What To Do When Your Whirlpool Top Load Washer Won’t Unlock

Whirlpool top-loading washers have several safety features, including a lid lock that ensures the washer won’t start if the lid is open. Although this facilitates safe operation, what do you do if your Whirlpool top load washer won’t unlock due to a malfunction? Bypassing the lid lock with a magnet can enable the use of your machine. Learn how to perform this helpful intervention and pinpoint washer door part failures to solve the problem.

Help! My Whirlpool Top Load Washer Won’t Unlock!

While bypassing the lid lock may sound complicated, the process is easily broken down into 4 simple steps. We’ll detail each before troubleshooting common part failures when your Whirlpool top load washer won’t unlock.

How to Bypass a Whirlpool Washer Lid Lock

Most lid locks operate magnetically via a solenoid, allowing operation only if the lid is closed. If your Whirlpool top load washer won’t unlock, a magnet can bypass the lock to open the lid.

Follow these steps to perform a Whirlpool washer lid lock bypass:

  1. Unplug the washer and move it away from the wall.
  2. Remove the top panel by pushing in its retaining tabs or removing its screws.
  3. Locate the lid lock switch underneath the top panel.
  4. Secure a strong magnet between the switch and the panel.
  5. Reattach the top panel and restore power to the washer before repositioning it.
  6. Lift the washer lid. If the washer resumes operation, the lock is successfully bypassed. If the Whirlpool washer lid won’t unlock, you may need to reposition the magnet.
whirlpool top load washer won't unlock
Image Credit: Whirlpool

Whirlpool Washer Door Part Failures

While bypassing the lock can enable the use of your machine, there may still be a part malfunction that caused the problem. Usually, a flashing light on the display panel will indicate if there’s a malfunction. Here’s how to troubleshoot the most likely causes and determine the right repair.

Failed lid switch: The lid switch should automatically engage when the washer is on, and the lid is closed. Once engaged, the switch locks the lid and signals the washer’s control panel to begin a wash cycle. If the switch is damaged or has failed electronically, it’s possible the Whirlpool washer lid won’t unlock or signal a cycle to start. When this happens, you’ll find your washing machine isn’t spinning, draining, or starting. If the switch appears damaged or fails multimeter testing with a lack of continuity, it requires replacement.

Broken door strike: On top loading machines, the door strike activates the lid switch. When the switch comes in contact with the strike, it locks the lid and signals the control panel to begin a wash cycle. The plastic strike can crack, break or become misaligned with wear and tear or if the lid is slammed down. When this happens, it may be unable to engage the lid switch or leave the washer door locked, won’t open. While the strike can be repositioned if it’s misaligned, it must be replaced if broken.

Faulty actuator motor: Is your Whirlpool top load washer locked and won’t turn on? The actuator motor may be at fault. This component enables the washer to switch from spinning to agitating. If the motor is faulty, it may cause spinning problems that cause the lid to remain locked and halt other functions. Testing the motor and/or replacing it is a complex job that should be reserved for professional repair service.

Drain pump malfunction: Sometimes, a Whirlpool top load washer won’t unlock if the drain pump malfunctions and is unable to drain water from the machine. Check the pump for blockages that can keep it from functioning and remove any debris or obstructions. If there are no visible blockages and the pump operates loudly, it may be failing, requiring professional replacement.

For the best Whirlpool washer repair Columbus has to offer, contact Capital City Appliance Service. Our experts can handle most repairs!

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