Dishwasher Door Won’t Close? – Easy Fix 2021

Reasons, why a dishwasher door won’t close, are quite easy to identify. You can check your dishwasher door and its related components to locate the cause. However, you can easily find all the possible causes and their solutions from this guide. It might not be a major issue most of the time, and you can solve it by following the steps indicated here. Ensure to unplug the dishwasher from power before attempting any troubleshooting to ensure your safety and avoid possible electrical hazards.

Components Responsible for Dishwasher Door Won’t Close

Here are the possible faulty components that need to be checked and diagnosed for defects. If you cannot fix the issues yourself, get your technician to repair or replacements.

Misaligned Tub

A dishwasher should be on a leveled surface to function correctly. This should be taken care of during the installation, and it should not tilt towards any side. Dishwashers with plastic tubs are more prone to this type of faulty installation. The most common problems associated with misaligned dishwashers are water flow problems and incorrect shutting of the door. Even though the dishwasher is installed correctly, these issues can occur as the dishwasher door gradually shifts and has shutting issues over time.

This is most likely due to the expansion and contraction upon exposure to hot water when washing dishes. You can fix the misaligned tub as indicated here.

  • Disconnect the dishwasher from power and remove it from its location in the kitchen.
  • Clear the floor below it and check that the surface is leveled correctly and not tilted.
  • Confirm this using a level to check that the floor is perfectly flat. Then place the dishwasher back in its original place.
  • However, if the door is shifted, you should adjust the door by tightening the hinge using a screwdriver or wrench.
  • After this, you can place your dishwasher in its original position.

Faulty Door Latch

Faulty Door Latch

The function of the door latch is to ensure that the door is safely shut during the operation. Most dishwashers have an electrical door latch that would automatically lock the door when the cycle has started. It can also detect whether the door is shut correctly and prevent the machine from starting the cycle if not. However, since the door latch is an electrical component, it can get worn out and damaged over time. The latch could also get damaged if the door is closed too hard very often. 

You can fix this problem by replacing the door latch behind the inner door panel where the door contacts the appliance. Depending on the brand and model of your dishwasher, the replacement might be challenging. However, if your dishwasher door won’t close, you can follow these general steps to replace the faulty latch.

  1. Disconnect the dishwasher from power and turn off the water supply. This is necessary to prevent any risk of injury or electrocution and work safely.
  2. Some models have the entire door latch inside the same housing, and you would have to remove the entire control panel due to that. In other models, you would have to open and the access panel before getting to the door latch.
  3. Refer to the user manual to identify how to access the door latch on your dishwasher model.
  4. Then unscrew the latch and remove its electrical connector.
  5. Install the new latch, fix it and reconnect the electrical connector. 
  6. Reverse the order of disassembly to reassemble the dishwasher by replacing the access panels or the control panel removed previously.

Strike Plate

Strike Plate

The strike plate is where the latch inserts into and can misalign for various reasons. The latch would not fit correctly into it if the strike plate has become loosened or misaligned. As this is a metal plate, it rarely gets damaged. You can readjust it to the proper position by loosening the screws. However, you should replace it if it has grown rusty. Some models of dishwashers use a plastic strike plate that does not rust. But they can be damaged quite easily and would need to be replaced.

  1. Always start your repairs by disconnecting the power supply to reduce the risk of injury or electrocution.
  2. You can locate the door striker in the center, where the door meets the washer’s body.
  3. Open the door and inspect closely to check whether the door striker plate has any misalignments or other issues such as rusting.
  4. If you need to replace it, remove the screws or bolts that secure it in place on the mounting pins.
  5. After it’s freed, remove it out of the slot that holds it in place.
  6. Slide the new door striker plate back in the same slot and fix it back to the mounting pins using the screws and bolts you previously removed.
  7. Check whether the new striker plate is aligned correctly with the door by closing and opening it a few times. Ensure that the door forms a tight seal all around as it closes firmly.

Racks Don’t Set Properly

Racks Don't Set Properly

The interior of the dishwasher is designed precisely to allow fit as many plates as possible in the small space available. However, if these racks do not fit correctly due to some reason, then it would cause trouble when closing the door. Even if these racks stick out about an inch or so, the dishwasher door won’t close, and the wash cycle won’t start as a safety precaution to avoid damage and injury. You can check and fix this as indicated here.

  1. Disconnect the dishwasher from power or turn off the circuit breaker before you start.
  2. Remove the top and bottom racks and inspect the support rails inside,
  3. Make sure that no obstructions are preventing the racks from setting correctly.
  4. Replace the racks inside by referring to the user manual to make sure that you fix it correctly.
  5. Depending on the model, you can also adjust the height of racks to suit the requirements.
  6. Check whether this has solved your problem and that the door is closing properly.

Door Hinge

Door Hinge

You can identify your dishwasher door hinges are at fault when you see the dishwasher a bit crooked and hear a small squealing noise when you close the door. Over time, the door hinges may break, loosen, or even get rusted. You can confirm whether there is a hinge problem by pushing down the dishwasher door firmly. Sturdy hinges would hinder the motion while old and rusty hinges will allow some wiggle room. These damaged door hinges should be replaced to ensure that the dishwasher shuts properly.

Door Spring

Door Spring

The door springs work with the hinges to allow the smooth operation of the door when opening and closing. So when you check the hinges, make sure to examine the function of the springs near it and whether they are placed correctly on each side.

The dishwasher door won’t close evenly if the spring has come out of place and dislocated. This would also result in the door latch being unable to go into its alcove or contact the relevant sensor. Therefore, a damaged spring would prevent the dishwasher door from closing completely. Also, check the springs for any signs of rusting and whether there are any gaps or deformities in the evenness of the coils. If the springs are damaged in any form, replace them and check whether the problem is fixed.

Door Gasket

Door Gasket

Sometimes, your door gasket might need to be replaced if your dishwasher is getting old. The door gasket is a strip of pliable rubber that runs along the inner edge of the door. Sometimes it is also located along the inner edge of the tub. When this gasket is pressed tight by a door latching, it creates a watertight seal along the dishwasher to prevent any water leaks. If the seal is deformed, it will prevent the door from closing, and hence, the latch would not be fully activated.

When the door gasket is getting damaged or worn out, you will notice a slight water leak when the dishwasher is operating. If the gasket comes loose completely at once, you should replace it as it cannot be refitted correctly and would keep causing issues. This can be replaced easily by removing the interior of the door and slipping the new gasket into place. Then replace the cover, and this would have fixed the issue. This replacement would also make your dishwasher more energy efficient.

Frequently Asked Questions

dishwasher door won't close

How do I test my dishwasher door latch?

Open the door, close the latch and select a cycle and then press the switch. If this test is successful with the door open, then the dishwasher would function and spray out water.

How do you realign a dishwasher door?

  1. Slightly open the door to an angle of 15˚ from the tub.
  2. Lift the door and move it back onto both hinges.
  3. You would hear a loud click when the door fits into place, and you would be able to open and close the door freely.
  4. If the door function is not smooth enough, repeat these steps.

Can a dishwasher door be adjusted?

The dishwasher door can be adjusted by fixing hinges on the door. It would allow you to raise and lower the door as required to avoid damages. If you find that your door is sagging, it might indicate that the hinges are at fault.

Conclusion

You can identify why your dishwasher latch won’t close as indicated in the description. You can troubleshoot it from these basic steps and check it yourself. But if you are inexperienced and have no proper idea about the components, you should get the help of a repair technician to fix it for you. Sometimes, defective doors and latches might be present in certain Worst Dishwasher Brands in the market. So make sure to avoid purchasing them when you shop for new appliances.