Mailbag: Opening a Whirlpool or Kenmore Direct Drive Washer

kathy wrote:

I figured out that my kenmore washer(110.26292695) needed a new lid switch,bought one(and a manual), and came home to install it. The manual said there should be clips in front to open the top of the washer. Not on my model How do I get to the screw to get the green ground wire?(I don’t know if that’s what it is)off the wall of the washer? Please help.. my husband is not mechanical AT ALL!!! I have a one year old, tons of laundry, and Sears can’t come out until next Sat. I’m so close to fixing it I can taste it!!!

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This is a Whirlpool-built direct drive washer. It opens up a little differently from what you might expect. Many people, thinking the top panel pops up, begin ruthlessly prying on the seam between the top and front panel and only end up with a disfigured washer. I’ve seen more adventurous types actually remove the entire back panel, getting them no closer to what they were trying for. Let the Samurai enlighten you.

The entire cabinet removal procedure is illustrated in this diagram. Even though the procedure is very straight forward, a couple of fine points are worth mentioning:

  • Some Kenmore-branded versions of this washer use plastic endcaps to cover the console screws. Just remove the console end caps and the console retaining screws are right there. This technique is illustrated in this photo.
  • Once you’ve removed the console screws, flip the entire control console up and back to reveal the cabinet retaining braces, shown here.
  • After you pull the cabinet back and away from the washer, here’s an illustrated anatomy of your naked washing machine. The lid switch is screwed to the inside of the cabinet top panel and is easily accessible with the cabinet removed.
  • Replacing the cabinet is usually very straight forward but sometimes little snags can arise. Some helpful hints for replacing the cabinet are explained here.

With the washer cabinet removed, you have easy access to the lid switch. You may find that the actuator lever is broken. If the actuating lever looks ok, then you should use your ohm meter to check the continuity of the lid switch. Many times, if the switch is bad, it will no longer make a clicking sound when you actuate it. Your lid switch can be replaced using one of the kits below, most likely the older style. But you can easily confirm this by feasting your Vulcan squinties on your washer’s lid switch.

Older-style Lid Switch
Older style lid switch and plunger assembly for a Whirlpool or Kenmore direct drive washer--click for larger view.
Newer-style Lid Switch
Newer style lid switch for a Whirlpool or Kenmore direct drive washer--click for larger view.

Ok, tear ’em up!

UPDATE: There is at least one other variation on the lid switch used in this washer. For example, this one. Be sure to look up the exact one you need using your model number.

To learn more about your washing machine, or to order parts, click here.


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