Have you ever encountered a washing machine with a locked door and a flashing light? It can be an incredibly frustrating situation, especially when you have laundry that needs to get done. Fortunately, most of the time this issue is relatively easy to fix – but first you need to understand what’s going on.
In this blog post, we’ll look at a common cause for whirlpool washer doors getting locked and how they can be fixed. By the end of this post, we can be sure that readers should have all the knowledge needed to unlock their washing machines’ doors!
Why Does My Whirlpool Washer Have a Locked Door?
The most common cause of a washing machine door being locked is its safety features. The washing machine door is designed to lock during the washing and spin cycles to keep people safe.
This is because during these phases, the washing machine tub is full of water and laundry. If the lid were open on a top loading washer during these phases, someone could get hurt by sticking their hands near the agitator or drowning in the water. Likewise, on a front loader, if the door were open, then all the water and laundry would spill out.
The washing machine door will lock automatically to prevent accidents like these from happening.
Troubleshooting your Whirlpool Washer Door Lock
The door locking feature is a necessary safety precaution. Sometimes, however, washers will remain locked even after the washing and spin cycles have finished. This occurs when an electrical glitch or a mechanical issue has happened within the washer – for example, an issue with the load, power button, or door lock assembly.
If your washing machine door is locked, whether between cycles or at the end of a wash, there are a few things you can try in order to unlock the lid and get your laundry out. Let’s look at a few options.
Step 1: Wait for the Motor Speed to Slow Down
Before you do anything else, wait a few moments and listen to the washing machine. If it is still spinning and agitating, then the motor speed needs time to slow down so that the washing machine can unlock itself.
Technicians recommend waiting until there is no noise or motion coming from the washing machine before attempting any further troubleshooting. Even after the washing machine motor is finished, it can take a few minutes for the motor to send a pre-programmed signal to the washing machine to unlock the lid. This is especially true if you’ve just washed a load of laundry in very hot water and it needs a few minutes to cool down.
Step 2: Check the Owner’s Manual for Instructions
If your lid is locked, the first thing you should do is check the manual for instructions. It might outline possible causes and solutions for malfunctions or at least give you some ideas of where to begin. It may also provide specific instructions on how to reset the washing machine’s internal system.
Step 3: Press the Power Button, Control Lock Button, or Cancel Button
Sometimes pressing one of the buttons will help. Depending on the model of your Whirlpool washing machine, you may have a control lock button or a cancel wash button.
Try pressing one of those and holding it for 3 seconds if they are available on your washing machine. This should reset the washing machine door so that it can be opened manually. If this doesn’t work, try pressing the power button to see if cutting the power supply will do the trick.
Step 4: Unplug from the Power Source
If these steps haven’t been much help, the next step is to unplug your washing machine from the power source. Do this for about 15 to 45 minutes at least before plugging it back in. Sometimes this will reset the washing machine and may cause it to unlock its door.
step 5: Test the Sensor Actuator
Certain machine models have a control panel that contains user access to the sensor actuator. This piece is responsible for knowing that the washing machine door is closed and that it is safe to start a cycle.
The way to check to see if this sensor is working is by navigating to the diagnostic mode on your control panel and allowing it to check for an issue. Use your owner’s manual code list to check and read the diagnostic codes your machine comes up with.
Step 6: Check the Lid Switch and Related Components
If the other options don’t work, then it’s time to get more technical. Oftentimes, the issue with the washing machine not opening is because there is an issue with the lid switch (door switch) or one of its related components. To check this, you will need to take off the front panel of the washing machine to see the door lock assembly more clearly.
Once the panel is off, you will find a door switch, which interlocks with the hook on the lid when the lid is down and locked. There are several things that can happen here, and if any of these components are broken, you will need to repair them or order a replacement part.
Plastic Tab Malfunction
Over time, sometimes the plastic tab where the lid hook inserts will malfunction, causing the lid to stay stuck.
There is a plastic bezel that holds the door switch onto the washing machine by screws. Sometimes this plastic piece breaks, causing the entire door lock assembly to dangle away from the machine, which can cause the locking mechanism to malfunction.
Step 7: Check the Door Latch
On front load washers, there is a door latch that keeps the door closed during the wash and spin cycles. There is a lip on the door latch that lines up with two indentations in the washing machine frame.
Over time, debris can build up within these indents and cause issues with the washing machine unlocking properly. Or also, the hinges on the latch could be defective, or the alignment could be off, keeping it from opening in the way that it should. There could be many similar reasons for the door latch to not work properly.
Other Possible Causes for a Lid Lock Light Flashing
If the washing machine lid is still locked and none of these solutions worked for you, then it’s time to look at other possible causes. These techniques are a bit more advanced and may require special tools and heavy lifting. As always, if you feel uncomfortable messing with any of these techniques, you can always call a service technician from your local appliance store and leave the job to the professional!
Faulty Actuator Motor
The most common cause of this is a faulty actuator motor. This motor contains an optical speed sensor that will send a signal to the washing machine when it’s time to transition from the wash cycle to the spin cycle. Not only that, but it also alerts the machine when it’s time to turn on the drain pump in order to get the water out of the washer through a hose.
However, if it’s not working properly, then the cycles might get stuck between switches.
If this happens, you’ll need to empty the washer of any remaining water and then turn the washer on its side so you can inspect the actuator underneath. Be sure to turn off the breaker or unplug the machine from the power before doing any work!
Check for any loose wires or other fixes that need to be done to the mechanical components.
Check for a Blockage in the Filter
Sometimes, a blockage in the filter can cause a washing machine to remain locked. This is because if the clog won’t allow water to flow through the filter drain, the machine will think the cycles are not complete.
You will need to locate the filter on your washing machine model and check it for any gunk (or a sock!) that may have been collected there – please note that you may need a large bucket to catch any water that flows out. Check the hose for any damage as well. If there are any issues, clean them or replace them as necessary.
There you have it! You should now have a clear idea of how to fix washing machine lid locked issues, no matter what they are, whether simple or more complicated. Remember, though, if you feel uncomfortable trying any of these techniques yourself, it’s always best to call a professional service technician and leave the job to them! You won’t want to get in too deep and then make the problem worse or create other unnecessary issues.
With these tips, though, you should be well on your way to fixing your “Lid Lock light flashing” problems! Good luck!
Did you have any of these issues with your washing machine? Tell us which one in the comments below.