Before you can use your new KitchenAid dishwasher, you must install the door springs and set the correct tension. The door springs help support the weight of the door so the hinges do not have to bear it all. This makes it easier to open and close the door and keeps the gasket around the dishwasher opening intact. If the springs fail, the heavy door may sag and distort the shape of the gasket, breaking the seal and allowing water to spill out into your kitchen.
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Things you need
- 5/16-inch nut driver or hex wrench
Cut off the power to the dishwasher. For a built-in dishwasher, you'll probably have to go to the home's circuit breaker panel and turn off the switch for the kitchen. Most built-in dishwashers are connected directly to the home's electrical wiring rather than plugged into a wall outlet. For a stand-alone dishwasher, simply unplug the unit from the wall.
Open the dishwasher door all the way so you can access the spring assembly. Have someone hold the dishwasher steady if it has not yet been installed into a cabinet. The door of a KitchenAid dishwasher is heavy and will tip the unit over if you do not counterbalance it.
Loosen the tensioner screw on one side of the dishwasher opening with a 5/16-inch nut driver or a hex wrench. The front leg of the dishwasher has three holes laid out in a row. These holes allow you to choose the level of tension in the springs. Start by placing the screw in the middle hole. You will be testing the tension and adjusting it in a later step if this position is not correct. Use your nut driver or hex wrench to tighten the screw and lock the tensioner in place. Repeat this process for the tensioner on the other side, keeping both screws in the same hole so the tension on the dishwasher door is even.
Insert the end of one spring into the cable assembly that connects to the tensioner. Insert the other end into the hole in the dishwasher's rear leg. Repeat this process with the spring on the other side of the door.
Open and close the door several times to test its movement, again having your assistant hold the dishwasher steady if necessary. The springs should be tight enough to support the weight of the door, but loose enough that the door will stay open and not bounce back up. Remove the springs and repeat steps 3 and 4 to try again with the tensioner screw in a different location.
Plug the dishwasher back in or turn on the switch at the home's circuit breaker panel.
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