How to Troubleshoot and Repair a Washer With Locking Issues

It’s common for many people to experience issues with locking their top-load washer lids or front-load washer doors. Whether your washer door/lid is stuck, can’t unlock, or can’t lock, you’ve come to the right place. There may be a variety of reasons why your washer is experiencing locking issues, such as electrical failure or mechanical failure with specific parts of your washer.

You don’t have to worry about hiring an expert to come and fix it, at least not yet!

This guide, prepared by our own expert repair technicians, can walk you through inspecting the different parts in the locking assembly on your washer to see if something has gone awry. We can also show you other common washer parts that may be responsible for your locking issues. In a few easy steps, you will be able to repair the parts at fault on your washer. If you find that a part is broken or no longer usable, this guide will give you clear instructions on how to remove the old part and replace it with a new one.



Do not attempt to bypass the locking feature on your washer, as this poses a safety hazard to you and your washer.

Using This Page, You Will be Able to Troubleshoot the Following Symptoms

  1. Washer Door/Lid is Not Locking
  2. Washer Door/Lid Won't Unlock
  3. Washer Door/Lid is Stuck

Inspect These Common Issues First

If your washer door or lid won’t unlock or lock, first check these common errors before you move on to the next section.



Remember, when troubleshooting any washer symptom, start by unplugging it from the electrical outlet or turning off the breaker.
Is Your Drain Pump Clogged?

The drain pump is responsible for flushing water out of your washing machine. A drain pump can become clogged either by a piece of clothing or any other small item. The impeller on the pump can also be damaged. This may result in the washer failing to drain and, if the washer remains full of water or there is insufficient drainage, the door cannot unlock.

Is Your Washer Receiving Power?

If your washer cannot unlock, first check that there is power going to the machine. If power is disrupted during a cycle, some machines cannot unlock the door.

Is Your Pressure Switch Malfunctioning?

The pressure switch is responsible for identifying how much water is present in the machine. If the pressure switch is defective and indicates that the washer is still full of water, even when it is not, then the washer door will not unlock.

Common Parts You May Need to Replace

Problems with the parts listed below are the most common causes of locking issues. More information such as part descriptions, 3D renderings, and installation instructions are available on the individual part pages.

  1. Lid Switch
  2. The lid switch is a safety mechanism on your top-load washer that keeps the machine locked during operation.
  3. Lid Actuator
  4. The lid actuator activates the lid switch to keep the washer locked. If it is defective, your washer may not lock or unlock.
  5. Door Latch Assembly
  6. The door latch keeps the door on your front-load washer locked during the washer’s operation. If it is damaged, the washer may not lock or unlock.
  7. Door Strike
  8. The door strike activates the door latch, which keeps the washer locked during operation. If it is damaged, your washer door may not either lock to start a cycle or unlock at the end of a cycle.
  9. Hinges
  10. The hinges allow you to move the door/lid on your washer easily. If the hinges are damaged, the washer door/lid may not lock properly, and you may note that the door/lid is not held securely to the washer.
  11. Electronic Control/Control Board
  12. The control board sends instructions to the rest of the machine. If it is faulty, it cannot control its locking and unlocking functions.
  13. Timer
  14. The timer controls when the washer moves through its cycles. If it is defective, your washer may not be able to operate correctly, and your washer door/lid could remain stuck or refuse to lock.
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