Washing Machine Is Locked: Why and Ways to Open It

Tuesday 26th July 2022
by Homeforce

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Tue 26th July 2022

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Homeforce

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Wash day is a crucial part of everyone’s daily life, and when there are laundry problems it can really add frustration not to mention the extra time to our already busy day!

None so frustrating as when you want to pop a load of laundry in and you find the door has locked!

A Homeforce plan can help you to get up and running again quickly with our nationwide team of specialist engineers, but why has it happened and is there anything you can do to open it? 

Join us in our help article and find out why your machine is locked and ways to open it. 

Let’s start with the mini takeaway first, so you can get on with your laundry ASAP before we head into more detail. 

Your machine may have overheated, there might be a faulty interlock, a broken switch or a catch on the door. Try putting the machine on a spin cycle, or disconnect it from pipes to release any water. Leave it for 15 minutes to cool down. If it still won’t open, contact a specialist repair engineer.

So with the short answer covered, so you can more easily understand why your machine is locked and ways to open it, let’s start by looking at what you should do first. 

Check if there’s water still in the machine. 

Seeing your wet clothes stuck inside your washing machine really adds to your frustrations when you are simply trying to do the laundry! 

The first thing to do if your washing machine door won’t open is to check to see if there is still water in it. 

If there is, then you could end up with a swimming pool for a kitchen if you do manage to get it open.

Many newer models of washing machines such as Samsung, Hotpoint, and Whirlpool will generally have this safety feature in place if there is water detected in the drum. 

“The first thing to do if your washing machine door won’t open is to check to see if there is still water in it.”

Do not attempt to open the door if there is water still in the machine 

So before any attempt to open the door is made, you might need to drain the machine. 

Firstly check any drain filters as there may be something obstructing the pipe, stopping the water from successfully draining away. 

Run your machine on a drain cycle 

If you can locate the pipe that the machine connects to you could try disconnecting it and placing it over a bucket to remove the water. 

Be prepared to have a few buckets lined up if you try this method as there is often more water in the machine than you might think.

So if you’ve managed to disconnect the pipes, you’ve uncovered a blockage, or even if you’ve looked all over and can’t seem to locate a blockage in the machine, try turning your machine onto a drain cycle to see if that will help it will drain away. 

This will hopefully remove the excess water so you can concentrate on getting the door open. Often this is just the fix that it needs.

However, If there is no water in the drum and your washing machine still isn’t opening then it could be something else causing the problem. 

“Try turning your machine onto a drain cycle to see if it will drain away.”

There’s no water in the washing machine 

If you can’t see any water when you look through the window to the drum, then it could be a switch not working or the door could be damaged and faulty. 

You might need to try a few things first before finding out the problem. 

Empty Washing Machine

The pressure switch won’t release 

Many washing machine models have a pressure switch which sometimes stays locked even when it’s finished a cycle. 

If your door remains stuck and won’t open, it can sometimes be a fault In the pressure switch. If this is faulty then the washing machine won’t reset itself to empty and release the door mechanism. 

You could try turning off the power at the mains and leaving the machine for around 15 minutes to reset it. 

Faulty interlock 

One of the most common reasons for a washing machine door not opening is the interlock is faulty. 

When the interlock is working correctly, the latch on the door will push against the door lock when you shut the door which then allows the electric flow to pass through and lock the machine. 

The door latch itself is spring-loaded and should neatly slip into the door catch so it stays closed.  

Most modern machines have a metal part just inside the door which makes sure the machine is locked. 

If the door lock isn’t clicking firmly in place then the lock will not work properly so it could just be a simple case of a little  WD40 sprayed in the lock and the catch. 

Never force a jammed washing machine door open as handles can be fairly fragile and are easily damaged. 

Remember to unplug the washing machine before you investigate the door lock as you could get an electric shock. 

If you are still struggling to open the door. Then it might be to get in touch with an experienced engineer who can get you up and running again in no time.

Washing Machine Door Interlock

“One of the most common reasons for a washing machine door not opening is the interlock is faulty”. 

Your washing machine may have overheated 

Overheating is another problem which can cause your machine door to jam shut. It can contribute to the interlock being damaged or faulty too. The heat from the machine may have caused the circuits in the interlock to blow. 

You might notice that your machine is switched on with power going to it as usual, but the door just seems to be jammed shut and simply won’t come open. 

This can often happen when you’ve done more laundry loads than usual. 

Check the temperature of your washing machine’s door if it seems very hot to the touch, it might be worth leaving it a little while before you reload it. 

Overheating is possibly the easiest problem to fix as by simply leaving your machine to cool down a little, you can avoid overheating problems which might cause the door to remain shut. 

If you’ve tried letting it cool down and it still won’t open, then make sure you get some professional advice from trained washing machine repair technicians and don’t attempt to fix the machine yourself as it may not be safe to do so. 

What if my machine is a top-loader? 

Although most washing machines generally these days tend to have a front opening door, larger industrial types can be designed as top loaders.

Doors not opening on top-loaders can still happen although their design is different to the usual front opening types. If the door on a top loader won’t open it’s more than likely a problem with the hinges. There are usually two hinges at the back of the lid and over time they can warp and become worn. Plastic hinges are more likely to become damaged.

A qualified washing machine repair expert will be able to replace these for you. 

And finally…

So we hope that’s helped to troubleshoot some of the issues that may be causing your washing machine door to remain locked. 

Always remember to switch off any appliances before you begin any work and if you think the problem is more difficult to solve then make sure you get advice from an experienced washing machine repair technician who will be able to unlock the door safely for you. 

Don’t forget to check out our appliance plans for washing machines and other white goods. Our nationwide team will be able to fix your appliance swiftly so you can get back to your laundry ASAP!

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