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About a year ago, the door on my washing machine wouldn't open after the cycle had finished. This was repaired. Then in broke again and repaired again. Now it's happened again.

It started of where it would sometimes open and sometimes not. If it didn't, I'd manually move the programme dial all the way round and this normally would do the trick. Now it's permanently locked!

I pull the catch, but nothing happens.

Had a repairman round who said it was the pressure switch not releasing and gave me a ridiculous quote to fix it. He then said he'd "bodge it" for half the price by permanently disconnecting the swicth (effectively meaning the door could be opened any time)

Is this something I can fix myself ? I'm reasonably competent with DIY especially electrics.

Where would I find instructions ?

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You should never by-pass a door interlock safety device. You were right to turn down the offer. No reputable repairman would ever offer to make your washing machine dangerous like that. Assuming he was right, and it is the cause of your problem (there are several other different possible causes for a Hotpoint door jamming shut) then you can fix it like this (if you are competent to do such repairs)

  • Disconect the washing machine from the mains supply
  • The door seal is held in place on the door frame by a thin metal clamp band. This band is held in place at the top of the door seal with two plastic halves that clip together. To remove, insert a flat bladed screwdriver between the two halves and gently lever or prize them apart and then unpeel the door seal from the door frame
  • Remove the soap dispenser drawer
  • Remove the timer knob and control panel
  • Undo the 3 scews that were behind the control panel and the 3 screws at the base of the front panel under the door
  • Remove and carefully place the front panel to one side
  • The pressure chamber bottle is attatched to the bottom of the tub at the end of the small rubber tubing coming from the door interlock. Remove it and thoroughly clean it out, paying attention to the small hole where the rubber tubing is attached
Warning: The pressure system is how the washing machine controls the water levels. Disturbing it can cause water leaks, or even overfilling and flooding if the job isn't done properly.

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Ok .... I've got it all apart, taken the tube from the door opening mechanism and blown down it. Seems to be no obstructions there. Can't really remove the bottle as it's very awkward to get to the 3 screws.

If I fail to fix it, my better half has told me we need another washing machine (this one is almost 10 years old and it's probably time for a change, especially as they're quite reasonably priced)

So, until it's delivered, how can I bypass the locking mechanism ? In the short tem we can use the manual rotating lock at the front ) I'm trying to work out the mechanism for the door opening bit.

at top ... metal slider

below that ... small red plastic switch type thing with a larger one in front

What do these all do ?

Cheers

Not sure if this is revelant ( I've just seen it mentioned in a different post)

Sometimes, I can get the door to open after running full spin 4 or 5 times ( not always ... sometimes, no matter how often I spin, the door still won't open )

Once the door successfully opens, if I close it again ... 9 times out of 10, I can't reopen it.

Is that relevant ? Is it the lock mechanism that's broken ?

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The trouble with this one, is we are going on the diagnosis of the repairman and I don't trust him after his offer to bodge it for, "half the cost". He said it was the pressure chamber blocked. If he's wrong then we could be looking at the wrong thing. However, you can't bypass the pressure chamber lock mechanism. If you left the small hose which locks the mechanism when water is present off - the washing machine would overfill and flood.

Any messing about trying to fiddle with the interlock to stop it working is pointless, it would take just as long as to fix the machine properly but would leave the washing machine in a dangerous condition. It's daft.

You just need a small stubby screwdriver to undo the 3 screws. It's a little fiddly but you've got this far...

However, if you put the washing machine back together there could be an improvement if you've blown down it and temporarilly dislodged some gunge. When the door wont open, is there any resistance in the handle as you pull on it? Does it feel totally disengaged or jammed? Are there times when the door opens and shuts repeatedly OK?

Need a repair or spare parts? 

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Warning:  Read this before attempting any diy repairsNo representations or warranties are made (express or implied) as to the reliability, accuracy or completeness of advice. I can't be held liable for any loss arising directly or indirectly from the use of, or any action taken in reliance on, any information on this website, which is given free of charge and in good faith.

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You were right .... it's nothing to do with pressure chamber.

It's the pecker mechanism at the back of the machine. When the drum is still, should the pecker be brought back to right angles with the belt ? It isn't.

If I manually put it at right angles, the door opens !!!

So .. I assume I need a new pecker (or maybe the spring ). The thing is the pecker itself can move freely both ways. Should it only move from the right angle position to one way as opposed to both ways ( i.e. makes an angle of < 90 degress and also > 90 degrees to the arm).

The other problem I've got now is putting the 3 screws back into the bottom of the front panel .. the holes seem to big .. I can push the screws through by hand ... is there meant to be something behind the hole ? Maybe bigger screws will work !

Is replacing the pecker a simple job ? It seems a shame to get a professional in when I've got this far !!

The pecker unit seems to be physically OK, the problem is that it isn't securely fixed to the motor. If I manually lift it away from the belt, the spring pulls pack the pecker to 90 degrees and the door opens. I've tried this repeatadly and it's OK. But if I let go of the pecker unit it drops a little bit and the resting position of the pecker is < 90 degress and slips when the door is attempted to be opened.

How is it fixed to the motor ? Can I tighten it somewhere. It's not in a very convenient place is it ????

I was considering super glue !

Edited by Curious
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The pecker is a very common cause of a Hotpoint washing machine wher you can't get the door open. (There are 4 different areas that can cause a Hotpoint door to jam.)

Here's how the pecker should look (assuming you have the earlier type - unfortunately they are 3 different types for a Hotpoint)

Looking from the top -

Posted Image

Looking from the side -

Posted Image

Here's how the Hotpoint door interlock pecker system works -

When the door release latch is activated, the cable attached from the door interlock to the pecker on the motor is pulled. The pecker then "pecks" down at the motor (usually on the drive belt although later versions pecked against the armature shaft) If the belt (or motor) is moving at this time, then the pecker slips and the latch mechanism disengages. If the drive belt is stationary, the cable meets resistance and the door releases.

What happens is that the pecker comes loose, or the tip of it breaks off and this stops the door from opening. It often gets damaged and twisted by out of balanced loads which cause the tub to hit the casing and because the pecker is badly sited, it takes a hit.

It's easy to fit a new one. You can order one quickly and easily from one of the links on this page of Washerhelp Buy Appliance spare parts

When refitting the front panel, I you should place the bottom of the panel behind the metal strip not in front of it. Basically there should be no problem with holes being too big. You may have to take it partially back off to fit it properly. You shouldn't need to take the door seal off though. Yours could be the older type that does fit in front though, in which case there should be 3 captive clips that the screws fit into.

Need a repair or spare parts? 

Book a Repair | Buy Spares (Cheapest prices guaranteed)

Warning:  Read this before attempting any diy repairsNo representations or warranties are made (express or implied) as to the reliability, accuracy or completeness of advice. I can't be held liable for any loss arising directly or indirectly from the use of, or any action taken in reliance on, any information on this website, which is given free of charge and in good faith.

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