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Why won't the door open on my Kenmore front-loading washer?

I have a Kenmore HE2+ (front loading) washer. The door is locked and I cannot open it. I first tried to push stop twice, which usually works, but it won't open. I tried doing a rinse/drain/spin cycle but I can't even push the "start" button. I also tried to unplug it, but when I turn it back on, the door is still locked. I've tried all of the troubleshooting tips in the manual. I have clothes in there that are going to mildew if I don't get this fixed quickly. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Kenmore , Washers
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2 Answers from these members:
Lyle W
You can manually unlock the door by

unplugging the washer

and removing the bottom front service panel as shown in the first image below. Carefully reach up along the inside of the front panel and pull down on the manual release tab that is on the bottom of the door lock assembly. You should then be able to open the washer door.

Normally, the door will not open if the washer does not drain properly. You may find the washer filled with water. The washer will normally signal an error code if it fails to drain and stops with the door locked. It will also signal a fault for most other component failures. If the washer is still full of water, reassemble it and try to run a drain/spin cycle after you remove the clothes. If the cause of the drain failure was excessive suds, then the suds may be dissipated and the washer may drain properly. If the pump will not run, you may have a failed drain pump or a wiring failure. Unplug the washer and remove the bottom front service panel again. Check the wiring connections on the drain pump. If they are okay, then you could have a wiring failure at the control board, a failed drain pump or a bad electronic control board. If the pump runs but will not pump out the water, then you may need to use a wet/dry shop vacuum to remove the water or bail it out. After you remove as much of the water as possible, you can check the large item filter in the pump for a clog. Unplug the washer and remove the bottom front service panel. Arrange towels and/or shallow pans to catch residual water and remove the large item filter as shown in the second image below. You may find a clog in this area. If not, check the drain hose for a clog. If both the large item filter and the drain hose are clear, then you could have a failed drain pump even though it is running.

If the washer is drained when you unlock the door, then you could have a failed door lock or a problem with the water level pressure switch. You could also have a failed electronic control board. I included the procedure for accessing the door lock assembly if you need it.

If you need to order parts, you can view a parts list diagram and order them from the

Sears Partsdirect


If you are seeing a fault code in the display or need more help, resubmit your question with additional details and the full model number of your Kenmore HE2+ washer.
by Lyle W Earned 136,254 community points in Kenmore
March 26th, 2009
Sharon Grutsch
Oh the internet is a marvel. Where else you going to get advice at 11 pm on a Wednesday evening on how to unlock your washer door? Thank you thank you. Mine just stopped and would not fill or unlock,,, is it a fluke you think? It's the 2nd time in about a year that I've had to do this. Or something wrong with the computer controls? Anyway thanks a whole bunch again!
Sharon Grutsch
Especially 6 year old advice that still works ;)
2 votes
ARTURO               INTO CORTINAS           8
I have the same problem with the same kind of Washer machine becasue of the power fail and the machine did not finish the Cycle and i can not open the front door.
Thanks in advance
by ARTURO INTO CORTINAS 8 Earned 8 community points in Kenmore
May 5th
0 votes
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