How to Fix a Lid Switch for a Washer That Will Not Start

When your washer isn’t responding, or will not start, it may be due to a malfunctioning lid switch. Normally, a lid switch tells your washer’s control board when the lid is closed so that the motor can start the wash cycle. If it’s broken or bad, your washer won’t start. Lid switches can be problematic sometimes, too, because their overall structure can make them prone to damage by excessive force or improper care. Below is a step-by-step guide on how you can diagnose and potentially replace your washer’s lid switch to get your machine back to 100% as soon as possible.

What is a Lid Switch?

A lid switch is a mechanism that sits at the top of your washing machine and tells the control board when the lid is shut, allowing the motor to start the wash cycle. Normally you only see a portion of the switch exposed above the top of the washer panel; it usually looks like a plastic and metal plug with a wire coming off of it.

Where is the Lid Switch Located?

The lid switch assembly and access to it on your washer may vary from model to model, but typically the lid switch is somewhere around the perimeter of the opening to your washer. We recommend that you explore this area of the washer to identify how the switch itself is mounted to the washer, and any securing mechanisms used. The 3D diagram shows that it is located at the upper left corner of the panel, but may be found at either of the remaining corners.

A 3D diagram showing the components of a washer and specifying the location of the lid switch

How to Access, Remove, and Inspect the Lid Switch

  1. Locate your switch and identify how it is mounted and how to access it.
  2. Most switches are removed from underneath the top of the washer. To access this area, you might have to lift up the top or remove the front part of the cabinet.
  3. Disconnect any screws or clips keeping the switch secure.
  4. Disconnect the switch wiring where it connects to the washer itself. If it is not near the switch, follow the wires to where they connect to the machine.
  5. Once the switch is free, remove the wires from any clips or cable management.

How to Test the Lid Switch

If your washer doesn’t recognize the lid as being shut, and doesn’t start or lock as a result, then it most likely means that the lid switch is faulty or broken.

How to Install a New Lid Switch

Replacing your lid switch isn’t hard and may require only a few tools, like a screwdriver with the appropriate tip, a thin-blade putty knife, a ¼” or 5/16” socket or nut driver, and a set of needle-nose pliers.

  1. To install the new switch, reinsert the new wire harness and reinstall the switch to where it is located, making sure that any cables along the way are clipped and secured.
  2. If you had to disconnect the front or the top of the housing, reconnect that now to the rest of the machine.
  3. If you moved or unclipped the control panel during the access stage, reconnect it, making sure that all screws are fastened. Now, your repair is complete!

Next: Troubleshooting the Start Capacitor

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