How to Fix a Dishwasher Detergent's Dispenser Door

Written by cleveland van cecil
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How to Fix a Dishwasher Detergent's Dispenser Door
A stuck dishwasher drawer may be caused by bad cleaning practices. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Your dishwasher has a detergent dispenser installed on the door of the unit. The dishwasher dispenser is spring loaded and pops open during specified parts of the washing cycle. The spring is released by a timer motor, a bimetal switch or a wax motor. When the door doesn't open, there is something wrong with one of these devices. Dishwasher detergent drawers differ in their components, so use the correct repair method for your dishwashing machine.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Multi-tester

Show MoreHide


    Insulation block

  1. 1

    Unplug the unit.

  2. 2

    Remove the front part of the door from the back part of the door by removing the screws around the perimeter of the inner door.

  3. 3

    Look between the doors for the insulation. Check to see if the insulation is blocking the dispenser door mechanisms. Lift up the insulation to unblock and reassemble the door.

    Timer motor

  1. 1

    Remove the screws from the inside door panel, excluding the two screws by the hinge, and pull the interior of the door off.

  2. 2

    Remove the screws from the kick plate covering the timer motor if the motor is not visible.

  3. 3

    Pull the two wires going to the timer motor by the connectors out of the motor.

  4. 4

    Set a multi-tester, a unit used to test the voltage of electrical equipment, to the X1000 setting. Touch the probes to the two terminals on the motor. You should receive a range between 2000 and 3000. Remove the timer by lifting it up and out of the unit. There are usually no screws to remove.

    Bi-Metal or Wax Switch

  1. 1

    Remove the internal door from the unit.

  2. 2

    Locate the dispenser on the inner door and the bimetal or wax assembly.

  3. 3

    Pull out the two wires by the connectors.

  4. 4

    Set your multi-tester to the X1 setting and touch the probes to the terminals. You should receive a reading of infinity.

  5. 5

    Remove the screws that hold down the switch and pull it out of the unit. Replace the wires and reassemble the door.

Tips and warnings

  • Simply rinse the detergent dispenser door if it is clogged with detergent, dirt or grime.

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