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This advice is for Kenmore Elite and Whirlpool Duet model front loading washers. If you experience a problem where the door becomes jammed and will not unlock or open, here's an easy way to gain access inside your washer WITHOUT calling the repairman.
1. Remove the lower panel under the door by loosening the three screws under the bottom edge on the front of the washer. HINT: If you prop up the front feet of the washer with some small blocks of wood, this will make access to the screws much easier. 2. With the screws removed, the lower panel should drop down then come off. If the panel sticks, a light tap on either side will knock it loose. 3. Reach your hand up inside the washer behind the front casing on the right-hand side. This is where the door latch assembly is located. 4. At the bottom of the door latch assembly is a small pull tab. This is the manual release for the door. Pull the tab straight down and the door will come open.
Sometimes these doors will not unlock for whatever reason. If there are no error codes being generated, this could have just been a momentary glitch. If you see "Fdl" "DLE" or "Fdu" error codes, these are usually indications of a failed door latch assembly and will require replacement.
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try to unplug the unit and open the door manually by pulling a plastic ring attached to the door lock. you can access the ring if you open the top cover of the unit and feel the ring where the door lock is and pull it down.
if you were able to open the door, you can check the clothes and remove the one that was jammed on the door. then test the unit for normal operation.