There’s nothing more frustrating and inconvenient, surely, than finding your washing machine door has jammed closed after finishing a load of laundry! Not only are you in a hurry to extract your clean, wet clothes to get them dry, but it is also a sign that something has gone wrong with the machine.
The first thing to do is take a deep breath, try to stay calm and turn the washing machine off at the plug point for safety’s sake. The initial instinct will be to force the door open – whether with brute force or using a prising tool of some kind (we once had a repair job where the client had used a crowbar to “jimmy” the washing machine door open).
This, of course, may well work – but only at the cost of completely destroying the washing machine door lock and mechanism, and probably also damaging the structure of the door itself, and the door seal. It could also result in a big clean-up job if – as is quite likely with a faulty washing machine – the drum is still full of water that will come gushing out when you force the door open.
What to do if your Washing Machine Door is Stuck
As already mentioned, there well may be water in the drum of the washing machine, even if it has stopped running. You should be able to see this through the viewing window.
Most models of washing machines will not allow the door catch to be released while water is detected in the drum, so the thing to do is to see if you can drain the drum, and check the drain filters to make sure there is no obstruction preventing the water from draining out of the machine.
If there is a blockage in the drain filter (usually located at the bottom of the machine in the front panel) clearing it is easy if messy – just twist it out, clean it off and deal with the deluge of water that will be released. Another way you could drain the machine is to lay the drain hose on the floor so that gravity will cause the water to run out.
If you succeed in draining the water out you should be able to open the door. To check that you’ve solved the problem, put the machine on a short cycle to see if it is going to run as normal and release the door on schedule.
Dealing with a Washing Machine Door Jam
If there’s no water in the machine but the door is stuck, then it is likely your washer has developed a fault with the door mechanism, and you’ll need a repair technician to sort it out. The cause of the door jam can be different depending on the make and model of the washing machine.
If you want to retrieve your laundry from the machine in a hurry, before a repair crew can get to you, you could try turning off the power at the plug and leave the machine to stand for a few minutes. The door lock may then open for you.
This will work if there is a fault with the pressure switch, which fails to reset and release the lock.
Washing machines are fitted with a safety device called the interlock, which engages when the wash cycle begins preventing the door from being opened mid-cycle. It should disengage minutes after the wash cycle finishes. If the interlock is faulty the door will remain locked. It may have become damaged, or the machine could have overheated, causing the interlock circuits to fail.
A jammed washing machine door need not spell the end of life for your hard-working washing machine! Indeed, it is likely to be caused by a relatively small fault that can be fixed inexpensively by a professional repairer in no time.
Our best advice is therefore to call on Bath Domestic Appliances for assistance when your washing machine door won’t open. We’ll be happy to help and get your laundry up to date quickly and efficiently.