Washing Machine Lid locked–Won’t Open? 5 causes and easy fix

Below is a letter from a customer whose washing machine lid locked at the end of the cycle and would not open. This common occurrence can happen with a top-loading or front loading washing machine. Although the causes may be different between the two styles of machine, the solutions are generally the same.

“I have a front-load machine and recently washed a load of clothes. And it seems like everything was okay, washing machine filled with water and start agitating as usual.

Then I left the washing machine to let it run. After a couple of hours, I came back hoping that the washing machine finished the cycle. I tried to open the door and the door was closed. Then I notice door light flashing on the display.

I tried to unplug machine for 5 minutes and plug it in back, but the door still stayed close. I have no manual for it and I do not know how to fix it. – Kelly”

A locked lid or door is usually caused by one of the following: faulty door lock switch, drain pump issues, or the drain filter is clogged. You could also have a control board failure. Follow this guide to diagnose and repair your washing machine issues.

Read also: Whirlpool Washer Door Locked Light Flashing

Causes: Front-Load machine door locked

Faulty Door Lock Switch

Often times this issue happens with Samsung or Whirlpool, less with other brands, front load machines.

On these machines, the door lock is a complicated device. The door lock has a safety feature like a feedback circuit.

lid locked

This feature helps the washing machine to see if the door is closed or open.

Door lock solenoid pushes the latch in order to close the door, and at the same time, it pushes and engages microswitch which belongs to the feedback circuit.

This way machine sees that’s the door physically locked. 

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If one of these components failed, such as a solenoid or micro switch, the door lock will not operate properly.

Even if the control board will send a signal to open the door, the door will stay closed. Because the locking mechanism is broken.

Drain pump clogged or burnt out

I would say that this is the most common issue when the door stays closed at the end of the cycle.

This is also a safety feature of the washing machine. If some amount of water remains in the drum and is not pumped out, the door will not be open.

Check, If your washing machine has a DRAIN/SPIN ONLY cycle on the user interface control.

You can try to run this cycle, but if you will hear something like a rattling noise coming from the drain pump, that means your drain pump failed and it needs to be replaced.

In many cases, drain pump impeller came off from the motor shaft and it’s not spinning.

If you hear humming noise coming from the pump that’s mean something jammed drain pump impeller and it’s not also spinning.

In this case you need to disassemble washing machine to reach a drain pump, take it apart and clean it out.

If you hear no sound coming from the drain pump, then in most cases drain pump just burned out.

Replacement drain pumps can be purchased online at retailers such as Amazon for around $30. Click here.

Drain filter clogged

Another issue when the washing machine not draining properly and the door stays closed is the drain pump filter being clogged.

Drain pump filter located at the front on the bottom of the washing machine.

If you can’t see anything like that at the front of the machine, then drain pump filter located behind the machine.

You will need to take back cover off and you will see a drain pump filter.

drain pump filter

Read Also: Bosch Washing Machine Door Lock Light Keeps Flashing

causes: Top Load Machine lid Locked

In addition to the problems listed above, you should consider two other causes for a locked lid on a top loading washing machine.

  • Lid lock Assembly Malfunction
  • Control Board Failure

Lid Lock Assembly

Most modern top-loading machine has a complicated lid lock switch assembly. It’s also has a safety feature like a feedback circuit, but also it does have a locking mechanism.

When the locking mechanism failed and not working properly, the lid will stay closed.

Another thing you need to keep in mind that for some top-load machines when the wash cycle finished, the lid will stay closed for about 1 or 2 minutes. It doesn’t mean that the lid lock assembly malfunction, it just a safety feature.

But if the lid will not be open in 2 minutes, then it’s malfunctioned and lid lock assembly needs to be replaced.

Control Board Failure

This issue can be most complicated and costly to repair.

In this case you need to check first of all, a wire harness from the lid lock to the control board. 

If something happened during the wash cycle, for example, one of the wires was broken or pinched, lead lock will not open.

If you check wire harness and it seems to be okay, then the problem with the main control board. It just not send a signal to the lid lock to open.

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