Washing Machine Door Locks
A door lock in a washing machine is referred to using several different terms seemingly dependent on which manufacturer that you talk to but the common ones are a door interlock, door safety interlock or simply a door lock.
It is important to note that this is not a door catch, that term is reserved for the small commonly plastic but occasionally metal latch or pecker that is on the door and inserts into the electro-mechanical door lock to hold the door closed.
Door locks come in all shapes and sizes and range from very simple to complex affairs that use pressure to detect whether there is any water still in the machine although, these more complex types have become rarer over time as costs are driven down. And, like the complexity of the locks and of course quality, the prices for a replacement can vary wildly.
Finding & Ordering Door Locks
Door locks, strangely, are one of the most common spare parts to change in their lives meaning that you will often find a replacement will be different from the lock originally fitted in terms of look.
Sometimes the fitting will also alter.
It is therefore really important to find and identify door locks using model and part numbers and not to try to identify visually in a good number of cases as, they will often not look the same.
This means also that all too often any numbers on the old locks are worthless when attempting to use them for identification purposes. Not always, but in most cases this will hold true.
You will find the most common washing machine door locks in our spare part store but if you are at all unsure please ask us for help as we’re only too happy to point you in the right direction.
Compatible Door Locks
There are many common door locks that will have what we call pattern equivalent replacements. That is to say that they are not original manufacturer replacements.
This can be confusing and where we advise on a case by case basis as, while many so called “pattern”, “equivalent” or “compatible” spare parts are low cost knock off parts that often aren’t very good quality, there are often equally as many that are either as good as the original part or indeed are the original part, just without the original branding.
Using these can offer you considerable savings on a replacement door lock and, be just as good.
Or advice out be to ask us for advise as often trying to fathom what one will be suitable can be a challenge for people that do not have the knowledge of parts that we do. usually when asked, if there is a compatible door lock that is decent quality we will tell you about both the original and compatible part when you ask us.
What The Door Lock Does
The door lock is, as a above, a simple electro-mechanical device that when it is fed power and detects that it is the correct position with the door closed, locks the door shut so that it cannot be opened whilst the washing machine or washer dryer is running.
On most washing machine door locks you will see a small slide where the door catch slots into, this is simply held in a locked position until released after a short delay when the wash cycle is completed.
Normally on most modern washing machines and washer dryers the first thing that they will check before the machine even starts is that the door is closed and locked. So, a fault like E1, F1 and so on immediately when the program is started will generally be down to a faulty door lock, the door not closed correctly or the door not being detected as being closed.
Usually the symptoms will be the machine will just not do anything at all, it just sits there powered on but doing nothing.
Delay Before Allowing The Door To Open
As mentioned there is a short delay before the door will open after the wash is completed. The reason for this is to allow the laundry in the machine to settle and to ensure that it is at a complete stop, empty and safe to be opened.
This is a safety function that should not be attempted to by-pass.
Often a door lock will be broken by people hauling to open the door before the delay is complete and the door released. If you are waiting patiently to get the laundry out of your machine and another on you will normally hear a small click as it releases, at that point it is safe to open the door. If you pull on it before that then you can cause damage to the door lock.
Replacing a Washing Machine Door Lock
Most door locks are easy enough to replace, there’s a few that are a real pain but the vast bulk of them are easy enough to do.
There are more detailed instructions on how to do that in our how to replace a washing machine door lock article.