How To Bypass The Lid Lock On My Washing Machine (Do This!)

Jessica Stone
by Jessica Stone
The lid lock function on your washing machine is important, but sometimes you simply need to override it. There are several ways to bypass this function, including magnets or cutting wires, but it varies based on the brand. Follow along as we explore the few simple ways that you can override the lid lock feature on your washing machine.

For decades, washing machines have been a common household appliance and over the years they have received a number of upgrades. If you weren’t already aware, many modern washers have a lid lock feature. Not to be confused with the lid switch feature, which prevents the washing machine from operating when the lid opens, the lid lock does exactly as it sounds. It locks the washer’s lid into place during cycles.

The lid lock function primarily exists as a safety function and can come in handy. However, when the lid lock malfunctions and your washing machine refuses to start, you may need a way to get around it. Opening a washing machine that has a faulty lid lock will require either the use of a magnet or some basic wire splicing. However, keep in mind that these actions may void your warranty, and you’ll be attempting them at your own risk.

Why Do Washing Machines Lid Lock?

The main reasons for a lid lock function on washing machines, both front and top loading, has to do with safety. Put simply, the lock is what prevents the lid from being opened during certain cycles of washing including the load sensing cycle and the spin cycle. The ladder of which can cause serious bodily harm if someone were to open the washer and reach in.

Washers can spin anywhere from 800 to 1600 rotations per minute (rpm). This measurement indicates how many times the basin spins in a complete circle per minute. The speed of a washing machine’s spin cycle is incredibly fast and can most certainly cause broken bones. This fact is why it is absolutely critical to have a lid lock function on your washing machine.

This feature is especially useful for households with children. It is just another way to protect your children from the dangers that exist inside the home. During the load sensing cycle, the tub is filled with an adequate amount of water based on how much laundry is inside the machine. The lid locks during this cycle in order to ensure that no disruption occurs while the water is being filled.

How to Bypass Lid Lock on Whirlpool Washer

The first step in bypassing the lid lock function on a washing machine, the Whirlpool brand included, is to turn off the washing machine and disconnect it from the power source. Do not proceed until you’ve confirmed that the appliance is completely unplugged from the socket.

Some of the lid lock mechanisms on washers are activated by heat, meaning bypassing them can be as easy as letting them cool down. Allow your Whirlpool washing machine to sit unplugged for at least 10 minutes. Then, attempt to lift the lid. If it will raise, then you’re all set! If the lid lock is still engaged, proceed with the steps outlined below.

Step One: Turn off the Water

With your washing machine unplugged from the wall, you’ll now want to shut off the water source. Even if your washer is unplugged, it is never safe to make any mechanical modifications to the unit until the water supply is cut. To do this, locate the twin supply valves either under the utility sink or in a recessed nook on the wall behind the appliance.

Once you find them, turn the rotating dials counterclockwise until they won’t move anymore. This will guarantee that no more water is flowing to the machine.

Step Two: Access the Lid Lock Switch

First, open the top panel of the washer by disengaging the retention clips. These clips are hidden on either side of the upper section of the appliance’s front face. Pry a screwdriver under the edge of the housing on one side and push against the clip inside to release. Continue this same process for the second clip, allowing you to raise the panel.

With the top panel out of the way, locate the lid lock switch on the underside. This switch is the electronic component that controls the locking feature. In most models, it will be found inside of a small box that is made of either black or gray plastic.

Step Three: Bypassing the Lid Lock with a Magnet

Underneath the washer’s housing, where the lid lock switch meets the cabinet, is a solenoid. A solenoid is a powerful electromagnet, which is keeping the lid locked. To release it, you need to create a stable electromagnetic connection that will “trick” it into opening.

Place a small magnet between the lid lock switch and where it fits into the unit. This action should release the switch, allowing you to raise your Whirlpool washer’s lid. Consider taping the magnet in place to be able to open and close your washing machine during regular use.

Quick Tip: If the small magnet is not creating a solid link with the solenoid, make sure that you’re placing it in the exact spot where the lid lock switch hovers. Otherwise, you may need a stronger magnet. For this, you can unscrew the magnet that is placed on the edge of the washer lid.

Step Four: Perform Test Wash

After you’ve successfully overridden the lid lock function, replace the top panel. Then, plug the washer back into the wall, turn the water supply back on, and perform a test wash. Use this test wash to evaluate whether or not your little workaround works while the wash cycle is occurring. This bypass will not affect the washer’s normal processes in the slightest, permitting you to place additional items into the wash without the unit cutting off each time.

How to Bypass Lid Lock on Washing Machine by Cutting Wires

If you’re unsuccessful with the magnet method, you can bypass your washer’s lid lock function by cutting the wires connected to the lid lock switch itself. Make sure that your washing machine is turned off, the water supply is disconnected, and you’ve gained access to the lid lock switch. Then, proceed with the following steps:

  • Remove the lid lock switch housing by loosening the mounting screws holding it in place. Carefully lower the assembly and allow it to dangle freely in its harness.
  • Lift the cover off of the assembly. Most of these types of covers are fastened with retention clips. In this case, you can pry open the cover by pulling up on the clips to disengage them. Then, take off the cover and set aside.
  • Refer to your washing machine’s tech sheet to discover which wires need to be cut. The tech sheet should contain a wiring diagram that indicates which wires are labeled “lock switch” and “lid switch.” Most washer’s lid lock switches are powered by three or four wires. These are the ones you’ll be cutting.
  • Cut the wires that relate to the lid switch and lid lock component. Using sharp scissors or a pair of pliers, snip right through the center of each corresponding wire. Without an established connection, the wires will not be able to provide the electrical current that keeps the lid locked.
  • Strip insulation from the end of each wire. You’ll want to remove about 1 inch of insulated coating from the end of the wires using wire strippers. This removes excess material, allowing you to work more efficiently.
  • Attach a wire connector. Twist the ends of the wires together and join them using a plastic wire connector. Alternatively, you can use a strip of electrical tape if you don’t have a wire connector readily available.
  • Reassemble the washer and test it out. Tuck the wires back into the assembly, plug the washer back in, turn the water back on, and start it up.

You should now be able to freely open and close the lid at any point during the machine’s various cycles. It’s important to note that modifying your machine’s wiring may cause it to stop functioning properly, and will most certainly violent your warranty. Proceed with caution or consider hiring a certified repair technician.

Related Questions

How do I bypass lid lock on my GE top-loading washer?

Depending on your particular model, most GE top-loading washers will lock while they are running. If you need to bypass the lid lock and open the lid, simply press the Start/Pause button. No matter which cycle it is on, the washer will stop and allow you to raise the lid. Once you’re done, close the lid and push the Start/Pause button to continue the wash cycle.

Why is my Amana washer not spinning?

If your Amana washing machine isn’t spinning or you have standing water in the tub, verify that the drain hose is installed correctly. This is generally the case if the “spin” light is also on, as it turns on after 10 minutes of the drain pump being on with no change in water level.

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Jessica Stone
Jessica Stone

Jessica considers herself a home improvement and design enthusiast. She grew up surrounded by constant home improvement projects and owes most of what she knows to helping her dad renovate her childhood home. Being a Los Angeles resident, Jessica spends a lot of her time looking for her next DIY project and sharing her love for home design.

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