Dishwasher Door Unlocking During A Cycle? Tips To Help

Professional Fixing a Dishwasher Door

Dishwashers are a great piece of equipment that make the lives of millions easier.

However, they’re also faulty in some cases and do cause some issues. If your dishwasher is popping open during different cycles, there are a few things that might be causing this and a few different ways to fix the issue.

If your dishwasher door unlocks during a cycle, there are a few things that might be causing this.
(And some of them can be easily solved!)

Malfunctioning Parts

The first thing that might be going on is that the door latch is broken or faulty.

Each dishwasher door has a latch inside of it that lets the computer know that the door is fully closed and locks it while the dishwasher is running.

If the sensor that lets the computer know that the door is shut is faulty or damaged, it can cause the door to open, the cycle to stop and a range of other issues. If the dishwasher stops working and or the door comes open during any cycle, the dishwasher will stop and it will stop running water.

If you think that you have a dishwasher that has a faulty door latch, the best thing to do is to get the door latch either replaced or repaired. If the door latch breaks while you are using the dishwasher, the door will likely open and the cycle will stop. Other parts that may go out are the latch itself, the springs, hinges and other parts of the door that are moving and that are in constant use.

Misaligned Strike Plate

The strike plate is the part in which the door latch is actually going to catch. If the strike plate is not even and is not lined up properly, it can open while the dishwasher is being used. The most likely cause for this is that the dishwasher is not level. A dishwasher that is not level not only has an increased chance of the door opening, but a whole host of other problems. A dishwasher that is not level is more likely for a door that does not latch fully or that is very easy to unlatch, even while the dishwasher is in use.

If your dishwasher is not level, it can throw off the sprayer arms, the motor, the pump and more and can also cause the door to not latch properly and to open while the dishwasher is being used. If that happens, the best course of action is to properly level your dishwasher. Leveling your dishwasher is going to help you ensure that it is going to work well, that it is not going to wear out, and that the door is going to remain closed and remain locked so that the cycle will complete and there are no issues.

Parts of a Dishwasher that could malfunction.

Faulty Door Seal

Another problem you might be dealing with is that the door seal does not work properly or the door cannot close completely when you shut it. The door seal works to help make sure that the door closes and seals and that there is no water coming out of the seal. If the seal is faulty, if there is a hole in the seal, if it is old or cracked, this can cause the door to pop open.

The seal can be replaced rather easily and can be swapped out at home by you without having to call anyone. If you look at your door seal and there does not appear to be any damage or any visible issues, you can always wipe down the seal, wipe down the door and wipe down the area where the seal rests also. Make sure there’s no debris or other obstructions preventing the door from sealing shut.

Door Springs and Hinges

Door hinges are another reason that your door may be popping open. The hinges are just as important in keeping the door closed as all the other parts. If the hinge goes out it can cause the door to pop open and to not close properly. If the hinges are broken or damaged, you may want to get them looked at for repair or replacement by a professional.

Other possible causes could be a hinge support spring has broken or come off. Brands like Whirlpool also use a spring/pulley system to assist with door closure. It’s mainly to prevent the door from dropping quickly, but it does make the door feel heavier overall. If these have failed, the door may have issues staying closed.

Sometimes, adventurous kids like to stand on the door of an open dishwasher – which can damage the hinges by over extending them.

Weak Latch or Something Knocking Into the Door

When loading your dishwasher you should take care to make sure your washer is loaded properly. You want to make sure there are not too many things in the dishwasher, that they are all in the right position and that they cannot move around much. You want your dishes to stay in the same place while they are washing and that they are not moving around too much. If they are moving around a great deal they can knock the door open or prevent it being closed properly from the start.

If your door latch is not strong or not secure, it can also cause problems. You want to make sure your door latch is secure and that it is not going to be easily knocked open by a stray dish that is knocking around while the wash cycle is going. With any issue with latches, you want to make sure you are taking time to make sure your latch is good and that there are no problems with the latch and no problems with things moving around in the dishwasher.

With any issue you are having, it is always best to look at all the possible problems before you start replacing things and before you start removing parts. Taking the time to check door latches, to make sure that the dishwasher is loaded properly, and that all your seals are working properly can make such a difference.


If you find that none of these solutions help, you may want to take the time to call a technician and see if there are any other problems that might be present. Your dishwasher is an important part of your home and making sure that it is cleaned and cared for can make a big difference. Generally, the door of your dishwasher is not going to pop open while it is in use unless something is very wrong.

Hi there! I’m Craig, and I’m the founder of Appliance Analysts. When it comes to appliances and anything electrical, I’ve always loved opening things up, figuring out how they work, and fixing them. This website is where I share free advice from myself and our experts to help our readers solve their appliance/HVAC problems and save money. Read more