How to Fix Washer That Has Lid/Door That Won't Open | Washing Machine Repair
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REPAIR > WASHER > LID OR DOOR WILL NOT OPEN

How to Fix Washer With A Lid Or Door That Won't Open

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  • Rated as REALLY EASY
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Door Lock Or Interlock

The door lock, also known as the interlock, is a safety mechanism used on front load washing machines and on some top load washers that prevents the door or lid from being opened while the machine is in operation. The system consists of a door mounted catch and a door lock mechanism located on the back of the front panel/door shroud or main top. The lock mechanism consists of some switches and normally a lock/unlock solenoid or wax motor solenoid. When the cycle is started, the washer control will activate the lock solenoid/wax motor to prevent the door or lid from being opened. At the conclusion of the cycle, the control will activate the door unlock solenoid or will deactivate the door lock wax motor. The wax motor style of solenoid normally takes at least a minute or two to activate or deactivate. If the door or lid won’t open at the end of the cycle, then the lock mechanism may be at fault. Most washers will have a manual release to unlock the mechanism and allow you to open the door or lid. The release is normally accessible from below the door lock, or on some models, from inside the soap dispenser housing.

Some models will have a digital display that will show a fault code in addition to the door or lid not opening. Once the door or lid has been opened you can then access the door lock assembly to check for a defect. On front load washers, you will need to either raise the main top or remove the front panel to gain access. Check for signs of a solenoid or wax motor overheating or a mechanical defect in the assembly. You can also check the door lock switches and the solenoids for continuity with a multi-meter and replace any that are found defective, however most door lock mechanisms are available only as an assembly. On top load washers you will need to raise the main top to gain access to the door lock mechanism. Remove power from the appliance before attempting service and never bypass a door lock safety mechanism.

Door Strike & Catch & Hook

The door strike, also known as the catch or hook, is part of a safety mechanism installed on front-loading washing machines or used to activate the lid switch on a top load washer. On front load washers, the door hook is used to engage the lock mechanism. If the door hook becomes damaged, it may not properly activate the door lock assembly or it may not disengage easily from the lock mechanism at the end of the cycle. The door strike or hook is normally made of rigid plastic and can break with normal use and abuse, or if someone has attempted to open the door with force while the lock is engaged. It is typically attached to the door with one or two screws and is easily changed. If the door hook on your washer shows any signs of wear or distortion, then it should be replaced. On top load washers, the strike is used to engage the lid switch through an opening in the main top when the lid is closed. If the strike is damaged it may not engage the lid switch or it may become lodged in the opening and prevent the lid from being opened. On models that use a lock mechanism, or if you cannot open the lid, you will need to raise the main top to access the switch or lock assembly. If the strike has been damaged or distorted, then it will need to be replaced.

Lid Hinge & Pin

On standard top-load washing machines, there will be two hinges that attach the lid to the main top. These hinges may be made from metal or plastic and will eventually show signs of wear from normal use. If you have difficulty opening the lid then the hinges may be at fault. Inspect the hinge pins and receptacles for wear or damage and replace if necessary. The portion of the hinge that fastens to the main top may be attached from the underside and you may need to raise the main top to gain access. Lifting the main top will expose some electrical circuits so you will need to remove power from the appliance before attempting this repair.

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