How to Fix a Washer Door That Won’t Open

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If you ran your wash cycle and it ended only for you to discover that the door absolutely, unmistakably will not open, then you have a problem. Now, your wet clothing is effectively being held prisoner by your appliance. It won’t be long before mildew starts to set in, and eventually, those clothes will be damaged by it.

The good news is that no matter what type of washer you own, there is always a way to get that door open manually. However, you don’t want to be stuck doing that every single wash for the rest of that appliance’s working life. This is a repair that needs to be made ASAP for your own sanity.

How to Open a Stuck Washer Door

Before attempting to disengage the door on your washer, you will first want to make sure all the water is drained away. If the cycle ended fine, you should be in the clear. However, if there is standing water, you will want to press the “Drain” or “Cancel” buttons on your washer.

For top-load washers, the answer is as simple as unplugging your machine. As the lid lock on the machine is heat-activated, you can disconnect it from the power source and wait. Within ten minutes, the latch should normally unlock. If it does not, you will need to manually disengage the latch with a bit of wire and poking around where the latch is located.

For front-load washers, you will need to disconnect the power and then locate the latch access area on your specific machine. From this area, you will be able to reach in and disengage the latch manually.

Causes of a Stuck Washer Door Lid

Once the door lid is unlocked, now is the time to discover why it happened so you can make the repair that will prevent it from happening again. There are several different causes that can manifest this issue on both top and front-load washers.

Lid Switch

If your washer stopped mid-cycle and the lid would not open, you should look into the lid switch. It is this switch that keeps the washer closed during the cycles and indicates that it is safe to move onto the next portion of the wash cycle or start altogether. If it is faulty, the washer will not work, and that includes not going to the next step in the cycle mid-wash.

Door Striker

This is the actual latch piece of your washer. It physically hooks to keep the washer door closed during the wash cycle. If this malfunctions, the washer could read the door as unlocked, even when the striker hasn’t actually disengaged. Often times, this malfunction is caused by the presence of debris or even rust on the striker. It should be inspected for damage and replaced as necessary.

Lid Hinges

It takes severe damage to the hinges to prevent the door from opening completely, but it can happen. If your washer door hinges are rusty or damaged, they can make the door very difficult to open. Usually, it will open with a bit of force, but you will be able to hear damaged hinges.

Control Board

If you have checked all the physical causes the make a washer door not open, you need to look to your washer’s brain – the control board. It is likely if the control board is not getting the signals to open the door, you will notice more than just this problem. Often control board issues can be rectified by disconnecting the power and resetting your washer, but if a control board is damaged in any way, you’re going to have more washer problems very soon until it is replaced.

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