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Washing machine door won't open - possible solutions! Answered

If you have a front loader and found this then most likely you are currently unable to get your washing out of the machine.
Welcome to the club!
Here is what happened to me, skip this bit if you like:

The washing finnished, I try to open the door but nothing.
Ok, maybe some electrical bugger somewhere, so knock it a few times but still no go.
Mind you that I am in AU now but a long time ago I took my European machine with me - not knowing there won't be any service down here.
A quick search on my model and the problem informed me that either the electrical safety lock is faulty or the handle part is broken.
The solution to open the door as suggested by the official support:
Take the damn thing apart until you get the front off.
Unscrew the lock from the inde and then investigate the actual problem.
Well, lets just say I was not in the mood to dismantle the entire thing just to open the door, so here is how I did it:

Part two: Options to open the door if the handle won't do the trick:
Most front loaders are designed to make thing complicated when it comes to the door mechanism.
It is considered a safety thing, so tempering from the outside shall be prevented.
A faulty electrical lock is rare but I will try this a bit further down.
Almost all front loaders use a hook like pin in the door.
And once the power was off for a few minutes the safty lock will disengage - if not look further down this text ;)
But since the cover is screwed on from the inside of the door you can't get easy access to this locking pin.
In some cases you can be lucky and if you look from the side you can see it - if so then try something flat enough (but sturdy) to press it towards the center of the door.
For me the problem was the cover really covered it all :(
I used some strong, braided fishing line instead to pull on the hook pin.
Take a lenght to go all around the door, push the line in where the handle is and guide it around the door.
Take both ends together and pull - the door pops open.
Be aware though that fishing line can cut into your fingers, so make a loop and a wooden handle or so instead of your fingers ;)

Part three: The door is open - what now??
Well, if you managed to open the door during part two already then your handle part is clearly broken somewhere.
At the hinge should be two (or four) screws with heads that are different to the rest - if in doubt aim for those closest to the hinge.
Remove them while supporting the door!
Once the screw are out you should be able to get the door off with a bit of wiggling and different opening angles.
If not put the screws back in and remove all others first to take the front cover off while you attempt to get the door off.
The handle part isusually fixed with screws that hold the cover, so it should come out once all is seperated.
With some luck you find a part number on it somewhere on the back, if not check your prefered supplier for a spare.

Part four: To repair or to not repair?
You might notice that with just the actual locking pin and its frame that screws into the door all would work fine.
If really just the handle part is broken while the stronger part for the screws and actual pin is fine:
Consider leaving the handle off until you get a spare.
The door can be mounted without the actual handle but you need to take the framework apart.
Once done you should only have a basic frame to screw into the door with the hook in it but the actual handle is gone.
And without the handle you have easy access to the pin - you can even push it with your finger to open the door...
But as said, in my case the frame for the door cover blocked this bit too much.
For the first wash I used a popstickle stick as it was thin enough...
If no spares are available anymore and repairing the broken plasic is not an option either:

Part five: For the desperate - modified locking pin.
I have seen people placing a bolt into the front of the machine and then literally screwing the door close.
The safety was then just bridged of course...
This however is not recommended and a bad idea anyway.
Much better is to be creative and to use some spare metal or strong plastic like Delrin.
Fibreglass re-inforced plastic like from an old sewer box is great too but a pain in terms of protective gear while cutting, drilling and sanding.
Either way you should now see the resulting parts of your accident scene.
And this of course only works if at least the frame for the pin itself is still intact.
The mechnism in the original is a double lever - you pull the handle away from the door and the pin is "rotated" over its pin to move away from the lock.
Take the actual locking pin out, trace its shape and on the drawing add a suitable "extension that you can press down (on the outside of the door).
In the most basic form a simple straight lever going away from the machine at a 30° angle will do.
Cut a cardboard sample to check if you really have enough free movement.
If all is good create a copy in the right thickness and put it all back togehter without the broken handle.
To open the machine you then just press the lever towards the machine and the door pops open.


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