There can be multiple reasons why your Maytag washer door is locked and now stuck. It can be pretty difficult to open the door when there’s a problem, which is why you first need to determine when the issue occurred. It’s also important to be aware of the different door lock problems that can happen at any time. Finally, you need to know different methods you can use to unlock the door. You can find all of this information in this article.
- Why Is Your Maytag Washer Door Locked
- How To Unlock A Maytag Washer Door
- Common Maytag Door Lock Problems
Why Is Your Maytag Washer Door Locked
It’s helpful if you know when your washer door was first locked, as this will make it easier for you to decide on the best course of action to take next. There are three different situations to consider:
- The door locked during the installation of the washer
- The door locking during a wash cycle
- The door locked whilst the washer was static or not running
1. Door Locked During Installation
If you have just purchased a new Maytag washing machine and successfully installed it, congratulations. To activate the door opening sequence you will need to plug the washer into a power outlet. Once you do this, one of three things will happen.
- The most likely scenario is that the door will instantly get unlocked after you plug the appliance in.
- The door lock LED light will start blinking on the display. If this happens, you should wait one minute for the door to unlock.
- If you connected the washer to a power outlet and switched the washer on before connecting the water, you will get an F8 E1 error or LO FL error. In this situation press the Power button and the washer will begin a drain cycle that should last around 8 minutes. You will hear the pump running continuously over this time. After 10 minutes, you should be able to perform further functions on the washer, such as running a program or opening the door.
2. Door Locked During Wash Cycle
It’s normal for the door to lock during a wash cycle, if fact, this is a standard built-in safety mechanism in every washing machine. This prevents the door from being opened when the drum contains water, therefore preventing flood risk. It also prevents the risk of physical injury, if the spin cycle is still in progress, no one can put their hands or arms inside the machine
This safety mechanism is especially important if you have young children since they might not be aware of the dangers of playing with appliances.
Simply wait for the wash program to complete and the door will automatically open when it is safe to do so.
3. Door Locked When Washer Not Running
f the door won’t open and the washing machine is not running, and you are confident it has finished the previous program, it would indicate one of two problems
- There is a problem with the program, which we can try to resolve through a series of actions to reset the washer
- There may be a mechanical or electrical problem that we can diagnose with a troubleshooting process
In the next section of the article, you’ll learn about the most common reasons why a Maytag washer door can get locked and how to unlock it.
How To Unlock A Maytag Washer Door
There are a number of simple steps you can take to reset your washer and attempt to trigger the door release mechanism before you try to manually unlock the door. It’s always a good idea to start with the least time-consuming method and if that doesn’t work, you can move on to more in-depth methods.
- Cancel ‘Add Garment’ light
- Unplug To Reset Maytag Washer
- Cancel The Wash Cycle and Drain
- Manually Pull the Door Switch Lever
- Pull Green Door Release Cord
1. ‘Add Garmet’ Light On
If the Add Garment light is on, you will need to press the Pause/Cancel button to release the door lock.
2. Unplug To Reset Maytag Washer
It is often the case with home appliances that a program experiences a glitch, and the appliance needs rebooting. No different from your home computer freezing and needing to be restarted.
- Unplug your washing machine from the mains power outlet
- Wait for 15 minutes, before plugging the washer in and switching on the power
- The program will have reset, now try to open the door or start a new program. A good option is to run a ‘Drain and Spin’ cycle, as this will take the washer through a short cycle ending in releasing the door lock.
3. Cancel The Wash Cycle and Drain
To move on to the next stages of troubleshooting, we will need to manually trigger the door to open. But before we can do this you will need to drain any water contained within the washer drum.
The washer door will remain locked as long as a wash cycle is in progress. So we need to indicate to the control board to end the cycle, and we can do this by canceling the wash cycle, allowing you to manually drain the washer.
It’s not difficult to drain a washing machine manually, but it does take some time. Regardless of whether you have a front-loading or a top-loading washer, you will need to grab the biggest bucket you have to drain the appliance without making a mess. Here’s what to do:
How to Drain a Front-Loading Washer
If you have a front-loading washing machine, you will have to slowly turn the knob on the drain pump filter. Make sure you’ve placed the bucket underneath the pump filter before you start turning the knob. Once you fill the bucket, empty it and repeat the whole process until the washer is fully drained. In case your washing machine model features a tube along with a drain pump filter, you’ll need to unclip it and unscrew its end cap. This will make that water start coming out.
How to Drain a Top-Loading Washer
Draining a top-loading washer is even easier. Your machine will feature a drain hose that you should disconnect from the drain pipe and lower into your bucket. Gravity will essentially do all the work for you. Whenever your bucket gets full empty it and repeats the whole process until you fully drain the washing machine.
4. Manually Pull the Door Switch Lever
Now the drum has been emptied, you can manually unlock the door by pulling the switch lever. To do this, you should grab a flathead screwdriver. You’ll need it to remove the toe panel on your washing machine. This is the panel located at the bottom of your washer.
After you remove it, reach inside the machine through the panel until you reach a small lever that you can pull down. Gently pull it until you hear the click of the door latch opening.
5. Pull Green Door Release Cord
If your washer features a door handle that’s positioned inside the rim of the door, you can release the door lock with a piece of nylon cord. Wrap the cord inside and around the door and tie a knot so it’ll be easier for you to pull it. Once the cord is fully around the door, pull it and the door should open.
If none of the above methods work, unfortunately, this means it is most likely a mechanical problem, requiring repair.
Common Maytag Door Lock Problems
After working through each of the routines listed previously, and failing to unlock the door, it is likely your machine has suffered a component failure. However, each of the potential issues is relatively inexpensive to fix, and within the capabilities of a handy DIYer to repair.
Faulty Door Lock Mechanism
There’s a good chance that the door lock mechanism itself is faulty and needs to be replaced. If you have a top-loading model, you will need to take a look at the lid switch and potentially replace it. On the other hand, you should examine the door lock assembly if you have a front-loading washer.
If the washer is locked and contains water, you will need to follow the process I shared with you to drain and manually open the door. You can find it here.
Replacing the Lid Switch
The lid switch on a top-loading washer ensures that the machine won’t run unless the lid is fully closed. This is a safety feature designed to prevent injuries. But when the lid switch stops working it does more harm than good, which is why you should replace it as soon as possible.
- Start by unplugging your washing machine.
- Now take a screwdriver and use it to remove screws securing the top lid. After that, you should remove the top lid.
- You will notice the lid switch, which is designed as a small plastic box.
- Remove all of the screws that secure the switch and take the component out of the machine.
- Install the new lid switch and put all components you previously removed back in their original places.
Check out the video below for a visual guide on how to replace a lid switch.
Replacing the Door Lock Assembly
If you can’t open the door on your washer but need to replace the faulty door lock assembly, try striking the door with an open palm, around the area where the lock is. Once you manage to open the door, you can begin the process of replacing the door lock assembly.
- Unplug your washing machine and unscrew the screws that hold the top lid.
- Remove the top lid from your Maytag washer.
- Use a screwdriver to take out the screws that secure the door lock assembly.
- Reach down the washer with your hand to remove the door lock assembly from within the appliance.
- Install the new assembly and reassemble the washer.
You may also find this article useful Fixing A Maytag Washer 5d Error Code in 5 Simple Steps
Washer Not Draining Fully
If you are unable to unlock the door and you can see water within the washer drum, it would indicate the washer is not fully draining. This can happen due to a kinked, looped, or clogged drain hose, a defective drain pump filter, or even a broken motor.
- Check your drain hose is not obstructed, kinked, or looped making it difficult to siphon out wastewater.
- Inspect the drain pump filter for clogs or blockages
- Unplug the power to your machine and remove the access panel to locate the drain pump. Check the drain pump vanes are all in place and move freely.
- Use a multimeter to test whether the drain pump motor has continuity. If not it will need to be replaced.
Faulty Water Level Sensor
The water level sensor is located inside the control console of your Maytag washer. It’s easy to identify this sensor because it’s the only one that features a rubber tube that goes down the side of the tub. If the water level sensor fails, the washer may think the tub is full of water, resulting in the door remaining locked. You can test if the sensor works with a multimeter.
Testing the Water Level Sensor
- After you remove the control console from the washer, you’ll have to take out the sensor along with the tube attached to it.
- Now set the multimeter to the lowest ohm setting and connect one of its leads to the right side terminal and the other to the middle terminal.
- If you get a reading of 0 ohms, it means that the sensor is in good condition.
Watch the video below for a more detailed guide on how to test a water level sensor.
Andy has over 8 years of experience working on residential household appliances, performing diagnostics, and repairs across most major brands. He graduated from the Denver Institute of Technology, is NASTeC certified, and has worked for Mr. Appliance. Andy has contributed to features on major publications including Better Home & Gardens, Family Handyman, and Yahoo.com.