a dishwasher door spring

The tension spring on the hinge assembly of the dishwasher door controls the door's opening and closing, so the door doesn't drop open or slam shut. If the dishwasher door quickly drops open without any resistance, it's likely that at least one of the springs is broken. Replace both at the same time to ensure that the control tension is the same on both sides of the door. Follow the instructions below for replacing the dishwasher door hinge assembly tension spring using a manufacturer-approved replacement part. Also see our other dishwasher repair guides for more repair help and to find the right parts.

These steps show how to replace the tension spring on Kenmore, Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Maytag, JennAir and Amana dishwashers. You also can use a similar process to replace the tension spring on some GE, Frigidaire, Electrolux, Samsung, Bosch and LG dishwashers.

Quick links
Tools required
1/4-inch nut driver
Screwdriver
Pliers
Work gloves
Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less
Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less

Instructions

  1. 01.

    Shut off electrical power and water supply to the dishwasher

    Flip the house circuit breaker switch to the Off position to completely disconnect electrical power to the dishwasher (some older homes instead have a fuse that you remove from the fuse box). To verify that power is disconnected, make sure the display on the control panel can't be activated.  

    Find the water supply valve for the dishwasher under the sink (or in the basement). Close the valve to shut off the water supply going to the dishwasher.

  2. 02.

    Remove the bottom front access panel and toe panel

    Using a 1/4-inch nut driver, remove the screws that hold the front access panel in place. Pull the access panel and the toe panel forward, remove them and set them aside.

    Remove the bottom front access panel screws.

    Remove the bottom front access panel screws.

  3. 03.

    Pull out the dishwasher

    The junction box is at the front of the dishwasher just behind the bottom front access panel. Remove the cover on the junction box and disconnect the wires.

    Remove the 2 mounting screws from the brackets that secure the dishwasher in the cabinet opening.

    Pull the dishwasher out from under the counter. You should have enough slack in the water supply line and the drain hose to pull the dishwasher in front of the counter opening for the dishwasher.

    Tip: You might have enough slack in the electrical supply wiring to pull out the dishwasher without disconnecting the wires.
    Remove the junction box cover.

    Remove the junction box cover.

    Disconnect the wires.

    Disconnect the wires.

  4. 04.

    Remove the springs

    Check the door spring on the side of the dishwasher. If the spring is intact, note the position of the spring on the front and rear bracket. The new tension spring usually should be in the same position to provide the proper opening/closing tension. 

    Using pliers, release the spring from the rear bracket. Then remove the door spring from the door hinge at the front of the dishwasher.

    Repeat for the spring on the other side of the dishwasher.

    Tip: The spring is under tension. Use caution when releasing the spring so it doesn't snap and hit your hand.
    How the tension spring attaches to the door hinge.

    How the tension spring attaches to the door hinge.

    Release the tension spring from the rear bracket.

    Release the tension spring from the rear bracket.

    Remove the tension spring from the door hinge.

    Remove the tension spring from the door hinge.

  5. 05.

    Attach the new springs

    Attach the new springs on the front door hinges the same way the original springs were installed. 

    Using pliers, carefully position the springs on the brackets at the back of the dishwasher.

  6. 06.

    Reinstall the dishwasher

    Carefully push the dishwasher under the counter. Reconnect the wires in the junction box and reinstall the junction box cover. 

    Insert the screws into the mounting brackets that secure the dishwasher in the counter and tighten the screws.

    Position the toe panel on the dishwasher and then position the access panel in front of the toe panel. Insert the mounting screws and tighten the screws firmly.

    Tip: Refer to the dishwasher's installation manual for additional guidance.
  7. 07.

    Restore the water supply and electrical power

    Open the water supply valve to restore the water supply to the dishwasher. Reset the house circuit breaker to restore electrical power. Test the dishwasher and check for leaks. 

    Tip: Carefully check seals in the dishwasher for water leaks.
Warning: Undertaking repairs to appliances can be hazardous. Use the proper tools and safety equipment noted in the guide and follow all instructions. Do not proceed until you are confident that you understand all of the steps and are capable of completing the repair. Some repairs should only be performed by a qualified technician.

Symptoms common to all dishwashers

Choose a symptom to see related dishwasher repairs.

Main causes: improper loading, low water temperature, improper detergent dosage, detergent dispenser failure, spray arm or pump problems
Main cause: damaged rack height adjuster
Main causes: water supply problem, stuck overfill float, clogged water inlet valve screen, water inlet valve failure
Main causes: not using rinse aid, rinse aid dispenser failure, broken heating element, malfunctioning vent, drying fan failure
Main causes: broken door spring, detergent dispenser failure, cabinet mounting brackets loose or broken
Main causes: light switch beside the sink turned off, lack of power, bad dishwasher door switch, control system failure, wiring problem
Main causes: damaged or stuck spray arm, leaking door seal, damaged door hinge, leaky heating element water seal, cracked water supply line
Main causes: broken door latch, tripped circuit breaker, broken heating element, faulty vent fan, sensor failure, control system problem
Main causes: clogged kitchen sink drain, clogged drain hose, drain check valve damaged, drain pump failure, control system problem

Repair guides common to all dishwashers

These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your dishwasher.

October 1, 2016
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a dishwasher vent and fan assembly

If the control panel goes blank, the fan could be to blame. Replace the vent and fan assembly using these steps.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
April 1, 2014
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a dishwasher door outer panel

If your dishwasher door is dented or you want it to match your cabinets or other appliances, this guide shows how to replace the dishwasher outer door panel.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
April 1, 2014
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a dishwasher control panel

Learn how to replace a dishwasher control panel. Learn which tools and parts you need and get step-by-step instructions.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less

Articles and videos common to all dishwashers

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your dishwasher.

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