Top-loading washers have an important lid function that prevents both mess and injury; a simple mechanism that controls and detects whether the lid is open. The lid switch knows whether or not the lid is open and won’t start a wash cycle until the lid is closed. The lid lock, understandably, locks the lid of the washer shut while a cycle is running and does not unlock the door until the washer cycle finishes or is stopped.
So if your washer won’t start or the door won’t lock, you may need to replace the part. This is a complex process, but no particular part of the process is too difficult for a DIY repair. These instructions are generalized and can vary by brand and model.
If you’re ready to follow more than a few steps in a row, then you can replace your lid switch lock assembly without much trouble. Ready?
- Nut Drivers
- Work Gloves
- Replacement Lid Switch Lock
Safety is an important measure to take for this repair. There is a certain amount of flooding risk, electrocution risk, and a risk of getting cut on the sharp edges of the inside panels of your washer. So take a few precautions.
- Unplug the Washer
- Start by unplugging your washer. You will need to cut off the power in order to prevent being shocked while you work with the electrical components of the washer.
- Close the Water Supply Valves
- When doing washer repairs, it’s a good idea to turn off the valves that supply hot and cold water to the washer. Just in case signals cross and your washer tries to start filling mid-repair.
- Wear Protective Work Gloves
- Be sure to wear sturdy work gloves so there’s no risk of cutting your hands on the inner edges of your washer.
- Tape Lid Closed
- Place a piece of masking tape over the lid, securing the part that usually lifts up to accept clothes so it doesn’t flap while you do your repairs.
Under the Hood
- Pull Washer from Wall
- You’ll need to work behind the washer, so pull it away from the wall to give yourself room.
- Remove Back Panel Brackets
- There are two brackets on the back panel of your washer, securing the top panel in place. They are located just under the back panel of the top control console. Remove them with your screwdriver.
- Pull Top Panel Forward
- Standing in front of the washer, grasp the top panel from the sides and pull forward to release the latch. Lift slightly and adjust.
- Lift Top Panel Up
- Lift the top panel like the lid of a hinged box and prop it up so you can access the switch lock assembly underneath the front of the top panel.
Detach Switch Lock from the Hood
- Identify the Lock Latch
- The switch lock is easy to spot. It’s a large assembly underneath the top panel, near where the opening of the lid begins. It has a long tail secured by clips.
- Remove the Mounting Screws
- There will be two to four mounting screws holding the switch lock in place. Remove them. You will likely need a nut driver.
- Release the Wire Harness Clips
- Pull back the clips holding the wire harness ‘tail’ in place so that the entire assembly comes free.
- Hang the Still-Attached Assembly Over the Side
- You will notice that the wire harness tail is still attached along the back of the washer panel. Hang the rest of the unit outside the washer so you can take the next step.
- Close the Lid
- Close the top panel so you can access the control console ontop of it, where the rest of the harness is secured.
Detach the Wire Harness from the Control Console
- Remove the Back Panel of the Top Control Console
- The control console is the part of the washer that sticks up with knobs and buttons on it. Remove it’s smaller back panel by removing the mounting screws and setting the panel aside.
- Lift the Top Control Console and Swing Forward – Place Upside Down
- Use a flat screwdriver or a putty knife (wrapped in one layer of masking tape to avoid scratches) wedged under the edge of the control console to pry the console up. Then tip the console forward so that it lies upside down where the control board is exposed.
- Trace the Switch Lock Wire Harness
- Trace the switch lock’s wire harness tail to where it plugs into the control board.
- Remove the Plug From the Control Board
- Unplug the switch lock’s wire harness from the control board but don’t let go.
- Unthread the Lid Switch Line Through the Hole
- There is a hole the wire harness comes through. Carefully unthread the wire tail and plug through that hole to fully remove your old switch lock.
Install the New Switch Lock
- Thread the Wire Harness of the New Latch Through the Hole
- Now grab your new lid switch lock by the tail and thread the plug up through that same hole you just unthreaded the old one through.
- Attach the Plug to the Control Console in the Same Spot
- Then attach the plug to the same socket in the control console where the old switch lock plug was connected.
- Reattach the Top Control Console
- Reverse your putty-knife work from previous and fit the control console back onto the top of the washer panel.
- Reattach the Control Console Back Plate
- Reattach the backplate and its mounting screws to the control console so that part of the repair is completely done. You’re almost finished.
Mount the new Switch Lock
- Lift the Top Panel
- Now lift the washer’s top panel again and grab your dangling new switch lock assembly.
- Secure the Switch Lock with the Mounting Screws
- Hold the switch lock assembly in place and secure the new part with the old mounting screws, or new ones if they came with the part.
- Clip the Wire Harness Into the Harness Clips
- Fit the wire harness tail into the same path the old one occupied and then pull back the clips with a screwdriver to clasp the wire harness into place.
- Lower the Top Panel
- Gently lower the top panel and fit ti back over the edges of your washing machine.
- Push Backward to Set
- Firmly push backward so that your top panel slots back into place and aligns correctly with the rest of the washer.
Test Your Success
Time to congratulate yourself and get your washer back into working condition. Plug it back in, turn the water back on, and remove your gloves. Then run a few laundry tests to confirm that the switch lock works as it’s supposed to. Give yourself a pat on the back.