There’s nothing worse than having a washer door locked and you can’t get it open.
Regardless if your clothes are inside or not, this can be very frustrating.
Do you have a Whirlpool washer that has a locked door and is displaying a flashing light?
There are several reasons this may be.
There are also different reasons for this problem according to if you have a top loading washer or a front loading washer.
Today we will take a look at each washer design and discuss the potential issues and how to fix them.
Whirlpool Top Loader With Locked Door
If you have a Whirlpool top loader and the door is locked with a flashing light, here are some things you’ll need to check:
Check the lid switch and striker
The striker is the part that helps press down the lid switch.
Make sure it’s not out of alignment.
Overtime these parts can become loose and move from their original location.
But is the most cases, lid switch just stopped working properly.
So make sure you check lid switch with multimeter.
It could be the control board (not common)
Sometimes the control board will see an open lid switch and attempt to lock it.
Other times when the board is faulty it is not able to detect if the lid is locked or not.
Internal malfunctions can be caused by the machine reporting over or under voltage.
It can also be due to a momentary loss of neutral feed to the control board.
If this is the issue the door will remain locked for 3 minutes, even if you try to unplug the washer.
If you are in a hurry you can unlock the door manually.
There may be an issue with the actuator motor
This problem can occur if the actuator motor (you can get it here) has gone bad or if it has loose wires.
You’ll need to access the part from underneath of the washer and first check the wiring going to it.
If there are no loose or damaged wires, you will need to check the actuator motor to see if it’s malfunctioning.
Check the drain pump
The lid can become locked if something is clogging the pump or filter drain.
This means the washer is unable to drain properly, thus it won’t unlock the door.
It may also mean you need to replace a faulty drain pump.
Troubleshooting A Whirlpool Front Loading Machine
A front loading washer can be a bit different from a top loader in terms of door lock issues. Here are the things you’ll need to check.
Is there water going to the machine?
This is a common problem if the water supply has been shut off after repairs or a move, and not turned back on before use.
If this is the case you will need to reset the machine. Doing so is easy.
You’ll simply press WASH TEMP, then SPIN, then SOIL – one after another.
Repeat this step 3 times.
If that button combination doesn’t work then the buttons you’ll use are SPIN, SOIL, PRESOAK.
After pressing the correct button combination you will see the panel come to life, the error code will flash, and a humming sound may continue.
You’ll have to wait up to 10 minutes for the noise to end. Once it’s gone, press the POWER button to clear the code.
Check the drain pump and hose
One of the common reasons both models will have issues with the door lock stems from the drain pump.
You’ll need to access the drain pump and check to see if there is a sock or other type of debris lodged in it.
If so, simply removing the item should fix your problem.
If it’s not clogged, the drain pump may be malfunctioning.
If this is the issue you will need to purchase a new one and swap them out.
When water is visible inside the machine you can simply try to run a “SPIN and DRAIN” cycle to see if the water will be expelled.
If you can get the machine to drain the door will unlock.
The door switch may be malfunctioning
The front load washer features a door switch that is actually a safety feature.
On most Whirlpool models, the door must be closed and locked before any wash cycle will begin.
These switches are generally located on the washer’s door frame.
Go ahead and inspect the door striker to ensure it’s engaging properly with the lock assembly.
You can also check for continuity in the door switch using a multi-meter.
However, before doing this you will need to unplug the power and remove the machine’s front panel.
Check the sensor actuator/shifter.
This is actually easiest to check if you look at your owner’s manual and get into the manual diagnostics function.
You’ll need to try to get the machine to spin.
If your machine’s motor begins to hum for a second and then stops with the lid lock still blinking, you’ll need to go back to the diagnostic codes to look for speed sensor or shifter errors.
This will provide proof that this assembly is the problem because the motor speeds are not being read by the optical speed sensor.
How To Manually Unlock The Door On A Front Loader
Before trying to manually unlock the door you can unplug the washer for 1 to 2 minutes or simply flip the breaker off.
This usually helps the control panel reset and allows the door to unlock and the light to stop flashing.
However, if this doesn’t work you can always manually open the door:
Unplug the washer from the wall and pull it forward.
Remove the screws on the back of the top panel.
Pull straight back and up to take the top panel off.
Once the top panel is removed you can reach behind the front panel on the right side of the door to locate the door lock assembly.
There should be a small circular tab made from plastic at the bottom of the door lock.
Pull down on this tab and the door should manually unlock.
How To Manually Unlock The Door On A Top Loader
Most of the time either unplugging this machine from the wall or simply holding the CANCEL button will cause the door to unlock.
However, if this doesn’t work and you need to manually unlock it, here’s how:
Unplug the washer from the wall.
Turn off the water supply to the washer.
Locate and access the cover to the drain pump. This should be near the bottom right of your washer on the front. Use a screwdriver to remove the one screw holding the compartment to the machine.
You should see a plastic cord inside the compartment. Simply tug on this cord and it should unlock your door.
In conclusion, there are a wide array of reasons a door will become locked on a Whirlpool washer.
Did any of our fixes above work for you?
Leave us a comment and tell us what you think.