HomeMods, Tech Talk & TipsProjects & ModsSplendide Washer/Dryer Door Latch/Lock Bypass

IMAG1816.jpg Our on board washer/dryer on the Discovery is an important feature to us – we don’t like the cost or time waste involved with laundromats.

Our model year 2005 Italian made Splendide 2000S washer/dryer combo has a relatively small capacity and can take a long time to dry if overloaded, but we have found doing a small load every other day or so eliminates these shortcomings. Newer models have significantly increased capacity – we may consider an upgrade eventually.

On the plus side, having the washer and dryer in one unit makes the process seamless – no need to move the clothes from the washer to the dryer. Also, after showering, popping the damp towels in the dryer for a few minutes freshens and nicely drys them out.

IMAG1819.jpg Our unit is a vented model – they also come in vent-less versions that use cold water to condensate out the dryer moisture.

One problem we have had (and I think many others) is with the locking door latch. Like any front loader, the door handle locks when the machine is running – you don’t want to accidentally open the door when the drum is part filled with water.

The latch locks fine on our unit – unlocking it is the issue! After it locks it can take up to an hour for the latch to unlock itself. If you just started a cycle and forgot to put something in, this is unacceptable. I suspect eventually it would get to the point where the door would never unlatch.

After calling tech support, it turns out the door latch/lock assembly has a temperature sensing device utilizing a bi-metallic strip – well in theory ours is “worn out”. There should only be a delay of about one minute before the latch unlocks.

The support folks were very friendly and helpful and suggested that I confirm that the issue is in fact with the door latch/lock by “temporarily” bypassing it. The implication being that it was up to me to determine the precise definition of “temporary”. I was told the switch/lock has three wires (brown/black/white) and if I cut and shorted black and brown wires this would bypass the power interrupting switch and disable the locking function. A new replacement switch costs about $75 so this “temporary” fix is an attractive option.

Sounds simple enough, but the first trick was to get at the switch. Keep in mind this very heavy machine is shoehorned into a tightly fitting cabinet and there is no access from the top, bottom or sides. So that means either 1) it has to come out of the cabinet so the top can be removed for access to the switch or 2) the rubber drum seal on the front of the machine has to be partially removed for access to the switch.

Having previously done option #1 when our water heater needed repair (it lives underneath the washer/dryer cabinet) I knew what a major PITA this was – some trim on the cabinet front needs to be disassembled and a way to support the unit when it is slid out is required. In addition all the water and vent hoses have to be disconnected. There is very little room in front of the dryer cabinet so this is a difficult operation.

Option #2 sounded a lot better to me as it could all be done from the front without moving the machine, all I had to do was figure out how to partially remove the drum seal without ripping it – the replacement part is $200! Splendide support did not recommend I take this approach as it required some experience and a delicate touch. Well that sounded like a challenge to me plus I just didn’t feel like dealing with the issues involved with option #1 again.

IMAG1787.jpg So I found a training manual online that described the procedure. The first trick is to remove the spring loaded wire ring that  retains the outermost part of the seal. The photo to the left shows how I used a piece of stiff wire with a small hook bent in the end to grab the spring where it attaches to the retention wire. This spring is about 2″ long and attaches on each end to a wire loop that surrounds the washer opening – this assembly fits into a groove in the rubber seal and holds it securely to the front of the washer. You can use a flashlight to spot the spring up inside the groove and carefully snag the end loop. Pull it down just enough to grab with your fingers and then gingerly work it off – be patient and take your time. In the photo below you can see part of the wire loop after it has been removed.

IMAG1788.jpg Now that the retention wire has been removed, on the side where the switch is located you need to carefully peel back the rubber seal lip and work it off the sheet metal rim. I managed to get this started by working the end of a plastic ty-wrap under the seal where it mates against the sheet metal front of the washer and lifting it slightly so I could grab it with my fingers – from there it was pretty easy to work the rubber off the sheet metal – again, just be patient and take your time. The rubber is very resilient but also seems fairly thin so I can understand how rough handling might rip or puncture it.

Now you can reach in and grab the switch – just remove the two #15 Torx screws from the front and it comes right out.IMAG1789.jpg Notice in the photo there is a white, black and red wire – no brown as mentioned by Splendide support. Well, maybe the factory ran out of brown on the day they made our machine, or perhaps the technician is colorblind. Anyway, the red wire in my case is the equivalent of the brown.

I decided I’d rather not just cut the red/black wires and splice them together, my thinking being maybe someday I would run into a good deal on a new switch and/or might want to restore normal function (like if we sold the unit). So instead I popped the female spade like contacts out of the connector shell (there’s a bit of a trick to that), made a jumper using standard male spade crimp-ons and secured everything with shrink tubing and ty-wraps. So if I ever reinstall a new switch I can put everything back as it was with no wire splicing needed.

Note there is 120 volts present on these wires so make sure the power is off before you handle anything – also don’t skimp on the insulation for your splice.

So now the door lock is disabled and we can open the door anytime without waiting – obviously the downside of this is it’s possible to open the door at a very inappropriate moment – since our “kids” do not have opposing thumbs and we are not yet completely senile we figure this is pretty unlikely, but your case may be different so make this “temporary” mod with care.

Hopefully this post has given you some guidance if you are attempting a similar repair.


Comments

Splendide Washer/Dryer Door Latch/Lock Bypass — 13 Comments

  1. how can i know that which two wires to joint to make bypass successful. there are three wires red black and yellow in lg washer.

    • Hi, LG washer is a different brand and may not have the same type of switch, etc. You could experiment. One of the wires should have mains voltage (black?), one is probably neutral (yellow? – with power off ohm out to see if it is common with frame ground) and the third wire should be the switched lead (red?). My guess would be to short BLK/RED but do so at your own risk. If I am wrong you will probably pop the circuit breaker.

  2. We have ours apart (same brand as yours) but our colors are brown,red,blue. We are taking a shot with red and brown

    • Good luck! Guess you have a few combinations to try. If you get it wrong worst case you will pop the circuit breaker at your rv panel.

  3. Thanks so much for your informative post. Ours is also a 2005 Splendide, but it is a WD2100XC model. We had experienced another common problem with the Splendide washer/dryers. That is, “broken door handle.” While searching for information on that, I found your post. So, while repairing that problem, I decided to help eliminate the problem again in the future, and implement your lock bypass solution.

    My lock did indeed have the Black/White/Brown color scheme, as the technician described to you, so my solution was quite straight-forward. I wasn’t too concerned about returning the latch to proper function in the future, so I just cut the wires, stripped them back 1/4″, used a twist on wire connector to join them, & then wrapped with electrical tape for water-proofing. I also wrapped the latch end wires in tape to keep them together. If I decide to return the lock function in the future, I’ll just remove the twist connector and install butt splices.

    While our latch was still working as designed, the delay was a pain, and I’m sure led to some pre-emptory attempts to open the locked door, thereby adding stress to the poorly designed handle. Our handle lasted about 9 years, so I don’t feel too bad about having to replace it. I bought the OEM part from Westland Sales (800-356-0766) for $40 + shipping. Seems high, but is a lot better than the $117 for the same part from PPL. Thanks again for your helpful post. My wife is happy.

  4. Thanks A LOT for this post.
    We were having problems with the latch not unlocking and then we broke the handle off trying to open the door. Did what Chris did, ordered the handle from Westland and completely bypassed the switch. Great help, thanks again!

  5. Thanks to this posting I got the door open, pulled the boot edging off and pulled the switch. I had the black-white-brown wires. pulled black and brown connectors out of the plug and taped them together. Put the switch back in, boot re-installed and perfection!
    Ordering a new handle today.
    Thanks a Bunch
    Murray

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