Washing Machine Door Will Not Open? (try this)

There is nothing more frustrating than seeing your freshly washed clothes just on the other side of the washing machine door but not being able to access it. If this is the problem you’re facing, keep reading because in this article we will tell you all of the possible reasons a washing machine door will not open, and how to get it open.

Before we continue we feel we should give a quick word of caution. Never tamper with any electrical appliance unless you are confident of your abilities and feel safe in continuing. If we feel the fault is beyond the lay person’s skill set we will suggest using a fully qualified electrical engineer.

Child Lock Accidentally Activated

Most modern washing machines have a child lock function. If this is activated by mistake, it will prevent you from opening the machine door. Before getting bogged down with more confusing and complicated remedies, check that the child lock hasn’t been activated.

Power Supply Issue

If there is a power strike or surge, this could cause your door to remain in the locked position. Once the power has been restored try turning the machine off unplugging for 10 minutes or so and reconnecting the machine. Try the door again. This should have done the trick.

Machine Not Draining

This is one of the most common causes of a washing machine door malfunction. If the machine doesn’t drain, it will not allow the door to open due to flooding issues. If the machine is finished and hasn’t drained, it’s probably due to some sort of blockage in the drainage system somewhere. Either the drainage hose is partially blocked, the drain pump is blocked or the drain pump has failed.

To check for a blockage in the drainage hose, look at the back of the machine and inspect the drainage hose for any visible bends or kinks, if you suspect a blockage in the hose you can use a plumber’s snake to remove any stuck objects after first removing the hose from the machine. To determine if the blockage is in the pump remove the filter and check for foreign objects. If it’s the actual pump, you’ll need an expert.

Circuitry Failure

The electric control module controls all of your machine’s functions. Including allowing the door to open, if the control board is faulty, the door will stay in the locked position. This is a job for an expert.

Pressure Switch Fault

Inside the machine, there is a switch that detects the changes in air pressure. As the machine fills with water the air pressure changes and it’s this change in air pressure that determines when the machine stops allowing water to enter. If the switch becomes faulty, it will send a message to the control unit that the drum is full of water even after it has fully drained.

Turn the machine off and unplug it for at least 5 minutes before replugging it in and turning it on again. This should reset the system and allow you to open the door.

Broken Door Handle

Washing Machine

If the handle is loose and has no resistance at all it is probably broken. It is possible to get the door open but as this involves applying hard pressure on delicate components you can’t rule out serious damage to the machine. It’s best to call an engineer if this is your problem.

Faulty/Damaged Door Lock

If the door lock gets damaged or develops a fault, it will not allow you to open the door. It is possible to manipulate the lock of the door but as these are usually made using delicate parts you’re likely to damage the door beyond repair. This is a job best left to a professional.

Overheating Fault

If your machine overheats it could cause the circuits controlling the machine’s door lock from working. You will usually be able to open the door after the machine has had time to cool down. Remove the plug for around 5 to 10 minutes and then replace. The door should now open.

If this is the problem you need to stop using the machine until an engineer has resolved whatever caused it to overheat.

Thermal Lock Issues

After around 2 minutes the washing machine door should unlock and allow you to  open it. If this doesn’t happen it could be due to the thermal lock. To resolve this just unplug the machine for around 10 minutes and then plug it in again and try the door it should open freely now. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you force a washing machine to unlock?

You should never use excessive force on a washing machine lock as you can cause more problems than you solve. Remove the power cord for at least 10 minutes and once it is plugged in again it should open freely.

Why is my washing machine door stuck?

There are a number of reasons the washing machine door becomes stuck. Including; Issues with drainage, a faulty pump, faulty pressure switch, faulty thermal lock or problems with the electric circuitry.

What does key lock mean on washing machine?

The key lock is a function that clicks into place around 15 seconds after you have finished programming your machine. It stops the buttons getting selected accidentally after the machine has started.

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