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Washing Machine Locked Door Problem and How to Fix It

Oleg Chudnovski, CEO

Technically Reviewed by Oleg Chudnovski, CEO on Apr 09, 2024 | Written by Fix Appliances CA Editorial Contributors

Authorized repair service for most home appliance manufactures

You’ve probably never considered the possibility that your washing machine door won’t open, but it’s a fairly common problem. When this happens, there’s no reason to worry too much as there’s usually a simple explanation, and it’s within your power to address the cause on your own so that you can get back to that load of laundry.

If your washing machine door won’t open, it might be stuck because of a lock issue or a cycle malfunction. First, try unplugging the machine for a few minutes and then plugging it back in. Check the manual for instructions on how to manually unlock the door if that doesn’t work. You should get expert assistance if you’re still stuck.

In this article, we will examine in detail the most common reasons why a washing machine door is locked and won’t open, and we’ll offer some easy DIY fixes for troubleshooting the issue. 

Troubleshooting Why The Washing Machine Door is Locked and Won’t Open

The simple solutions to a problem are usually the best. When you’re troubleshooting why the washing machine door is locked and won’t open, look at these possibilities first. You can save yourself a lot of money on costly and unnecessary repairs if you investigate the problem yourself first.

There May Be Something Caught in The Locking Mechanism If Your Washer Door is Locked

Every once in a while, we get lucky, and there’s a simple solution to what seems like a major problem. That may be the case if you find that your washing machine won’t open. If your door is stuck on the lock, it may be that something’s caught in the mechanism.

Confirming that a foreign object is causing the issue should be relatively straightforward. It could be obstructed by clothing or an item that was inadvertently left in a pocket. If the object is visible, attempt to manoeuvre it gently from side to side. Avoid exerting excessive force, as this may result in permanent damage to the locking mechanism.

You May Have A Faulty Door Lock If Your Washer Won’t Unlock

More often than not, there’s something more serious going on than a piece of clothing wedged in the mechanism that’s keeping your washing machine door locked. If the door lock itself is broken or jammed in the locked position, it can be a frustrating experience for a homeowner.

On some machines, there may be a manual release mechanism that will allow you to override the problem temporarily. The user manual that came with your appliance should have a troubleshooting section to help you determine how to use the workaround. If you can’t find your physical copy of the manual, one should be available online on your appliance manufacturer’s website.

Your Washing Machine Door Won’t Open If The Pressure Switch Is Broken

In modern washing machines, there is a pressure switch at the top of the machine if it’s a top-load machine or near the front if it’s a front-load machine. This switch tells the machine where the water level is, and in some models, the door lock will not release if the pressure switch is faulty, as the signal the machine is receiving is that it’s still full of water.

You can override this feature by unplugging your machine. It may take a few minutes, but once the locking mechanism has had a chance to cool down, you should be able to open the door on your machine. The pressure switch will need to be replaced in the near future, though.


How To Fix A Washing Machine Door Not Opening

How to Tell If The Door Lock is Broken When Your Washing Machine Won’t Unlock

Now that we know that there are some different reasons why a washer door lock might be stuck, how do we know if the lock itself is broken or if something else is at the root of the issue? The easiest way to figure this out is to eliminate some of the other potential reasons you can’t open your locked washing machine.

If you’ve considered everything else and you still can’t unlock your washer door, the lock itself is probably broken. On the basic machine, it may be possible to change the lock yourself if you are good at these types of projects, but some machines have advanced locking mechanisms — if this is the case, we recommend contacting Fix Appliances for help with washer door lock problems.

Knowing When It’s Time for Professional Help When Your Washing Machine Door Won’t Open

Most of us are reluctant to admit that we can’t solve a problem on our own, and that’s an admirable quality. At some point, though, we have to admit to ourselves that the issue is a little more complex than we expected it to be. If you’ve done your homework, looked at the manufacturer’s manual that came with your unit, and you still can’t get that washing machine door to open, then it’s probably time to reach out for professional help.

Call Fix Appliances When Your Washer Door is Locked and Won’t Open

When your washer door’s lock is stuck. We’re available in your local area when you need us for any repair, including a broken lock on your washing machine. Some simple considerations will help you know when it’s time to call for professional washing machine repair. We recommend you call us for a service call when:

  • A repair requires expert technical knowledge
  • Your door-locking mechanism is triggered using switches or electronic components
  • When you’re not confident in your do-it-yourself capabilities
  • If you’ve tried to fix the broken lock yourself and it’s still not working

Our technicians are constantly upgrading their skills to keep up with the latest changes and modifications to appliances, so you can be confident we have the skills to get the job done reliably and quickly. Fix Appliances CA has more than 18+ years of industry experience, and in that time, we’ve seen almost everything you can think of.

We believe it’s the combination of up-to-date knowledge and long-term experience that gives us an edge you can benefit from. So next time you’re confronted by a washing machine lock that refuses to open, contact Fix Appliances at 1-888-242-0777 or visit or request service for same-day repair in Toronto. We’re ready to get started when you are!

Date of page creation: September 23, 2020

Page update date: April 09, 2024


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FAQ: Top Frequently Asked Questions

The most common reason for a locked washing machine door is something caught in the locking mechanism, such as clothes or objects. To resolve this, gently check for obstructions and try to release them without causing damage to the lock.
If the door lock is broken or jammed, it can be frustrating. Some machines have a manual release mechanism that can be used temporarily. Check your user manual or the manufacturer's website for guidance. If all else fails, consider professional help.
Yes, a faulty pressure switch in modern washing machines can sometimes prevent the door from unlocking. Unplugging the machine to allow the lock to cool down may temporarily override this issue, but a replacement of the pressure switch is recommended.
If you've ruled out other potential issues and still can't open the door, it's likely that the lock itself is broken. You may attempt to replace it on a basic machine if you have the necessary skills. For advanced locking mechanisms, professional assistance is advisable.
If you've exhausted all troubleshooting options, consulted your manufacturer's manual, and still can't open the door, it's time to consider professional repair services. Factors to consider include the need for expert technical knowledge, the use of electronic components in the locking mechanism, lack of confidence in DIY abilities, or unsuccessful DIY attempts.

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