How to Replace a Broken Washer Lid Lock

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A top-loading washing machine may have a lid lock installed so that you can’t open it when the washer is agitating and spinning. That helps prevent injuries. The lock consists of two parts: a tab on the lid and a switch on the main washer housing or cabinet. When you close the lid, the tab strikes the switch and secures the lid in place. If one of the lock’s components breaks, it must be replaced, or else your washer won’t operate fully.

Effect on Washer Performance

  • When a washer’s lid lock breaks, the washer won’t complete a full wash cycle. For example, it may not agitate or spin and only fill and drain. If you empty the washing machine after a cycle finishes and clothes are still wet, you should verify that the lid lock is working properly.

Verify Broken Component

  • Because there are two parts to a lid lock, confirm which part is broken, as the entire lock won’t work if even one of its two components is defective. First, press and release the switch on the main housing cabinet. It should make a clicking sound when you run your finger over it. If it doesn’t make a sound or only stays compressed, the lock must be changed out. Next, check to ensure the plastic tab on the interior frame of the lid isn’t broken. It shouldn’t have any cracks or missing pieces. Open and close the lid several times to ensure the tab strikes the switch. It the lid doesn’t close properly, the tab has likely shifted out of position with the switch, which is preventing the tab from striking it.

Replace Switch

  • Disconnect power to your washer prior to making any repairs. Place a flat-head screwdriver between the top and front panels of the washer and lift it up a few inches. Detach the clamps at each of the washer’s two front corners so you can lift back the panel. The lid lock’s switch should be on the right side of the washer’s main housing near the corner. Using a Philips-head screwdriver, unscrew the screws on the existing switch. Once the switch is loose, disconnect its wires, paying attention to where they’re connected, and remove the switch. Obtain a new switch from an appliance parts retailer or directly from the manufacturer of your washer. Install the wires to the replacement switch and line the switch’s screws up with the holes on the washer’s main housing where the old switch once was attached. Tighten the screws until the switch is secure. Reassemble the washer.

Replace Tab

  • The tab is fairly easy to replace once you have obtained a replacement part. With the washer unplugged, lift the lid and unscrew the screws for the tab with a Philips-head screwdriver and remove the existing tab. Line up the replacement tab where the old one was removed and tighten its screws until they’re tight.

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