How to open the drum of a top-loading washing machine

How to open the drum of a top-loading washing machine

A top-loading washing machine has a lot of undeniable advantages, but it also has a drawback, which in itself can cover these advantages. We mean a drum that has doors. Some of you will ask: what does it have to do with the drum flaps of a top-loading washing machine and the drum jamming? In fact, the connection is direct; we’ll talk about this in more detail in the article.

Cause and consequences of failure

The most common reason why a top-loading washing machine drum gets jammed is when the flaps open during the wash cycle. The fact is that the drum of a top-loading washing machine has two metal doors, which must be closed with a special latch before washing. This latch is quite reliable, but over time it can still wear out and become loose , as a result of which during washing or spinning the latch breaks, the flap opens and eventually it turns out that the drum is jammed.

The doors can open even in a working top-loading washing machine due to washing machine drum user error. For example, if a child gets to your home assistant and manually turns the drum while the doors are open. True, for such a case, the manufacturer provided a special stopper in the design of the washing machine, but it is also true that our children are very talented and have become accustomed to overcoming various obstacles from early childhood. If you open the flaps and then turn the drum so that the flaps are outside the barrier, you will not be able to open them, nor will you be able to turn the drum back.

Children are not the only ones who cause such unpleasant breakdowns. If an adult has stuffed a drum full of laundry and a piece of it gets caught between the parts of the latch, the flap latch will not close and the flaps will open during washing, creating a problem for you.

What are the consequences of the drum flaps of a top-loading washing machine getting stuck? At first glance, this problem does not seem serious, but in fact, things can turn out very badly for your washing machine. The fact is that if the drum doors open during spinning at a speed of 1000-1200 rpm, they, like meat grinder knives, will chop everything they touch. What kind of damage does this lead to:

  • The walls of the tank are damaged, and water begins to flow out of the machine,
  • The drum flaps are damaged (bent),
  • The heating element bends and breaks.

It often happens that opening the drum flaps of a top-loading washing machine during a spin cycle immediately leads to the three above-mentioned breakdowns. Repairs in this case will be very expensive, you may even have to think about replacing the washing machine . Here are the consequences of the seemingly banal opening of the drum flaps during washing, so be extremely careful and do not allow this to happen in the future, but if trouble has already happened, then we will look for a way out.


We repair without disassembling

If the drum door opens during washing at speed, or even more so during spinning, its edges break through the protective barrier and begin to rotate in a circle, tearing the walls of the tank and breaking the heating element. All this will happen until the electronics forcibly stop the washing process (on some models of washing machines), or the user, having heard a wild knocking and grinding noise, turns off the power to the washing machine with his own hands.

Next you will need to try to return the drum to its original position.

There is no need to pull hard because there is still a chance that the tank has survived; if you start to turn the drum with force, you will definitely damage it. The best solution is to disassemble the washing machine, get to the drum flaps from the inside and, closing them, return the part to working condition.

Disassembly is a guaranteed solution, but a tedious one that requires effort and time. To begin with, if the flap along with the drum is jammed, let's try to close it without disassembling the washing machine. There aren't many chances, but given the complexity of disassembly, it's worth a try. We do the following:

  • We find a thin steel wire. The requirements for it are simple: it must be strong, elastic and fit well into the hole of the drum.
  • Using pliers, bend the end of the wire (half a centimeter) into a hook.
  • Carefully insert the end of the wire with the hook into the hole.
  • Next, we begin to wield the wire with one hand and the flashlight with the other. The task is to try to hook and close the flap to open the possibility of rotating the drum.

With proper patience and sleight of hand, this trick works in about half the cases. If the flap does not catch with the wire or you manage to hook it but cannot hold it (the flap still opens when the drum rotates), you will have to disassemble the washing machine.

Repair with disassembly

Quite a lot of craftsmen are skeptical about the “wire method” if the drum jams when the flap opens during washing. In their opinion, you need to immediately start disassembling the washing machine “...without wasting time on nonsense...”. In some ways they are right, but for an amateur, disassembling a top-loading washing machine may seem like a very complicated and time-consuming job. There are quite a few models of top-loading washing machines, so we can only describe the general procedure. You need to do the following.

  • We inspect the drum and try to understand in what position it is jammed. If the door opens at the bottom and the drum is stuck in this position, then we will try to get to the desired object through the bottom of the washing machine.
  • We disconnect the washing machine from the electrical network and from other communications.
  • We put the car on its side.
  • We remove the pan along with all the giblets, but you need to be careful not to tear off the wiring.
  • We examine the insides of the car and find with our eyes a small balancing weight.
  • We unscrew the load, a small hole will appear behind it, through which it is difficult, but you can crawl with your hand to close the unruly sash.

There is another option to get to the jammed drum flap through the side wall. To do this, the wall is unscrewed, the heating element is pulled out, and through the resulting hole, the drum cover flaps return to their original position.

To summarize, we note that once you return the drum of a top-loading washing machine to working condition, you should not calm down, and even more so, you should not immediately start the wash. It is necessary to make sure that the drum flaps are not deformed, the tank remains intact, and the heating element is not damaged. If the damage to the washing machine is irreparable, you may need to choose a top-loading washing machine to replace the lost one, or better yet, choose a front-loading “home assistant” - there will be less hassle.