Your washing machine lid switch plays an important role in the clothes washing process. The lid switch and lock assembly does two things. First, it detects whether your lid is safely closed so that water can be thrown around inside to wash the clothes. Second, it keeps the lid closed during the wash cycle to prevent messes and accidents. When your washer’s lid switch malfunctions, the washer may not start or may not lock properly during the cycle.
In dryers, replacing the door switch is a quick and easy process, but with top-load washers, the lid switch is surprisingly complex. That’s why we’ll be covering how to remove the lid switch in this article and how to install the new lid switch in a future installment. This guide applies to top-load washers in the Kenmore, Maytag, and Whirlpool brand family. Specifically, the Kenmore 110 washers, Maytag Centennials, and Maytag Cabrio washers.
Join us in removing your old lid switch before reversing the process to reinstall a new washer lid switch.
Gather Your Supplies
The first step for any repair is to gather your supplies. You don’t want to have to stop halfway through to grab a missing tool so get your stuff together now. This repair will require both types of a screwdriver and a classic 1/4″ nut driver. In addition, you’ll need a putty knife, work gloves, tape, and of course the replacement lid switch and lock assembly.
- Putty Knife
- Both Types of Screwdriver
- 1/4″ Nut Driver
- Work Gloves
Once you have your supplies, it’s time to prepare the washer for your repair. This means safety precautions and moving the appliance so that there’s room to work behind it.
- Cut the Power
- Start with the electricity. The lid switch and lock assembly is an electrical component which means there is some risk of shock or electrocution during the repair. To ensure your safety, unplug the washing machine, or flip the breaker that supplies your washer with power.
- Turn Off the Water
- Next, make sure the water is switched off behind your washer. While there is little risk of a leak during this repair, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Most washing machine repairs should begin with turning off the water.
- Move the Washer
- Carefully pull the washer away from the wall so that you can stand comfortably behind it. Ask a friend for help if the washer is too heavy to move safely on your own.
Access the Switch
- Tape the Lid Shut
- You will be opening the top panel, but not the lid. For this reason, it’s more convenient to tape the washer lid closed so it doesn’t flap around while you’re working. That is what the tape is for.
- Remove the Hinge Screws
- Now step behind the washer and look at the line where the top panel meets the cabinet. You will see large hinges on both sides. Remove the screws that hold the hinges closed.
- Remove the Wire Cover Screws
- Next, remove the screws below the hinges that secure the wire cover. There may only be one screw to remove here.
- Remove the Wire Cover
- Now remove the small plastic or metal cover that protect the wires below the hinges. Set the screws and the wire cover aside somewhere you can find them later.
- Push Back the Top Panel
- Step back in front of the washer and grip the front edge of the top panel. Push back firmly until you feel the position on the hinges shift. This should loose the top panel from the rest of the washer cabinet.
- Lift and Prop the Top Panel
- Pull the front edge of the washer upward. Then carefully lift the washer top panel until you can prop it upright or against the wall behind your washer.
- Identify the Switch
- You should now be able to see the lid switch and lock assembly underneath the washer top panel. The switch and lock assembly will look like a plastic box attached to the underside of the top panel with a bundle of wires leading away and toward the back of the washer.
Remove the Lid Switch Assembly
- Unfasten the Mounting Screws
- Grab your screwdrivers and start removing screws. Unmount the plastic box from the underside of the washer panel as your first step. Set aside the screws somewhere you can find them later.
- Release the Wire Clips
- There are metal wire clips holding the bundle of wires to the inner edge of the washer top panel. Use your gloved fingers or needle-nose pliers to open these metal clips and release the wire bundle.
- Release the Plastic Clip
- The bundle leads to a white plastic clip that is also secured to the underside of the panel. Release the clip, but do not yet remove it.
Remove the Lock Assembly
Now for the complicated part. You’ll need to unhook the long bundle of cables from where it leads inside the washer console.
- Close the Top Panel
- Carefully close the top panel and set it on top of the washer cabinet, but do not resecure it.
- Step Behind the Washer
- Now step back behind the washer with your nut driver ready. The next few steps all take place back there.
- Remove the Console Back Panel Screws
- Look at the top console sticking up at the back of the washer. There’s a metal grate that backs it, secured with screws. Remove those screws and set them aside where you can find them later.
- Release the Clips with a Putty Knife
- The console is almost free, but there are two hidden clips on either side underneath the console, Slide your putty knife under the console on either side-edge and press until you feel the clips release.
- Tip the Console Forward
- From there, the console will disconnect except for trailing wires. Tip the console forward and let it rest on the washer top.
- Release the Wire Harness
- Now trace the wire bundle from the lid switch assembly and unhook the wire harness from the electrical control board that has just been revealed. There may be a locking tab.
- Thread Out the Old Lock Assembly
- In the hole in the side of the washer cabinet, thread out the trailing wires to remove the lid switch wires from the washer console.
- Open the Washer Lid
- Now remove the tape from the washer lid and open it the traditional way.
- Remove the Entire Lid Switch Assembly
- Use this access to pull the entire trailing lid switch and lock assembly from the washer cabinet.
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