Door-Type Dishwasher Features and Troubleshooting Tips

Dish Door, Dish Rack, Safety Switch and More

A door-type dishwasher is ideal for high-volume commercial kitchens. Its convenient features help to increase efficiency and productivity, saving energy.

Is it best to open the door at the end of the cycle to let the steam out or leave it shut until everything cools down? It really depends.

The Dishwasher Door

The dishwasher door keeps your dishes contained during the wash cycle. It’s also what flips the safety switch to start the machine when you close it.

Over time, the latch can become misaligned and won’t lock into place. You can try readjusting the strike plate on the inside of the frame to fix this problem. Look for rust or damage to the metal plate, then loosen and re-tighten the screws that hold it in place.

Check the owner’s manual for your dishwasher model to find the location of the fixing screws on the inner dishwasher door. There are usually 2 of them, one halfway down the side and one near the top. Remove the screws with a screwdriver, and don’t forget to save them!

The Dishwasher Rack

The dishwasher rack may seem like a minor consideration when compared to other appliance features, but it’s crucial to making sure your dishes fit in the tub for an effective wash. Check your owner’s manual for model-specific best practices.

Consider a base rack with built-in compartments to stow flatware and other small items. These racks typically have a narrower pattern on the bottom that reduces movement of dishes during the cycle. It’s also possible to purchase add-on dividers for the base rack that can help keep smaller glass and ceramic pieces from falling out of the slats.

Many models feature adjustable heights for the top rack. This feature helps ensure that tall utensils and pan handles don’t block the detergent cup or prevent the door from opening during a cycle. Check the top-rack height adjustment mechanism often to make sure it’s working correctly. If it’s stiff or hard to move, clean it with a damp cloth.

The Dishwasher Dispenser

The dishwasher dispenser is controlled by a spring-operated door latch that’s wired directly into the dishwasher’s control board. The controller sends the message when it’s time to dispense detergent and the latch triggers to flip open the door so hot water can blast soap into it.

If your dispenser door won’t open, check the hinged pin and the spring that opens it to ensure they are not damaged. Also, look for the rinse aid cap (usually a round component) and make sure it is not warped from hot water or otherwise damaged.

If the latch still won’t budge, you may have bigger utensils in front of the dishwasher that block the door. Re-arrange the dishes and try the cycle again. If the problem persists, a bi-metal release mechanism could be defective. It’s similar to a wax motor and can be found in the exterior panel of the dishwasher door. If yours is faulty, it will need to be replaced.

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