Washing Machine Doors
You wouldn’t think that washing machine doors were much of a problem but they can be as they are often plastic and door handles, catch and trims will often break.
The door glass will sometimes go but that’s a whole other debate that has raged for a while in various quarters and there are separate articles on the site that cover that phenomena more in depth.
If we ignore the glass for now though. we’ll explain the other bits for you.
This is the latest trend seen on a number of machines in recent years, the whole door has to be replaced and you cannot buy the door handle, catch, trims or glass separately.
To make our position clear on this, we think it’s as barmy as most customers do. It is just nuts that you have to buy a £50 plus door to replace a £3 bit of plastic but, we don’t make the rules.
If we advise it’s a full door assembly that is the only option you’re going to have sadly.
Why Plastic Bits Break
Stress breaks generally from being hauled about for the most part. Get a bit rough and they’ll break for sure.
But here’s the kicker, they’re often designed to break!
Confused by that are you? Most people are when we land that one.
The reason that plastics are often designed and, indeed plastic used instead of a tougher alternative is that you will often find other parts are all reliant on that part being able to flex or need that small (cheap!) plastic part may be preferable to fail.
Here’s what happens as an example, if the door catch on a washing machine was metal and people slam the door, haul it open and so on then instead of the small plastic door latch pecker or the door handle flexing and taking that, eventually failing and snapping then it could wreck the door lock. The door lock is more expensive and could also require service visit to fix so, the plastics breaking is better and cheaper for the owner as well as often user replaceable easily.
So you can see why that sometimes, cheap parts that are designed to break before causing more significant damage is a better plan.
You may well be annoyed by it but, it is what it is.
The door trims, as we call them anyway, are the round (or square) plastic trims that hold the door glass, the door handle and catch will be fixed to them and they will normally sandwich the hinge in there at one side.
These take the weight of the door full, the banging shut, pulling open, leaning on them, the whole shebang of stress is on these plastic trims. So, they break.
Usually they’ll go at the two main stress points being the door handle or catch area and the hinge area.
The outer door trim on some is merely decorative and not actually needed for the machine to work but as costs have been squeezed we increasingly have seen them forming an essential role in holding it all together.
The inner one, when it’s bust, makes the whole thing unusable until it is replaced.
If these can be swapped, i.e. it’s not a full door, then you’ll often have to split the door to do it.
That said, usually they’re fairly easy but do keep a note of what went where as you go as on some machines the way the catch and handle interact is like a very annoying puzzle to both take apart and get back together again.
The door handle will pivot in some way and move the catch allowing the door to be opened.
Over the years these have become less common to break in general. They still do of course and much like replacing a door handle, take a note of what went where when replacing them, even take a photo of the old one in situ before you remove it so you can see who the spring and whatnot all sits.
Trust us, we’ve botched that up and spent ages working out how some of them go together again. It’s not fun at all.
There can be other bits involved of course, springs, shims and such but those won’t fail other than through wear and tear normally or, someone loses the things stripping the door down. Not that we would have ever have had that happen to us, we’re way better that that… honest, we are!
Take care, take your time and most people will be perfectly capable of stripping down a washing machine door and repairing it themselves.
Just take it off before you start, go slow and don't rush it. Most videos you will find online will give you an idea about replacing a washing machien door or repairing it but, a video is one thing, doing is another entirely.
For a full door assembly sure, it’s faster as it usually involves two screws and less than a minute to swap it but, it’s hugely more expensive.