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Whirlpool Washer “Door Locked” Light Flashing? (Answered)

Whirlpool washers are among the best in the business and almost second to none in terms of convenience and usability. Their introduction to the home appliance ecosystem has completely changed how regular users perceive washing machines.

These are gaining enormous popularity all over the world because of their high-tech functionality and user-friendly quality. Starting from state-of-the-art functionality to an attractive design, Whirlpool washers have it all. 

And just like any other appliance, these washers often face technical difficulties. 

Let’s take a look at one of the most prevalent Whirlpool washer problems, the “Door Locked” light flashing, and some of its basic mechanical functions for a better understanding of how it works. 

Why is my whirlpool washer “door locked” flashing?

If the Whirlpool washer is unable to drain the water from the clothes effectively and there are issues in the drain pump, the ‘door locked’ indicator will normally flash. The clothing becomes caught within the machine, triggering the locked flashing light on the washer. 

Washing machines generally operate in cycles. Automatic doors are programmed in such a way that they open at the end of each washing cycle. This prevents the possibility of flooding your house during the process.

The door locked flashing light might generally indicate two things. That is, there are issues with the drainage system, and the faulty drain pump has to be replaced right away. 

The door becomes locked due to a fault or mechanical mistake, and clothes get stuck within the machine, resulting in the locked flashing light on the washer. Some potential reasons for which the doors are locked will be discussed here.

Lid or Door Switch Issue: 

It is essential to check the door switch before operating the machine. You must keep the door closed and latched to run the machine. Failure to do so will result in spillage and flooding in the room.

The whole door mechanism is a safety feature to avoid such instances. But at times, due to mechanical error, the door is locked even after the end of a washing cycle, and hence, the “door locked” flash is triggered.

Door Latch Issue: 

Front-facing doors in washing machines are usually locked using a latch and striker. Any foreign object in between their connections will hamper the locking mechanism.

To avoid a mechanical error, the latch and striker must be correctly aligned before locking. As the machine spins, the alignment of the latch can be hampered, and hence, the door can remain locked even after a complete cycle.

Actuator Motor Issue:

Since the machine is all about spinning and shimmying, the mechanical components might malfunction at times.

In some cases, the wiring around the actuator motor is loosened, which causes the door to remain locked. If the wiring is okay, you might need to change the motor if it no longer functions properly.

Sensor Actuator Issue:

Sensor actuators directly control the machine’s spinning. That is why the optical speed sensor might fail to correctly read the speed of the motor. If that happens, the washer won’t recognize when the machine stops and won’t know when to unlock the door.

Hose Damage Issue: 

The inlet hose should be checked for cracks or dents as it might cause water flow issues. It might also interfere with water level sensors. This would compromise the machine, and the door might get locked.

Faulty Control Board: 

This is a very unlikely issue considering the top-notch quality of Whirlpool washers. But at times, the control board might be the cause of the malfunction, and as a result, the door is locked.

Why does this Whirlpool washer flash “Door Locked”?

The following reasons may cause your Whirlpool washer flash “Door Locked”

Front-load Washer: 

For front-load washers, door switches and door latches are the most common issues for which the doors are locked. As the door switch is mechanical, it can malfunction and not work even after completing a washing cycle. 

As for latches, those are misaligned with the strikers at times due to the continuous spinning of the washer. As a result, the door remains locked and the “door locked” light keeps flashing.

Top load Washer: 

Washers of this sort are very similar to front-load washers and hence have almost similar issues with the locked light flashing at times even after washing is completed.

Commercial Washer: 

Commercial washers go through heavy usage and different kinds of users as well. Everyone is not careful while using such washers, which is why doors are not properly closed, and the latches are not correctly placed at times.

Also, due to heavy usage, some washers have their control boards fried, which results in complete malfunctions and, at times, locked doors.

Duet washer: 

This washer model might get its door locked for similar reasons, but there are growing instances of faulty drain pumps in this washer for which the lock light starts to flash.

If the drain pump does not function properly, the cleaning water might leak. So, the machine keeps the door locked to prevent such a scenario.

Cabrio washer: 

The Whirlpool Cabrio washer has other notable problems and significantly fewer instances of door locking issues.  

How do you fix the door lock on a Whirlpool washing machine? 

Here, since the core issues are different, the fixes for the door lock for each corresponding issue are different as well. Therefore, those step-by-step guides are as follows:

Find the lid switch and check its alignment:

Try unplugging the power chord of the washer. Find the lid switch. (Check the manual if necessary). Check whether the lid is properly aligned or not.

Realign the switch if necessary:

Realign the switch to test if the problem has been solved. If it is correctly aligned, then try and remove the switch so that you can test whether it can be continued or not.

If your test results show that the switch is working fine, then reattach the switch to the washer and move forward to checking the next component. If not, replace the switch.

Examine the actuator motor:

Check if there is any loud noise coming from the actuator motor during the washing cycle. If you can hear such a sound, it will mean that the motor is defective, and needs to be replaced.

If there is no clear noise coming from the motor, try to unplug the washer and locate the actuator motor using the user manual. After locating, check whether the wires in the motor are connected properly or not.

Check the wiring:

If the wires are connected properly, check the motor with a multimeter. If it works, move on to the next component. If it doesn’t work, replace the actuator motor.

If the problem is not solved even after replacement, move on to the next component.

Drain pumps can be checked using the same method as the actuator motor. However, in the case of the control board, replacing it might be very expensive and might not be worth it given the model of your washing machine.

Why is my Whirlpool washer locked and won’t open?  

Whirlpool washing machines are sometimes automatically locked due to the malfunction of one or more of their components.

It can either be a misaligned lid and striker, or a fault in the actuator motor. It can also be a leaking drain pump, as it can become clogged or even break down completely. One unlikely case might be a fried control board.

In that case, it is better to buy a new washer instead of replacing the board, given the expense you would incur.

How do you manually unlock a Whirlpool front load washer?  

The following steps can be taken to manually unlock a Whirlpool front load washer: –

Wait till the washing cycle ends:

You must wait 3 minutes after the end of a washing cycle before making any attempt, as the motor speed needs to be at 0 and the water temperature needs to be less than 122 degrees Fahrenheit before the door can be opened.

Use the “End of Cycle” button:

If your washer did not unlock after the completion of the above step, tap and hold the “End of Cycle” button for 5 seconds. It will manually reset the machine.

Keep your washer unplugged for at least 45 minutes after manually resetting it. After 45 minutes, it is supposed to be reset, and the door should open up without any hassle. 

Pull the latch:

If none of these steps work, use a screwdriver and remove the toe panel from the machine’s bottom. Reach up from the inside of the front panel and search for the latch. After locating the latch, gently pull it down. 

The door should open when you hear a sound.

Final Thoughts 

The ‘door locked’ signal on the Whirlpool washer will normally flash if the machine is unable to drain the water from the clothing properly. As it also signals a problem with the drainage pipe, it should be replaced as soon as possible with the assistance of a professional.