How to Make a Washer Work When the Lid Sensor Breaks


Washing machines have a lid sensor for safety purposes and proper functioning. The sensor is usually a physical switch that detects when the lid is closed. If the sensor is broken the washer may not run as it falsely detects the lid as open. But you can bypass the wiring and "trick" the washer into running. Note that washers with "lids" are top-loading machines; front-loading machines utilize doors, and this fix may not work for front loaders.

Things You'll Need

  • Electrical wire, 3 to 4 inches
  • Scissors
  • Soldering gun
  • Screwdriver
  • Electrical tape
  • Pull the washer a few inches away from the wall. Locate the power plug, and unplug the washer.

  • Cut a short length, about 3 to 4 inches, of electrical wire. Use a soldering gun to lightly solder each end of the wire. Twist the wire into a U-shaped piece.

  • Locate the screws on top of the control panel. Depending on the make and model of your washer, the screws may be on top, on the side or on the back. Remove the screws.

  • Lift off or pull the control panel towards you to reveal the wires.

  • Locate the lid washer control wiring harness. Depending on your make and model the harness may be on the left or right side of the control panel housing.

  • Pull apart the two plastic harness pieces. Insert the tips of the U-shaped wire into the two contact holes on the piece of harness with multiple wires coming out of it.

  • Wrap up the one side of the harness and U-shaped wire with electrical tape. Close the control panel and replace the screws.

  • Plug the washer back in, and turn it on. The washer will now run.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not run the washer with the lid open. Only run the washer with the lid open for diagnostic purposes (such as ensuring that the agitator is spinning).
  • The lid sensor should be replaced by a licensed technician as this process is a temporary fix.

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  • Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images
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