Is your washing machine giving you problems? There is a small switch that engages as you close the lid that could actually be causing some of the problems you are having. This switch is a safety feature to prevent injuries sustained by reaching into the washing machine while it was running. This safety feature can sometimes malfunction and cause a few problems that can baffle you. Here, you will learn what those problems are and how to test the switch to determine if it needs to be replaced.
Problems Caused by a Failing Lid Switch
- The washing machine doesn't work at all.
- The machine won't drain the water.
- The agitator doesn't move.
- The drum doesn't move.
- Clothes are left very wet after the spin cycle has finished.
Of course, these problems can be caused by other issues, but the lid switch is a good place to start your testing.
How to Test the Lid Switch
Unplug the Machine
Start by unplugging the machine to stop the flow of electricity. If unplugging the machine is difficult, you can cut the power at the breaker panel. This will remove the risk of electrical shock and burns.
Clean the Connections
A striker and switch mechanism is used to tell the machine that the lid is closed securely. When the striker and switch get dirty or coated with laundry detergent, it will no longer engage. Soak a Q-tip in white vinegar and clean the switch and striker. If the parts are very dirty, soak a cotton ball with white vinegar, set it on them and let it be for twenty minutes or so. This will help to break down the sticky residue and make it easier to clean.
Restore power and test the machine. Sometimes, this is all that is needed to get things going again.
Inspect for Damage
It is possible that the metal strip that contacts the striker plate can get bent. Examine it to see if the striker and switch come into contact with each other. To test the contact, rub a little charcoal dust on the striker and close the lid. When you open it, the plate should have the charcoal rubbed onto it. If it doesn't the metal switch plate needs to be bent back into place gently. If you cannot bend things into position to make them meet, you will need to replace the switch.
Test Electrical Current
The last test will tell you if the component is carrying the electrical current that it should. Touch the striker and plate with the probes from a multimeter. If the reading shows infinity, the switch is bad and must be replaced.
If you aren't comfortable completing these steps on your own or have failed to identify the problem at hand, contact your local washing machine repair expert for assistance.