Whether your clothes are in the washer or still in the clothes basket, a Whirlpool Duet washer with a door that won't unlock is likely to be a huge problem. Confusing codes flashing on the washer control panel add to your frustration. But all is not lost. Before you head for the laundromat or call a repair service, try these simple steps to see if you can fix the problem.
Avoid trying to force the door open by pulling on it or by using tools to pry it open. The only thing you can possibly accomplish doing this is to break the door, the lock or both, resulting in a hefty repair bill.
Unplug the washer or trip the circuit breaker. The washer will reset and this could cause the door to unlock.
Look inside the washer through the front window to see if there is water in the drum. If you see water, the washer may not have drained completely. Select the "Spin and Drain" option. Once the water remaining in the washer has drained, the door will unlock. If the washer will not drain, try these solutions: Check the drain hose to make sure it is not clogged; unclog it if necessary. Adjust the drain hose and ensure there is an air gap between the standpipe and the hose.
Check the washer control panel to see if the "Add a Garment Light" is on. If it is, press "Start/Pause" once and the door should unlock.
Call the Whirlpool customer service number in your user's guide. A technician may be able to help you figure out the problem. If not, she can set up a repair service appointment for you.
Tanya Lee is a professional writer with more than 30 years experience. She has published extensively in the field of education and as a journalist, the latter in such publications as "High Country News" and "News from Indian Country." Lee holds a M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.