Replacing the door catch and inner handle on a Smeg Dishwasher - Model Number: DF 612 SE
(*please note - all links in this post are NON Affiliate).
The video 'how to' made it look easy - a 3 minute job (if you'd got the right spanner/socket set) and with a little help from eSpares, that was pretty much the case.
First off, you need to disconnect the dishwasher from the electrical supply. I struggled here because the socket wasn't obvious on the wall. After assuming it was underneath the worktop and pulling the dishwasher out, only to discover the cable snaked through a hole in the side of the drawer unit. Had I known that in advance, it would have saved 10 mins puffing and panting - Smeg dishwashers are surprisingly heavy.
Power disconnected - Note* If you're not sure whether you've unplugged / isolated the right socket, try pressing the power button on the front of the dishwasher and seeing if any of the LED's light up. You may find there's just an isolating switch (normally fused) on the wall above the worktop.
The procedure is pretty much as per the video how to by eSpares - click here.
I decided that I'd fit a new door lock whilst I'd got the dishwasher apart to replace the door handle lever which had obviously broken. I figured there'd got to be a reason for the handle to break in the first place - a stiffening of the lock mechanism perhaps or a complete failure?
When it came to re-fitting the control panel to the door, I hit a problem. It was obvious that the panel wasn't going to go back into place. I thought the problem was with the chunky wiring loom behind the switches - it's very tight and not a lot of slack - perhaps it was not re-routed properly?
No, that was OK so I turned my attention back to the new door handle I'd fitted - it was definitely the right way round but still seemed to sit very proud, making contact with the door catch long before the panel was in place.
Just at the point where I thought I was going to have to call an engineer out, I found the answer. The door handle has to sit / locate over to parallel plastic ridges. This makes it a little trickier to get a good angle to feed the first door handle locating protrusion into its correct hole but once I'd discovered this, it soon fitted together.
A tighten of the removed screws and switching it back on at the wall socket and hey presto - one fixed, fully functioning door catch on a Smeg Dishwasher. Completed in a little over 20 minutes (due mostly to locating the power socket and having to fiddle with re-fitting the control panel).
When you're first removing the control panel, after removing the screws, the eSpares video shows the control panel easily falling down at a right angle to the door for easy access. I found this quite fiddly and needed a torch to see where the panel may be caught or hung up, preventing it from just falling forward. As I said earlier, the wiring loom is painfully tight (why don't manufacturers leave a little slack?) and the problem was a fixed cable tie catching on the lip of the main door.
Go careful because the edges on some of the ledges and bits inside are quite sharp!
You don't want to injure yourself or chaff or cut a wire.
So one repaired Smeg Dishwasher - my model number: DF 612 SE (you'll find the model number etc on a sticker on one of the edges of the inner door). You'll need the model number to ensure you get the right parts.
The door handle was found on a search for that particular model number but I had to phone eSpares as a similar search for the door lock came up blank. After a few minutes searching, the very helpful person at the other end said he'd identified the right part number - I looked it up and added it to my online basket.
Here's a rundown of the parts (and eSpares part numbers) I ordered:
£3.95 standard delivery
So for around £37, I've saved on a Engineer call out fee (or worse buying a new dishwasher).
ESpares also sell the tool kits with the bits you'll need to undo the 'special screws' - they're like a allen key socket but more star shaped. I had access to a set so I didn't need them.
A word about eSpares (non affiliate links folks) - Their service was first class - My query was answered swiftly - I could have order whilst on the phone but for the fact I'd already started my online order, I didn't. I got a confirmation when the items were dispatched and when I mentioned them on Twitter, they were very quick to come back offering help etc (at 9pm in the evening - these people are eager to please). So i've no hesitation in recommending them.
photo credit: cushing library
*prices correct at 19th January 2011.