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How can I get my front load washer to open if the electronic mechanism has failed? Is there a mechanical way to get the latch to pop? I can't replace the failed part unless I can get it open because the screws holding the electronics control cover in place are under the door when it is in the closed position.

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This advice is for replacing the door latch on the Kenmore Elite, Whirlpool Duet and Maytag epic FRONT LOADER washing machines.

1. Unplug washer.

2. Remove the outer portion of the door bellow. This is the gray rubber boot around the door. Feel around the edge of the door bellow where it attaches to the front of the washer. You will find a wire retaining hoop in the seam between the rubber and the front case. Follow this wire hoop to the bottom of the door bellow and you will find a tension spring. Carefully, stretch this spring apart and remove the wire hoop.

3. Pull the rubber bellow from the door facing on the front of the washer being careful not to rip or tear it. Once removed, fold the rubber backwards inside the drum so you can access behind the front panel. DO NOT remove the rubber bellow from the wash tub.

4. The door latch assembly is located behind the front panel of the washer on the right hand side. Locate and remove the three screws on the washer front that hold the door latch assembly in place. The whole assembly should come free from the washer front and be held by a plastic mounting bracket and several wire connectors.

5. Carefully remove the latch assembly from the plastic mounting bracket BEFORE attempting to unplug any wires. It makes it much easier to access if you do.

6. Unplug the wire connectors using care not to break any of the wires. You may want to write them down, but I believe they will only plug into their respective slots.

7. Remove the old door latch and install the new one in the reverse order of the steps I just presented to you. Plug the wires back in first, then place the whole assembly back into the plastic mounting bracket, and then reattach to the front of the washer.

8. Now, when you get the reinstalling the rubber door boot, you may want to get the assistance of a second pair of hands as it can be difficult sometimes to manipulate the wire retainer back into place. Carefully reattach the rubber bellow to the door facing on the front of the washer first.

9. Starting at the top of the door bellow at the 12 o'clock position begin inserting the wire hoop back into the groove. Work your way around with both hands to the 4 and 8 o'clock positions. (This is where you could use those second pair of hands). While holding a slight downward tension on the wire hoop to keep it in place, pull the tension spring apart enough to snap the remaining part of the hoop into place at the bottom. Once you've completed these steps make sure the door closes and latches properly. NEVER slam a door with an electronic latch. They can break easily.

Now plug the washer back in and test operate.

NOTE: You can run diagnostics on these washers by referring to the tech sheet provided by the manufacturer. The tech sheet is located behind the lower panel under the door, or along the interior cabinet walls. Included, are instructions on how to run diagnostics and troubleshooting tips associated with the list of fault codes. It is recommended that this tech sheet remain inside the washer to prevent it from being lost.


The necessary actions are to replace the entire door locking assembly: Duet Job Aid (pdf)

Hope helps.

Posted on May 28, 2011

  • zomom May 28, 2011

    I can figure out how to uninstall and reinstall the mechanism. I specifically asked how to get the mechanism to open so I can get at the failed part. I found out from another technician that there is a trip wire located through the front drain cleanout access panel.

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1 Answer

I'm getting an "FL" message.


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1.Check wire connections in harness leading from machine control board to door lock mechanism.
2.Check solenoid and door lock enable switch in door lock mechanism.
3.Replace responsible component.

You can get it at a local appliance parts dealer near you or online and to replace it you will need to open the door, remove the screws that run though the hinges into the cabinet and the ones straight across on other side, pop the top of the front panel loose and take off, remove the screw at the top of each side and raise the top panel and swap it out; check this DIAGRAM PARTS LOCATION

Hope this helps.

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Tip

FRIDGIDAIRE FRONT LOAD WASHER DOOR LOCK


THIS FRONT LOAD WASHER HAS AN ELECTRONIC SWITCH THAT SNAPS INTO THE LOCK MECHANISM. MINE POPPED OUT OF THE 2 CLIPS THAT HELD IT IN PLACE, SO WHEN I CLOSED THE DOOR, THE LOCK LIGHT DID NOT LIGHT AND THE DOOR DID NOT LOCK. HAD ALL KINDS OF ADVICE THAT DIDN'T WORK. UNPLUG THE WASHER, REMOVE O RING AROUND RUBBER BOOT. REMOVE THE FRONT PART OF THE BOOT. THEN YOU JUST REMOVE THE LOCK MECHANISMS, 2 SCREWS IN THE FRONT. PULL THE LOCK MECHANISM HOUSING TO THE SIDE, BE CAREFUL OF THE CONNECTED WIRES, THEN LOOK WITH A FLASHLIGHT. IF THE SMALL SWITCH BOX IS OUT OF PLACE, THEN POP IT BACK IN. THIS PROBLEM STARTED WHEN I WAS CLOSING THE DOOR TOO HARD AND QUICKLY. SO BE GENTLE WHEN CLOSING YOUR DOOR. THE ARM THAT LIFTS TO HIT THE SWITCH THAT TURNS THE DOOR LOCK LIGHT ON AND LOCKS THE DOOR, IS PLASTIC.

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1 Answer

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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" or "Fdu" error codes, these are usually indications of a failed door latch assembly and will require replacement.

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1 Answer

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http://www.fixya.com/support/r587965-door_latch_replacement_fdl_error

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I hope you find this information helpful. Let me know if you require additional assistance.

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http://www.fixya.com/support/r622155-kenmore_elite_whirlpool_duet_door_jammed

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http://www.fixya.com/support/r587965-door_latch_replacement_fdl_error

Hopefully you will not require any replacement parts. But, if you do, a replacement latch can be found at searspartsdirect.com or repairclinic.com. Just type in your complete model number to perform a search for parts. I hope you find this information helpful. Let me know if you require additional assistance.

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