How To Replace The Lid Switch On A Top-Load Washing Machine

Posted on: 14 April 2016


The lid switch on a top-load washing machine operates as a sensor that lets the washing machine know when the lid is closed. The lid closure can trigger the start of water filling the tub while the opening of the lid can stop the water from filling or simply prevent the unit from moving on to the spinning cycle. A malfunctioning lid switch can make your unit think the lid is open – or closed – when the other condition is actually true.

Replacing the lid switch isn't overly difficult for those with moderate home improvement experience. Make sure you order the switch using the model number in your owner's manual or order directly from the manufacturer. You should also consult the manual before replacing the switch as the directions could vary due to the specific setup of your machine.

Things You Need:

  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • New Lid Switch Assembly

Step 1: Removing the Casing to Access the Switch

Unplug the washing machine before starting the project. Look at the control panel on the top rear of the washer – it's the area with the operation knobs – and determines how it moves out of the way. Often, you can simply remove screws in the bottom corners on either the front or rear of the panel and then the whole assembly will lift up and flip over.

Locate the wire connector, which looks like a plastic plug, and unhook the connector from its position. Locate the spring clips, which look like metal arches, and use a screwdriver to release the end of each clip. Pull each clip out of the machine and set aside somewhere you won't lose them.

You can now pull the outer casing of the washing machine away from the tub. The casing itself usually isn't too heavy but use the assistance of another person, if needed. Place the casing on a clean dry floor or a large blanket with the interior of the lid parallel to you.

Step 2: Removing the Old Lid Switch

Kneel down inside the casing to access the underneath of the lid. Use a screwdriver to remove the screw holding the ground wire in place. Remove the mounting screws. Now remove the mounting screws for the lid switch body that's located near the case's lid opening. Place all of the screws in your pocket for safekeeping.

The lid switch is still connected to the casing via a wire bundle. Use the screwdriver to pop the wire harness out of its position under two metal brackets. Everything is now cleared from the area except the wire connector. Use pliers to depress each side of the wire connector and pull it out of its mounting hole.

Step 3: Install New Switch and Replace Case

Take the new lid switch assembly out of its package. Place the wire connector into the vacant hole and press firmly so that it will snap into place. Thread the wires harness over the brackets. Line the switch body up where the old one had been mounted and secure into place with the mounting screws. Attach the grounding wire and its screw.

Push the washing machine's case back into place around the tub. Make sure the bottom lip of the case goes under the frame and that the case snaps onto the back of the frame.

Reattach the spring clips and wire connector. Flip the control assembly back down and reattach its fasteners. Plug the washing machine back in.

Run a test cycle to see if the problem is fixed. If the problem persists, call in an appliance repair tech (like those at Kaylor Appliance & Refrigeration Service and similar locations) for assistance.