Last updated on February 6th, 2017
This is one of the most frustrating faults to get, especially because it rarely jams shut before you start washing, it normally waits until your clothes are nice and clean but you can’t open the door. Lots of people force the door open out of frustration and cause extra expense.
Some washing machines may be able to detect when water is inside the drum and refuse to let the door open if there’s a problem draining the water or with the system responsible for checking water levels. However, most modern machines no longer have such a system due to cost cutting and / or because lower water levels have made them less necessary.
The first thing to check is – does the washing machine still have water inside?
If there is obviously still water inside the machine then this is possibly the cause of the door not opening. Drain the machine and investigate why it isn’t emptying using this article washing machine won't drain water
Can’t see any water inside
If you can’t see any water inside then it may be caused by various faults listed below. Here’s a list of the most common causes of a jammed door –
- On some machines if the pressure switch doesn’t reset to empty it keeps the door lock energized. If this is the case though, turning off the machine at the mains should allow the door lock to cool down and open after a few minutes.
- The water hasn't pumped out properly (or a blockage in the pressure system is holding the pressure switch on) – but only if the washing machine has a pneumatic (air operated) door safety lock (a rubber hose connected to the door interlock and connected to a pressure chamber bottle on the tub – water forces air up this tube and locks the door) Washing machine won't empty water | Understand how a pneumatic door lock works
- The water has pumped out properly, but the pressure switch hasn’t reset due to a faulty pressure switch or blockage in the pressure system – or the water hasn’t pumped out properly and the pressure switch hasn’t reset because of the water inside. A faulty pressure switch, or blockage of gunge inside the pressure chamber bottle could also be trapping the air that's operating the door lock (if a pneumatic lock is fitted – not many have these days) See How does a washing machine door interlock work? for more details
- The door interlock has just jammed
- The door catch, handle, or some part of the door catch mechanism is broken and not opening the door
- Pecker (a device that detects the motion of the drive belt fitted to many older Hotpoint washing machines which "pecks" at the belt when the door handle or button is operated) is broken or has fallen off
Opening a jammed door
Do not take the lid off and reach inside the washing machine to try and release the door if the washing machine is still plugged in as you will be electrocuted.
The most common cause of a jammed door is likely to be a faulty door interlock. Sometimes you can release the door from the inside by manipulating the door interlock or forcing the door catch out from it. But they sometimes just have to be broken away from the machine. If you need to do this make sure you completely disconnect the washing machine from the mains and if necessary break the interlock off from inside the machine. Don’t force the door or you will just break more parts. The door catch should latch behind a plate in the door lock and sometimes you can manipulate or force the door catch off the plate.
For a better understanding of how the door lock works see – How does a washing machine door interlock work?
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