Dishwasher Repair: Buttons will not Respond

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What Went Wrong?

Opening your dishwasher puts stress on the facia panel located on the front top part of the door. The handle is often integrated into this facia panel as well as the buttons that control the operation of the dishwasher. Over time the plastic wears out, becomes brittle and eventually fails resulting in the facia panel becoming detached from the door. Often the detachment is only partial and does not completely pull away from the door. Usually, the detachment is only enough that the buttons are no longer in their correct position and will not operate properly. 

The step by step procedures can vary depending on the product and brand but we can cover some general steps to cover on any dishwasher design.

Can it be Repaired?

If you can operate a screwdriver you can repair this situation yourself. The first thing you’ll need to do is acquire the correct part. If you have an appliance parts retailer near you it is a good idea to remove the old facia (more on that in the next section) and take it with you to ensure you get the right part. Otherwise, you can order the part online from various sources. You will need to be careful to order the correct color and configuration (openings in the correct location, the same number of buttons, etc.) that looks like the one on your dishwasher. 

Removing the Old Facia

First, you’ll need to determine the type of screws you have (this will likely be the hardest part of the entire process). If you don’t have the correct tool and get stuck at this point simply take a picture of one of the screw heads visible on the inside of the door near the top where the facia panel is on the opposite side. It’s a good idea to get some idea of size by including something to help with the scale of the photo (a tape measure scale would work fine). You can take your photo and any measurements you can get to any home improvement store where they will be happy to help you pick out the right tool or set of tools for the job.

There will be screws around the inside edge of the door just opposite the facia panel that is on the outside of the door. There will likely be a few screws on the outside of the door as well under the lip of the facia. It may be necessary to remove the entire inner door panel. If so use caution as the outer door panel will need to be supported as it may become detached. Stacking pillows on the floor up to support the open door will keep it from falling to the floor (and on your toes).

Once the facia is separated from the door, be sure to gently disconnect any wires that may be plugged into the switches in the facia. These will plug back in during the new facia installation. Also, remove the buttons and switches from the old facia to reinstall in the new one.

Installing the New Facia

The new facia install is basically a reversal of removing the old facia. Reinstall the buttons and switches, plug the wires back in and place it back into position in the dishwasher door. You may need a helper to hold the door parts in place while installing the screws. If a helper is not available it’s possible to use the pillows to hold the outer door skin in place while inserting the screws. In either case, it’s important to get most, if not all, of the screws, started a few turns before tightening any of them in case you need to adjust the panels for proper fit.

If you have any questions or would like us to repair your dishwasher for you, feel free to contact us.

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