In this article, I will be discussing the issue of unlocking a GE Washer, and what to do when you are unable to unlock the washer.
Normally, unlocking the washer is straightforward. But there have been many cases where, because of a glitch, bug, electrical, or mechanical fault, the washer simply won’t unlock.
But before going into details about how to troubleshoot issues with unlocking a GE Washer, I need to first guide you on what locking and unlocking a GE Washer means, and how to properly unlock the washer, just to make sure that everything is okay on your end before starting any troubleshooting processes.
Unlocking a GE Washer comes in either of two scenarios:
- Unlocking a GE Washer Control
- Unlocking a GE Washer Door
I will treat each of these scenarios one after the other.
Locking/Unlocking A GE Washer Control
Locking the washer control prevents any selections from being made for as long as the lock is activated. This prevents accidental changes being made during a wash cycle or when the washer is not in use. This is especially important for environments where there are children around. But you can still lock or unlock the GE Washer after a wash cycle has started.
How to Unlock GE Washer Control
The method to lock and unlock a GE Washer are exactly the same. Follow the steps below to lock or unlock your GE Washer.
- For a Top Load Washer, depending on the model, to Lock or Unlock the washer controls, you press and hold either the Warm Rinse and Auto Soak buttons for 3 seconds OR the Rinse and Spin buttons for 3 seconds.
- On a Front Load Washer or the UltraFast Combo Washer/Dryer, to Lock or Unlock the controls, press and hold either the Control Lock or Light-Control Lock pad for 3 seconds. Some older Front Load Washer models had a simple Lock button. You press and hold the Lock button for 3 seconds to lock or unlock it, depending on its current status.
If the lock or unlock is successful, you will hear a sound to indicate their successful status. If the washer is locked, the control lock icon on the display will light up. When the control lock is on, the display will not respond to any inputs from the knob or button.
If, on the other hand, you have unlocked the washer, the control lock icon will turn off and you can make input using the knob or button. Therefore, you can only talk about unlocking the GE Washer control if the control lock icon is on.
When this is the case, you will know that it has successfully unlocked when you hear the sound, and the control lock icon goes off, after performing the unlock steps described above.
Note that the control lock feature works differently on different models, but the principle is the same. The location of the control lock button may vary from model to model as well.
Why Won’t GE Washer Control Unlock?
Now that you are clear about what the control lock and unlock feature does, and how to go about unlocking your GE Washer, let’s have a look at what to do when the GE Washer won’t unlock even when you have followed the right unlock process for your model.
1. Bug or Glitch
The most common reason why the GE Washer control won’t unlock is because a glitch has occurred on the washer.
The good thing about glitches of this nature is that you only require performing a minor process to clear them and get the washer working properly again.
Fix – Power Cycle The Washer
To power cycle a GE washer, follow the steps below:
- Unplug the washer from the power supply or socket
- Wait one full minute
- Press and hold the power button for 30 seconds
- Now plug back the washer into power supply and try again
2. A button is stuck
Another reason why the washer control may fail to unlock is because one of the buttons used to lock the control is stuck. For example, for a top load washer, it is either that the warm rinse button or auto soak button is stuck, or the rinse or spin button is stuck.
For a front load washer, it is either that the control lock or light-control lock pad is stuck or the lock button is stuck.
Fix – Get It Serviced
To fix a stuck button on a GE Washer, I strongly recommend that you employ the services of a technician. They will carefully remove the necessary parts, get the button unstuck, or even make replacements where necessary.
3. GE Washer Door Or Lid Won’t Unlock
In the section above, I talked about a scenario where the GE washer control won’t unlock. However, there are other cases where it is the door or lid of the GE Washer that won’t unlock.
If you are using a front load washer, then you may find that the door on the front won’t unlock. If you are using a top load washer, then it is lid at the top of the appliance that won’t unlock.
You may already know that for a front load washer, the washer door will automatically lock when the unit has been started. And for top load washers manufactured in 2015 and onwards, the lock engages when the washer is either load-sensing before and during the water fill, or when it is spinning above 50 RPM.
To clarify further, for Top Load GE Washers:
- Models with the Precise Fill (load sensing) feature will lock during the load sensing period and during the spin cycle.
- Models without Precise Fill only lock during the spin cycle.
How To Unlock GE Washer Door
Whatever the model of your GE Washer, when the door is locked, it is quite simple to unlock it.
- For a front load washer, follow the steps below to unlock the door:
If the washer is running, press the START/PAUSE button once. This action will pause the washer and unlock the door. It will take a few seconds for the door to unlock after pressing PAUSE. Press again to restart the wash cycle.
In some cycles the washer will drain first, and then unlock the door when it is paused. The washer performs automatic system checks after pressing the START button. Water will flow in 45 seconds or less. The door may lock and unlock before water flows; this is normal.
- For a top load washer, follow the steps below to unlock the door:
- Pause the machine and the door will unlock. This is done by pressing the Start/Pause button
- During a spin cycle, pause the washer but wait until the basket has completely stopped on its own. That is when the door will unlock. This is a safety precaution put in place by the manufacturer. So, please wait for the spin to stop, no matter how long it takes, before trying to open the lid.
Why Won’t GE Washer Door Unlock?
1. You Did Not Unlock The Door Before Trying to Open It
This can happen to anybody especially when you aren’t consciously present at the time. Sometimes, you may try to open the door while the locked indicator is on, meaning that you did not first unlock the door by pressing the start/pause button.
When this happens, the GE Washer will either go into a fail-secure mode and remain permanently locked, or even get damaged as a result.
Fix – Wait 5 Minutes And Press The Pause/Start Button To Unlock The Washer
The first thing you should do when the GE Washer door won’t unlock is to leave it be for about 5 minutes and then press the start/pause button to unlock the appliance. This usually resolves the problem for most users
Fix 2 – Power Cycle The GE Washer
If waiting for 5 minutes does not fix the issue for you, then the next thing you should do is to power cycle the GE Washer.
- To do this, simply unplug the washer from power supply and wait for a minute. Then plug it back in and try again.
2. You did not wait for the spin cycle to complete
If you are trying to unlock the GE Washer door during a spin cycle, then you must wait until the spin has stopped on its own before trying to open the lid or door.
It is true that pressing the start/pause button during a spin will unlock the door or lid, but the setting will not come into full effect until the spinning stops completely. Like I mentioned earlier, this is a safety feature put in place by the washer manufacturer and so you must adhere to it for the machine to work properly.
Fix – Wait For The Spin Cycle To Complete
During a spin cycle, if you press the button to pause the washer and unlock it, you must wait for the spinning to stop completely before trying to open the lid or door. Trying to open the lid or door before the spinning completes will make the door to fail to open.
3. Mechanical or Electrical Fault
The final possible reason why the GE Washer door won’t unlock is because it has developed a mechanical or electrical fault.
If you have followed the best practices for unlocking the door, and you have power-cycled the washer and the door still won’t unlock, then it is likely that the GE Washer has developed a mechanical or electrical fault that you can’t fix on your own.
In that case you need to get a technician or schedule an appointment with GE appliances factory service.