How to Fix a KitchenAid Microwave Latch
Replacing the door latch on a KitchenAid microwave is simple and requires only a few common household tools and a new latch. This task typically only takes a few minutes.
A KitchenAid microwave with a broken latch can be extremely frustrating to deal with, as most microwaves are designed to not operate unless the latch is secure. Fortunately, KitchenAid microwaves are also designed to be easily accessible, so that you can perform simple repairs like replacing the door latch. This task typically takes less then 10 minutes. Once you are finished with the repair, your microwave should operate correctly again.
If you live in an older building with small appliances direct-wired into the wall, stop and call a qualified electrician. Do not attempt even minor repairs if you cannot disconnect an appliance from its power source.
Things You Will Need
- New door latch assembly kit
- Flat-head screwdriver or putty knife
- Phillips-head screwdriver
Make certain that the microwave is unplugged from the outlet, to reduce chances of electric shock.
Open the door of the microwave, and visually inspect the inside of the door. A seam should be visible around the interior plastic panel just inside the door frame. There may or may not be small screws holding the plastic and the frame together.
Remove any screws holding the plastic panel in place. Slide the narrow edge of the flat-head screwdriver or the putty knife into the seam and gently work your way around the door. Pry gently to help the plastic panel pop free of the metal door interior. Set the plastic panel and any removed screws aside.
Identify where the door latch is housed at the edge of the door frame. The plastic part of the latch consists of a long molded plastic piece with two plastic "hooks." You should be able to simply lift this towards you out of the door housing. At the very bottom of the door, you should see a small spring sitting in a gap in the metal. You can remove this also.
The spring is designed to hook to the metal frame of the door as well as to a small hook on the back of the plastic door latch. In some cases, the spring may have just slipped off the latch, and can be replaced. However, the most common problem is that the small hook on the latch broke off, or the spring itself is corroded, and the end of the spring broke off.
Replace the plastic latch, the spring or both as needed. Hook the spring onto the latch, reinsert the latch into the door, and stretch the bottom end of the spring down along the side openings in the door frame to hook and secure it. Test the latch by pulling up gently on the hooks to see if it lifts and springs back down into place when released.
The plastic panel has built-in tabs around the edges. You can easily replace it by aligning it with the frame and pressing around the edge so it snaps back into place. You can now plug the microwave back in and resume using it.
If your microwave door still doesn't open or shut correctly, or if your microwave refuses to turn on, you may need to contact a professional repairperson to assess the problem.
Disconnect the Power Supply
Locate the Plastic Panel on the Door Interior
Separate the Plastic Panel from the Door Frame
Remove the Door Latch
Inspect Original Parts
Replace Broken Parts
Replace the Plastic Panel
If the problem is a broken hook on the plastic piece, and the spring is intact, you can often find another point on the plastic latch to hook the spring. Simply find a place on the metal door frame to hook the other end of the spring to provide appropriate tension so the latch works properly.
Things You Will Need
- Putty knife or small flat-head screwdriver
- Phillips screwdriver
- New latch assembly