Whirlpool Washing Machine Door Locked Flashing: Tips and Fix

Whirlpool Washing Machine Door Locked Flashing: Causes and Fix

If the door of your Whirlpool washer is locked and you’re unable to open it, there’s no need to worry—this issue can usually be resolved quite easily. There are a few potential causes, but each one has a straightforward solution. Below, you’ll find some tips to help you regain access to your clothes and address the issue of the whirlpool washing machine door locked flashing.

When the door of your Whirlpool washer remains locked, it could be due to several factors. First, try resetting the machine to unlock the door. If that doesn’t resolve the issue, you might need to inspect various components such as the door switch assembly, the latch assembly, or even the washtub itself. If your washer is still under warranty, consider contacting the manufacturer as you may be eligible for a free replacement.

What Causes Whirlpool Washing Machine Door Locked Flashing?

Whirlpool Washing Machine Door Locked Flashing

If your Whirlpool washer features a door lock, you may notice the door light flashing before operation. This indicates that the washer detects the door as open and has activated the lock for safety. Below are typical causes for a locked washer door and how to troubleshoot them:

Lid Switch Issue: 

A common problem is a malfunctioning lid switch, which prevents the washer’s spinner from moving correctly. 

To fix it, insert a screwdriver into the switch actuator’s holes. If the light stops blinking and the washer operates correctly, the switch needs replacement.

Faulty Actuator Motor: 

A defective actuator may result from disconnected or damaged wiring. 

To fix it, turn off the power at the breaker, open the washer’s wiring system, and check the connections. Ensure the wires are tight and capable of delivering sufficient voltage to the actuator motor.

Drain Pump Problems: 


The drain pump is located at the front center of the washer. To fix, place a bucket under the drain to catch water and unscrew the pump’s knob. If the drainpipe is clogged, flush it with high-pressure water or a vinegar-water solution to clear any blockages.

To inspect a faulty drain pump on your Whirlpool washer, follow these steps:

  • Disconnect Power: Unplug your washer from the main power outlet to ensure safety.
  • Access the Pump:
    1. For front-loading washers, remove the back panel.
    2. For top-loading washers, remove the front panel.
  • Inspect the Drain Pump:
    1. Locate the drain pump and check the impellers (they resemble fan blades).
    2. Ensure the impellers turn freely without any restrictions. If you notice breakages or the impellers do not move smoothly, the drain pump likely needs to be replaced.
  • Test the Pump Motor:
    1. Even if the pump appears functional, use a multimeter to test the pump motor for continuity. This will help determine if the motor is conducting electricity properly.
    2. If there is no continuity (no current flowing), the pump motor needs replacement.
  • Replace and Test:
    1. Replace the faulty component.
    2. After replacement, test the washer to see if the issue with the door locking is resolved.
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Inspect the Hose: 

Check the inlet hoses for leaks, cracks, or kinks that could disrupt water flow. 

To fix, stop the water supply, remove the hoses with pliers, and drain any remaining water into a container. Inspect for any damage or wear that could affect performance.

Faulty Door Switch

The washer has two critical switches: the door switch and the lid switch. If either is defective, it may cause the door-locked light to flash. The door switch specifically ensures the machine does not operate when overloaded. If this switch fails, the washer might malfunction.

How to fix: Begin by unplugging the washer. Use wire strippers and a screwdriver to connect the wires to the new switch’s terminals. Check the switch for resistance to ensure it’s functioning correctly.

Check the Lock Control

A flashing light on your Whirlpool washer might indicate a malfunction or an issue with the lock mechanism, which could prevent the door from opening until the wash cycle is fully complete.

How to fix: Start by unplugging the washer and leaving it disconnected for about 45 minutes to reset. After reconnecting:

  • Turn off the water supply.
  • Lift the top cover of the machine until you hear a click, indicating it is fully open.
  • Remove any garments or items from inside and the detergent dispenser.
  • Locate and press the white reset power button on the washer until it clicks.
  • Close the laundry room doors to eliminate light interference, which can affect the sensor’s ability to detect darkness, influencing the washer’s function.

These steps should help resolve issues related to the door lock light flashing and improve the overall functionality of your Whirlpool washer.

Other Causes Of Whirlpool Washer’s Door Locked Light Flashing


Faulty Door Latch

The door latch of a top-loading washer facilitates the opening and closing of the door by controlling the locking mechanism. If the washer’s door light flashes, remove any clothes from the drum and press and hold the pause/start button to display diagnostic codes. These codes can help identify which component may be malfunctioning. If the door latch or another part fails, it is advisable to repair it promptly or seek professional assistance.

Damaged Sensor Actuator

To diagnose a problem with the sensor actuator, enter the diagnostic mode as described in the washer’s manual. This process can be complex, but it’s essential for identifying the issue by comparing the diagnostic readings with those in the reference manual. If your washer is stuck and the motor’s optical speed sensor fails to record speeds accurately, the machine won’t recognize when to stop and open the door. To resolve this, try:

  • Disconnecting the washer for at least 10 minutes.
  • Reconnecting the power and turning on the machine.
  • Turning off the home’s main electricity breaker for 15 minutes and then restarting the machine.
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Water in the Machine Tub

If the washer tub is full of water, possibly due to flooding, the door will not open until the water is drained. Spin the tub to remove the water, and then open the door to proceed with your laundry tasks.

Examine the Control Board

If you experience a flashing light when the washer door is closed but the machine does not respond, the issue may lie with the control board. This board is crucial for facilitating communication between the washer and its components. Problems can arise from insufficient or excessive voltage to sensors or a power glitch, leading to system malfunctions.

How To Manually Unlock The Door On A Whirlpool Top Loader Washer


If your Whirlpool top loader washer door won’t unlock, you can typically resolve the issue by resetting the control panel. Here’s a step-by-step guide to troubleshooting and manually unlocking the door if necessary:

Resetting the Control Panel

  1. Unplug the Machine: Disconnect the washer from the power source for one to two minutes, then plug it back in.
  2. Flip the Circuit Breaker: Alternatively, you can turn the circuit breaker that supplies power to the washer off and then on again. This should reset the control panel to its default state, allowing the washer to function normally.

Manual Unlock Procedure

If the above steps do not work, follow these instructions to manually unlock the door:

  1. Turn Off and Unplug the Washer: Ensure the washing machine is completely turned off and unplugged from the power source.
  2. Remove Laundry: If possible, remove any laundry that might be inside the washer.
  3. Access the Lock Assembly:
    • Remove the screws on the back of the top panel.
    • Carefully pull out, back, and up to remove the top panel.
    • Pull straight back and up on the right side of the front panel near the door to further access the lock assembly.
  4. Locate the Door Lock Tab:
    • Find the small plastic tab located at the bottom of the washer door lock.
    • Gently pull down on this tab; the door should then release and pop open.

How to Manually Unlock the Door on a Whirlpool Top Loader Washer

  1. Disconnect Power: Always start by unplugging the washer from the wall.
  2. Turn Off Water Supply: Shut off the water supply to the washer to prevent any issues during the unlocking process.
  3. Remove Drain Pump Cover:
    • Locate the drain pump cover on the right bottom side of your machine.
    • Use a screwdriver to remove the screw holding the cover in place.
    • Inside, you should find a curly cord. Pulling on this cord will manually unlock the washer.
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A Whirlpool washer is a reliable and worthwhile investment that you can make confidently. Loyal customers of Whirlpool can attest to the brand’s commitment to quality, often stating that these washers live up to their high standards.

Like any household appliance, though, a Whirlpool washing may occasionally require troubleshooting. Our guide provides insights into some of the common issues related to door locks on Whirlpool washers, helping you understand and address these problems effectively.

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How do I reset my Whirlpool washer when the door lock light is flashing?

Power Cycle: Start by unplugging the washer from the electrical outlet for about one minute. Then, plug it back in. This can reset the washer’s internal computer and potentially clear the error.
Reset Button: Some models have a dedicated reset button or sequence (often involving pressing and holding the ‘Start’ or ‘Pause’ button for several seconds). Consult your washer’s manual for model-specific instructions.

How do I get my Whirlpool washer out of lock mode?

Control Lock: If your washer has a ‘Control Lock’ feature, it can be toggled by pressing and holding a specific button (often labeled with a lock icon) for three seconds. Check your user manual for the exact button combination.
Door Lock Issue: If the issue is with the door lock mechanism itself, a reset as described above or a manual unlock (usually through an emergency release found inside the washer’s lower front panel or service flap) might be necessary.

Why is the lid lock light flashing on my Whirlpool washer?

Faulty Lid Switch: This can indicate a malfunction with the lid switch or lock mechanism, which ensures the washer lid is safely closed during operation. A flashing light could signify the switch is unable to confirm if the lid is closed.
Obstruction: Check for any objects that might be preventing the lid from closing completely.
Component Failure: Continuous flashing might also point to a need for replacing the lid lock assembly or related components.

What does a flashing lock mean on a washing machine?

Safety Feature: The flashing lock icon generally indicates the washing machine’s built-in safety feature is activated, preventing the door from being opened during a cycle. This is normal during operation.
Error Signal: If it continues to flash after the cycle has ended or when the washer is not active, it could be signaling an error with the locking mechanism or a need for a reset.

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