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

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

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Door Lock Or Interlock Door Strike & Catch & Hook Lid Hinge & Pin
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  • Rated as REALLY EASY
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  • 3 step by step videos
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.

How to inspect the door lock in a washing machine:

  1. Disconnect your appliance from the power source before beginning.
  2. Locate and clean your door lock to remove any films or debris that may have built up. It is usually located along the frame of the washing machine, under the lid.
  3. If cleaning it does not resolve the issue, remove the door lock from the appliance to inspect it for damage, cracking or wear. You likely will need to remove all or part of the washer’s cabinet to remove the switch.
  4. If you find your switch shows any of the symptoms above, you will need a replacement door lock.
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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.

How to inspect the door strike on a washing machine:

  1. This is a simple inspection; no tools or disassembly is required.
  2. Locate your door strike. It will be found in the door frame of your washing machine.
  3. Visually inspect the strike to ensure it engages with the door lock assembly properly and releases without issue. Additionally, inspect the strike for any signs of wear, cracking, or damage.
  4. If you find any issues while performing the checks above, you will need a replacement door strike.
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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.

How to inspect the lid hinge & pin on a washing machine:

  1. As you will be exposing electrical components as a part of this inspection, ensure that you unplug your washer before beginning.
  2. Begin by lifting the lid and inspecting the lid hinges and pins for any signs of cracking, wear, damage, or any dirt that may be clogging the hinges.
  3. Lift or remove the main top in order to inspect all sides of the hinges and pins.
  4. If you find any issues while performing the checks above, you will need replacement lid hinges.
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