Whirlpool washing machines have a system in them to lock the door so it can’t open during a wash cycle. This is for your own safety and to prevent water from leaking out of your appliance.
Sometimes, the washer door might lock and stay locked. When this happens, something is most likely wrong with one or more internal components, which will need to be repaired or replaced.
If you see no risk of water leaking out of your Whirlpool washer and the motor has completely stopped after the cycle, you can unlock the door by following these steps:
- Press the “Control Lock” button on your Whirlpool washer for three seconds. After three seconds, you should be able to open the door.
- If the door still doesn’t open, press the “End of Cycle” button (if your washing machine has one) for five seconds. When you do this, the washing machine should reset and you’ll then be able to open the door.
- If the door still doesn’t open, a full reset is required. This can be achieved by unplugging your appliance for 45 minutes. After this time, turn it back on. Check if the door can open.
- If the washer door still doesn’t open, you’ll have to manually release the door latch.
Here’s how to manually release the door latch:
- Remove the toe panel from your washing machine. This can be done by using a flathead screwdriver to unclip the panel, allowing it to be pulled off.
- Next, reach up through the panel area and find the door latch.
- Once located, find the tear-drop shaped tab on the door latch and pull it. You should hear a clicking sound and the door should be able to be opened.
If you still aren’t able to open the door, you’ll need to get a technician to come and inspect your washer. If the reset worked, you can use your washing machine normally as the problem was likely not with any components. However, if you had to manually open the door, you’ll need to investigate what component in your appliance is faulty. Below, we discuss the main components to check and how you can fix them.
Inspect the lid switch
The most likely culprit when your Whirlpool washer door can’t open is a faulty lid switch. The lid switch has a striker that needs to work correctly for the door to be able to be opened at the end of a cycle. When it becomes faulty, the door might stay locked and you won’t be able to open it.
Follow this process to inspect the lid switch:
- Switch the power off to your Whirlpool washer.
- Locate the lid switch. (If you don’t know where it is, check your user manual. It should have a diagram that outlines where each part is.)
- Once located, make sure the switch is aligned correctly and securely in place. If it has become misaligned or loose, it needs to be repaired. If you’re not able to repair it, replace the whole lid switch unit.
- If the switch is secure and aligned, use a multimeter to test it for continuity. Before doing the test, disconnect the wires connected to the lid switch.
- If the lid switch passes the test, it’s working correctly and you can move on to inspecting the actuator motor. If the lid switch fails the test, replace it.
- Once the new lid switch is installed, make sure the problem has been solved. If not, inspect the actuator motor.
Inspect the actuator motor
The next possible cause of your Whirlpool washer door not unlocking is a faulty actuator motor. When the actuator motor becomes defective, your washer might turn off during a cycle, which can stop the door from unlocking.
Follow this process to inspect the actuator motor:
- Start by turning your washer on to any cycle (if possible). When it starts, see if you can hear a loud grinding noise coming from the actuator motor. If so, this means the motor is defective and will have to be replaced before you can use your washing machine again.
- If you don’t hear a grinding noise, turn your washing machine off.
- Locate the actuator motor. (If you don’t know where it is, check your user manual. It should have a diagram that outlines where each part is.)
- Disconnect the motor and use a multimeter to test it for continuity.
- If the actuator motor passes the test, it’s working correctly and you can move on to inspecting the drain pump. If the motor fails the test, replace it.
- Once the new actuator motor is installed, make sure the problem has been solved. If not, inspect the drain pump.
Inspect the drain pump
The next component to check is the drain pump. The drain pump can cause the door to stay locked if it becomes faulty and your washer isn’t able to drain the water.
Follow this process to inspect the drain pump:
- Make sure the power is switched off to your Whirlpool washer.
- Locate the drain pump. (If you don’t know where it is, check your user manual. It should have a diagram that outlines where each part is.)
- Disconnect the drain pump and use a multimeter to test it for continuity.
- If the drain pump passes the test, it’s working correctly so you’ll have to consider replacing the main control board. If the pump fails the test, replace it.
- Once the new drain pump is installed, make sure the problem has been solved. If not, you’ll have to consider replacing the main control board.
Replace the main control board
Your final option is to replace the main control board. This is expensive to do and isn’t a guarantee that it’ll solve the problem. If you don’t want to take the risk, you should consider getting a technician to give you a second opinion or purchase a new washing machine.